Though Australian electro-rock trio PVT (formerly Pivot) is keeping details about its forthcoming LP under wraps, the band has graciously given a taste of what’s to come with its new video for “Shiver,” the album’s opening track.
The video below, minimal and graceful, is a fitting accompaniment for the track, which features hushed vocals lingering between warbling pop synths and sparse bass pulsations.
If the appeal of a cover tune rests on an artist’s ability to emulate a preexisting song and bring new flavors to it at the same time, then the remix is something of an estranged relative. With remixes, the implicit goal is to stretch an existing piece of music as far as it can possibly go. Remixers are thus encouraged to let their musical personality eclipse the composer’s. They are essentially hired to take risks, to reconstitute, and to deconstruct — even altogether ignore — the mood, structure, and musical components with which they’ve been given to work.
The end results often qualify as works of art unto themselves, yet they also exist more or less as novelty items. Arguably, few remixes connect with more than a limited niche audience — even for fans of groups like Massive Attack and Depeche Mode — and the thought of a group of remixes working together within the larger framework of a full-length album remains an anomaly.
But that isn’t stopping experimental rock trio Battles from trying.
Hot on the heels of his Iradelphic full-length in April, electronic maestro Clark is back at it with the Fantasm Planes EP, a six-track offering due 9/4/12 from Warp. On it, Clark debuts three brand-new cuts and three new takes on tracks from Iradelphic, the latter coming as a pseudo-recreation of his recent live setup.
The title track, heard below, is a progressive, classically tinged tune that is propelled by a throbbing, syncopated pulse and, later, a steady dance-floor beat.
Previously a ceaseless innovator, recent Squarepusher albums have followed a holding pattern: a strange departure that feints at a new direction (the strangely light-fusion-inflected pop of Just a Souvenir; the truly weird, limp lounge on the conceptual not-actually-a-full-band Shobaleader One: d’Demonstrator) is followed by an “okay, just kidding” return-to-form release (Numbers Lucent and Ufabulum, respectively).
As a companion to last year’s Gloss Drop, the inversely titled Dross Glop consists entirely of Battles’ Gloss Drop music reworked by the likes of Hudson Mohawke, The Alchemist, Kode9, Shabazz Palaces, Gang Gang Dance, Gui Boratto, and more. Given the band’s unpredictable creative trajectory to this point, it’s no surprise that the distinctive electro-rock trio has released something to induce head-scratching among existing fans and electronica fans alike.
Next month, English electronic artist / bass wizard Squarepusher (or Tom Jenkinson, if pseudonyms aren’t your thing) returns with a follow-up to his 2010 album on which he debuted his “space-pop band,” Shobaleader One. Ufabulum, out May 15, is a step in a different direction in more than one way.