No-Man

Flowermix

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Initially surfacing as a cassette in 1995, then reappearing later that year as a slightly revised and expanded CD, Flowermix, as the name indicates, consists mainly of remixes from the excellent Flowermouth album. Steve Wilson himself handles almost half the efforts, the rest given over to folks like David Kosten, later of Faultline; Os, aka Andrew Ostler, future partner of Tim Bowness in Darkroom; and Bowness himself. While some mixes concentrate on a dancefloor setting, others take a subtler approach or otherwise seem less concerned with raves as with their own internal logic. Some of Wilson's efforts bookend the disc, with the opening number being a masterful revamp of "Angel Gets Caught in the Beauty Trap," called "Angeldust." With Mel Collins' sax getting an even more prominent setting and the steady beat driving forward like a prime Kraftwerk number, the combination of sheen and power makes for another majestic No-Man highlight. At the end waits one of two takes on "Simple," called "Born Simple," a dark ambient revamp with a heartbeat pulse that has an honestly chilling, haunting edge. "You Grow More Beautiful" gets two makeovers -- an alternate version by Wilson that's a pure early '70s funk groover for the modern day, at least on the verses, and a lovely incarnation titled "Faith in You" by the Prophets of Bliss. The latter combines calmer keyboards with a shuffling hip-hop beat before pumping up the techno and concluding on an appropriately blissful high. Os' two cuts include a beat-heavy groove through "Soft Shoulders," "All I See," and the other take on "Simple," here named "Sample," a slice of progressive house that works a lot more effectively that other examples of the time. Other noteworthy cuts include the dramatic strings and atmospheres of "Natural Neck" and Kosten's engagingly rough, theatrical version of "Teardrop Fall," "Why the Noise?."

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