The Musique Concrete Ensemble

Dissolution Tapes: The Musique Concrete Ensemble Remixed

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Who knows which album these artists were given to remix, but very little here is easily identifiable to the Musique Concrete Ensemble's debut CD, Disonancias y Repeticiones Ambiguas. On the other hand, the cover artwork is unambiguous: that album must be the source for all these nicely crafted pieces of sound art. But don't expect the MCE's experimental take on post-rock, and don't expect to like this remix project simply because you liked its source album (or the contrary). They are simply too different to be compared. That being said, the Zeromoon label has convened an impressive roster of soundsmiths, giving the MCE the royal treatment: the enigma Francisco López, N&B Research unit Anton Nikkilä and Alexei Borisov, experimental ambient artist Jacob Kierkegaard, Fe-Mail and Maja Ratkje (two of Norway's most daring artists), and a good helping from the American experimental underground, including Violet (Zeromoon label proprietor), Cornucopia, and Das Torpedoes, etc. The 17 artists here all manage to step as far away as possible from the MCE's original tracks. The music ranges from López's puzzling nondescript soundscapes and Cornucopia's dark drones ("Towards a Dead Light," a suitable title) to the noisy escalation of Ratkje's "Malodorous Drains" (including a rare recognizable snippet of the album being remixed) and the digicore abstraction of Michael Gendreau. If some tracks seem a little light in concept or content, most pieces are at least satisfactory, with an honest number of them being truly enticing. Serious thought has been put into the track list to create a dynamic listening experience, cohesive in general without excluding some harsh contrasts. A little long at 78 minutes for a single attentive sitting, Dissolution Tapes requires effort but rewards accordingly. Still, it should not be approached as the companion disc to Disonancias y Repeticiones Ambiguas, unless you plan on seriously expanding your horizons.