Various Artists

MRG 100 Re-Mix: Merge 100 Remix EP

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MRG 100 is a lackluster release, considering it's the celebratory 100th release on the absolutely superb indie label Merge. Consisting of only six songs from six of the label's bands, the cons outweigh the pros by a long shot. Bands making appearances here are Lambchop, the Magnetic Fields, Guv'ner, Butterglory, Spent, and Superchunk. Longtime Merge fans will know that some of these bands scrape the bottom of the barrel of the Merge talent pool. To top things off, or to seal the deal of the release's average quality rating, Mark Robinson (of Unrest, Air Miami, and Flin-Flon fame) remixes or simply adds additional sound effects to all of the songs. Robinson's work here only serves to stifle the original recordings. The drum'n'bass lite sounds that he plasters on the Magnetic Fields' "Smoke and Mirrors" is misguided. Lambchop's "The Militant," already one of the band's least accessible songs, is made more ponderous. All in all, MRG 100 is certainly not indicative of the sheer superiority of Merge over most other indie labels. The EP is not in any way a good sampler of Merge sounds.

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