Life and Death - Step Aside Remixes on Visionquest

Words by: Peter Adkins
Posted: 17/12/12 9:38

For those who have been following Visionquest’s self-titled label, you’ll know that last year’s debut 12” from Life and Death was one of the imprint’s strongest releases to date. Two sides of idiosyncratic, techno-flavoured house, it epitomised the very best in underground pop that the VQ boys have been championing. But then, if you consider that Life and Death is a collaboration between duos Thugfucker and Tale Of Us, the high watermark of quality is hardly a surprise.

Now, twelve months later to the day and they’re released a three track remix EP of the original record. And they’ve thrown some cash at it, calling in the biggest names in house and techno for remix duty.

First up is modern techno legend Carl Craig, who tackles Morgana. Serving up nine-minutes of understated tech-house, the Detroit pioneer rebuilds the track around a droning bass, that drips with understated machine-funk sensuality. Delaying the arrival of the huge hook turns until the four-minute mark, Craig turns in a remix that is all about sustained tension.

Flip the record over and Jamie Jones offers the first remix of Step Aside (Lightweight), serving up an en-vogue disco house hybrid bassline and cutting the vocal accompaniment down to the phrase “I’m an addict” looped over and over for the most part. Whilst this could have so easily turned into a rather predictable affair, Jones’ deftness as a producer is demonstrated as the track refuses to follow a steady trajectory, blooming into a cacophony of high-frequency synths and gongs in a leftfield final act. Although if it’s pure hypnotic minimalism you’re after, then the Rework remix of the same track will be the one for you. The lyrics are edited into short percussive bursts and complemented by fresh vocals from band member Sacha Hedgehog, whilst a shuffling bassline gives it a muted, druggy 5am feel.

Whilst none of the tracks are quite peak as you hope they might, especially with the raft of names involved in the project, this is yet another hefty and pleasing package from one of the most innovative labels in dance-music.

Artist: Life and Death
Title: Step Aside Remixes EP
Label: Visionquest

TracklistMorgana (Carl Craig Remix)Step Aside (Lightweight) feat. Scott McCloud (Jamie Jones Melodic Remix)Step Aside (Lightweight) feat. Scott McCloud (Rework Remix)

Our Rating: 8/10
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