By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
"In the Trees" (Carl Craig C2 Remix 1)
Juno Records 12-Inch
When U.K. house music entered its first golden age in 1996, it was still mislabeled as nu-disco. No doubt this cello-laced track from the Lee Bros. (Robin and Simon) helped with such a misappropriation, as it sawed like a most ominous vision of Love Unlimited Orchestra. Now, to celebrate 10 years of the Juno label, a series of epochal 12-inches get conjoined with remixes, and "In the Trees" goes to Detroit techno overlord Carl Craig, who continues his latest renaissance. He makes the synth lines bristle with foreboding, rubs a scour across the hi-hat, and doubles the telltale heart palpitations of the cello five minutes in, making it as menacing as anything night-crawling about in the pines.
"Cellphone's Dead" (Villalobos Entlebuch Remix)
From The Information: Deluxe Edition
Scientology's favorite white rapper gets to duke it out with a doppelganger of himself (the one sporting the real devil's haircut) courtesy of Germany's groggy-proggy Ricardo Villalobosat 14 minutes, it's the producer's standard operating length, though still 23 minutes shorter than his minimal oompah madhouse track "Fizheuer Ziheuer." Here, he honors Beck's taunt to "make a jukebox sound like a mirror in my mind" by going funhouse on the original. One by one Villalobos knocks out and distends each element: The spaghetti western whistles revert back to their passerine perch, the backing choir intones voodoo curses, the kick drum doesn't signal "S.O.S." but still gets truly lost, not in the desert, but at sea.
"EYE Mix 1" From the Eye Remix EP
Midnight Vultures cover artist Yamantaka Eye would've appreciated the "Eye of the sun" incantation from "Cellphone's Dead," were he not already the living embodiment of beach-bum heliolatry. Whether remixing Black Dice, Melvins, or OOIOO (the prog-rock girl group fronted by his other Boredoms bandmate, Yoshimi P-We), Eye constantly seeks to turn sound into an effect not unlike staring at the sun and standing in the sea. Taking this no-wave Ubangi stomp from last year's Taiga, Eye curiously keeps a terrestrial guitar line (no more of those in the Boredoms or Vooredoms set-up), but also electronically elongates P-We's toms into a goa-trance pipeline and transforms the ra-ra of the tribal chants into cries of seagulls, which cycle above like vultures.