New Music: Strain of Origin IV Compilation
Talented underground electronic artists re-imagine each others' tracks.
I know the compilation we should be pushing right now is our own one, but there's another compilation out now, Strain of Origin IV, that I really want to give some love to, as well. It's beats/electronic based, but not for the dancefloor by any stretch - it's altogether more experimental, and darker. Strain of Origin is Australian label Feral Media’s annual compilation series, where they enlist some of the most exciting underground acts from around Australia and ask those acts to submit a track to be remixed, and in turn receive a track from another artist to remix themselves for the release.
Last year’s Strain of Origin III was a beauty – some of the works to come out of that became firm favourites, like the spacey, moody, meditative instrumental remix of witch-haus artist ¹fm¹’s track Maise, done by Vacant Lake (the solo project of Berlin / Melbourne artist Beres Jackson). Another great one to come out of that comp was Bon Chat, Bon Rat’s remix of Melbourne four-piece experimental act Trjaeu’s original, where the original glossy, slow-disco type number, was stretched out and texturised into something more bleak and haunting by BCBR (On the subject of Bon Chat, Bon Rat - after a hiatus of four years (minus that remix) since their debut – they recently released a gorgeous psychedelic EP of electronica, Burning Palms, well worth checking out).
Strain of Origin IV sees a whole new round of fresh, boundary-pushing Australian electronic / experimental artists take up the remix/cover challenge; including Naps, Tim Fitz, Setec, Super Magic Hats, PMM, Spartak, Pimmon, Lower Spectrum, and more. Call us hometown-biased but straight off the bat, Lower Spectrum’s remix of Naps (from Melbourne DIY label / collective //This Thing//) is a standout. LSpec takes Naps’ watery, disjointed sample-based track Green Growth and streamlines the trickle into a surging stream of prog techno, with a creepy synth line / strings combo that could easily work as a soundtrack to an Italian horror flick from the 70s. Naps’ //This Thing// labelmate Electric Sea Spider goes in on Lower Spectrum’s Estuary, from his 2013 release Little Appeal, taking the haunting, piano-led original and transforming it a whimsical percussive piece with jungle squawks and odd vocal warbles.
Other highlights include Tim Setz rework of Setec’s Water or Concrete: Setz fleshes out the slow-paced, bare-bones original and briging Setec’s vocals to the fore for a fitful yet uplifting result (that I'd say even trumps the original). Naps does the opposite, turning Pimmon’s Limited E Country into a sparse, impactful, sound-art masterpiece, while Pimmon removes the industrial-guitar-noise of Spartak’s Child Soldiers completely and replaces it with dense, dark drone-like sounds.
One of the best things about Strain of Origin IV is that it provides an accessible framework through which non-experimental music schooled individuals will be encouraged to experience what might initially be thought of as 'outsider' sounds. I'm so glad this project exists.
Download it for free (along with the past compilations in the series) below:
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