Fragmented Frequencies Jan 2014

Remix albums can be a little hit and miss and miss and miss and miss, yet it doesn’t have to be that way. Intention is a very important part of the process. If the aim is to widen the market for the track then it’s hard not to be a little cynical, however if it’s offered up as an opportunity to create something new – then that opens up a new world of possibilities. Benoit Pioulard is an idiosyncratic US composer/ songwriter who regularly merges vague elements of pop songs with field recordings and ambient sound, creating deeply personal handmade music that feels encased beneath layers of emotion, warmth and perhaps a little dust. 2013’s Hymnal, his fourth for US indie label Kranky is loaded with Catholic allusions with his typically hushed vocals and dreamy, woozy, though at times quite textural instrumentation. Lost Tribe Sound are the perfect label to handle his double cd set of remixes, sharing a similar aesthetic to Pioulard and enlisting many in their current roster. The freakishly precocious William Ryan Fritch’s take on Margin is modern classical pop murkiness whilst Cock and Swan offer a dense highly textured yet still melodic take on Homily, Graveyard Tapes provide lilting decaying noise, and Melbourne’s Part Timer takes Reliquary into electronic realms. With mixes by Loscil, The Remote Viewer, and even Pioulard himself, this album feels like an elevation of Hymnal, an overwhelming and surprisingly cohesive body of sound that is frequently surprising albeit in a woozy understated way.