Nav Katze

Never Mind the Distortion, Vol. 2

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Nav Katze returns to its global efforts with a follow-up to 1994's Never Mind the Distortion, enlisting the help of five more British electronica acts in what sounds like a good idea that didn't quite flourish. This is due in part to the limited palette of contributor Mark Clifford, who is generously given half of the entire album's tracks to remix he sees fit. His results, credited to both Seefeel as well as Disjecta, end up suggesting that perhaps he's not as strong with other people's material as he is with his own. He is easily upstaged by the Rephlex act the Gentle People, whose opening track, "Ready to Go," is a shimmering dream that shuffles energetically and becomes a tough act to follow (at least too tough for Clifford). Sun Electric contributes a 6/8 world beat to "Borderless #2," which hovers and evolves for six and a half minutes without overstaying its welcome. Other noteworthy guests include µ-ziq and Autechre, who both provide unique enough mixes to "Happy," but they will more likely be savored by collectors than by the casual listener. This being said, the Autechre mix is still a very engaging and minimal piece of adventure to close out the disc. Never Mind the Distortion II does possess a level of darkness that part one did not, so credit goes out to the producers for not trying to recycle the same experience twice. These remixers help Nav Katze get some recognition where they otherwise might not, but to have other artists interpret your material rather than having an audience hear the original is sort of a "mixed" blessing, with mixed results.

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