Sonae | Wearing Black Remixes
Monika Enterprise (DL)
The four-track Wearing Black Remixes EP follows Sonae‘s dreamily experimental electronic full-length I Started Wearing Black released earlier this year, in follow-up to her 2015 debut, Far Away Is Just Around The Corner. On these four pieces the Cologne-based sound-bender has invited four interesting artists, Lucrecia Dalt, Electric Indigo, Natalie TBA Beridze and La Leif to reinterpret and build upon smartly selected tracks. If I had only one criticism it would be that I only want more, much more of such expert treatment to an already stunning sophomore effort. In fact, one could wish for the entire record to be extended upon in this way. Perhaps there’s a part two in the works to cover the remaining half of the original release… 🙂
We start with Majority Vote (Electric Indigo Remix), which feels though you’ve been miniaturized and placed inside a music box at first. The delicate percussion and melody has an assertive layer added, with a sputtering sound that mimics what a dog sounds like when shaking its head abruptly. The piece is well-paced and robust, and does no harm to the delicate structural integrity of the original, only enhances its edges like drawing lines over another’s painting, but a quizzical harmony develops.
Lucrecia Dalt‘s Remix of Rust is of technical interest in its complex inversion, a plotting of geometrics atop an original that was already somewhat sparse with its jiggle of a spray can here and airy drone there. Dalt, who we recently reviewed, instead goes for an embossed, loop-de-loop style approach as if there’s a hurdy gurdy in the room. This is a fully fledged un/composition in and of itself that has a bit of a dual edge. The way it takes small blips and turns them into elongated swervy lines is gentle genius.
White Trash Rouge Noir (La Leif Remix) is up next and showcases the London newcomer’s appropriation of a rather emotive original (one of the best and most subtly dark on the full-length). La Leif has gone for taking a portion, looping it, and bringing in a bouncy percussive element which is as effective as it is playful. The stylish track takes a left hand turn by adding reverse vocals and a stringed beat that is as funky as it is warped. The distortion grabs hold of your psyche in a way that demands for an additional a/v experience – so please bring on a video element and away we go.
Finally we engage with the now broken down music box we started with on Soul Eater (Natalie TBA Beridze Remix). The original was delivered as a bit of a jumble of jangling tonalities, so I’d imagine this was a hard one to consider for such dedicated exercises. Beridze manages to hold on to the crushing atonality as well crossbreeding new sparkling ambient effects of microsound by finding focus on the scope of detritus. By emphasizing the tender keyboard melody in conjunction with magical synths and other assorted sound effects. It’s a genuine look at a hopeful world with its faults intact and proudly seems to build a passageway to a brighter future.
In the end, every single track here holds water and it’s crystal clear that even though this may be a short cross section of re-envisioning Sonae’s work, it is by far one of the best remix records I’ve heard in 2018.
This review is part of Womens Work Week – a celebration of international women working in experimental and electronic music genres. If you enjoy this review you may also be interested in one of these additional releases that we are covering this week on Toneshift.net:
- Catherine Christer Hennix | Selected Early Keyboard (Scotland)
- Kajsa Lindgren | Distorted Worlds (Sweden)
- Yoko Ono | Warzone (Japan/US)
- R.A.N. | Şeb-i Yelda (Turkey/Germany)
- Ipek Gorgun | Ecce Homo (Turkey)
- Map 71 | Void Axis (UK)
- Sonae | Wearing Black Remixes (Germany)
- Olivia Block | 132 Ranks (US)
- Vanessa Tomlinson | The Inside Space (Australia)
- Julia Reidy | Beholder (Australia/Germany)
- Jlin | Music from Wayne McGregor’s Autobiography (US)