Florian Hecker may be the quietest partisan among Mego's digital guerrillas. Though a critical exponent of the Vienna-based label's Powerbook performance retinue, Hecker is rarely heard on record--literally, if 1998's extremely vague and evasive I T ISO 161975 are any indication. In 1999, Hecker presented the mini-album's microstructures as a summons to would-be remixers.
[R*] ISO CHALL ("remix ISO challenge") presents the efforts of those microsound microsurgeons who answered the call. It's a classic of its type. Silence's supreme spokesman Francisco Lopez picks up Hecker's gauntlet (responding with 10 minutes of concentrated inaudibility), as does remix regular Jim O'Rourke (whose lovely treatment blends lullaby textures with laptop-PC glossolalia). The project attracted a number of unusual participants as well. Old-schoolers Holger Hiller and Bruce Gilbert (Wire) experiment with wild vocal diffraction and "MIDI slide guitar" effects, respectively. Marcus Schmickler and Ilpo Vaisanen (Pan Sonic) take highlight honors with their fascinating, all-but-indescribable creative handlings. Mouse on Mars' Jan St. Werner imprints the glassy melodic signature of his Lithops work upon Hecker's minimalist material. And Otomo Yoshihide, shady Autechre alter-ego GESCOM, Farmers Manual offshoot cd_slopper, and Fluxus alum Yasunao Tone (whose broken-CD experiments predate Oval's by a decade) all impress with gabbling, stuttering digital overhauls.