Various Artists

Ohmix

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By 2001, the Quebec city sound art collective Avatar was undergoing important transformations, with two of their founding members -- Jocelyn Robert and Christof Migone -- turning or already turned toward new cities, new people, and new ventures. The intent of this remix project was to recycle the past in order to point to the future. Eight artists were commissioned remixes using the first CDs released on Ohm Éditions (Avatar's label). The music of Robert, Migone, Pierre-André Arcand, the collective projects Radio Folie Culture and Rappel, and precursors Bruit TTV was treated, sampled, and recreated by Ralf Wehowsky, Martin Tétreault, Christian Calon, Terre Thaemlitz, John Oswald, Diane Labrosse, David Kristian, and Alexandre St-Onge. So there are musicians from the Ambiances Magnétiques and Alien8 Recordings stables; from Montreal, Europe, and Japan; and from electro-acoustic and electronica realms, all on the same CD. They approached the subject from different angles, but came to similar conclusions. All pieces belong to the turn-of-the-century avant-garde stylings of digital lowercase or new electro-acoustics. More importantly, the original music has been rendered unrecognizable. One may be able to trace back snippets of Migone's Hole in the Head in Calon's "Aiguiser l'Ouïe," or bits of Robert's Piano Flou in Labrosse's "Curieux Mélange pour Amateurs Auditifs de la Jeune Radio," but it matters very little. Both aforementioned tracks stand out as highlights. Thaemlitz's "Transit(ional Edit)" has its moments, but the intentional 30-second gap in the middle of it feels gratuitous. As for St-Onge's "/-/," it focuses on white noise and blanks in between tracks, continuing the artist's quest for the ultimate anti-art (although it sounds a bit puerile this time). Satisfying but not essential, Ohmix must not be seen as a point of entry in Avatar's world -- it is more like a point of exit for their first animators.

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