Needles in the Ground EP

Khost, 2016

Being an omnivorous listener, I've always appreciated remix albums. It's a curious idea, filtering a finished work through other artists. It's even more odd when the entire piece is worked over by a single artist. It's almost, but not quite a 'what if so-and-so had produced this' proposition: the remixer gets finished, produced tracks and has a free hand to reimagine them without the artists' input. Record producers don't have that luxury. Seeing this EP was entirely worked over by Justin Broadrick (of Godflesh and Jesu fame) made it too tempting to miss. The funny thing is, I've yet to go back and listen to the album these songs came from… I can only imagine that Broadrick's take has pushed them to extremity. If they were originally more harsh than this, they'd hardly be songs at all.


Spectres, 2016

Perhaps it marks me as 'so 90s', but I do enjoy it when a proper rock band releases a remix album. Of course, back then it seemed more like a cash-in, wringing a little extra out of a popular album. As often as not, the mixes were by third-tier electricians and sounded pretty phoned-in. Nowadays, the divisions between rock and electronic music are blurrier than ever, and everyone tells you there's no money in the music industry anyway—so what does anyone have to lose.

Even still, Spectres handed their material over to an odd assortment of artists to produce their remix album, Dead. Buzz-worthy up-and-comers, like Hookworms and Factory Floor rub shoulders with more long-in-tooth producers, like Richard Fearless as well as the avant garde, like Robert Hampson. It was this rogues gallery that caught my attention, since (to be frank) I haven't listened to the original Spectres album, Dying, yet.

The results heard here are gnarly. Dead is all humming buzzsaws and cacophonous thuds. The producers here have mutated what was likely a loud, guitar-heavy rock album into something that is not really dancefloor friendly, but instead, is more inhumanly industrial. It stutters and quakes and gnashes.