Brad Loving’s work in 2011 proved his talent, starting with his work as the field recorder behind the superb album Sababou (now available on vinyl – and worth picking up) and releasing a single EP and LP that showcased two sides of his music as Lobisomem. Now ready to drop an LP of remixes, the time to revisit the original, above mentioned, full length (Onze Pedras) before delving into its partner/twin Onze Pedras Atiradas is nigh.

Generally speaking, the sounds used in each of Pedras’s tracks remain the same: simple but effective synth beeps recalling the EMI Synthi or modern analogue reproductions, drums sourced from either drum machines or Japanese drummer extraordinaire Nori Tanaka, and a plethora of samples invoking West African musical culture, South and East Asian timbres, and the odd hint of post-rock. Some outings inevitably fare better than others, but overall the album balances its tracks well as comes off as a composed suite of ideas. How much of this came from the original laptop compositions before being brought into a studio with Tall Corn label mate and engineer Beau Sorenson (beaunoise) is up for debate, but it seems safe to say (based on the liner notes) that it’s almost 90% was sourced and merely bettered through conversion to multitrack tape. Given the rhythmic focus and easy to spot loops and motifs, the idea of remixing each track not only seems feasible but appealing, a play that benefits all parties and offers up endless combinations. The Rhodes from ‘Consonants and Vowels’ with the drums from ‘You will need a new name one day Hercules Rockaway.’ would work beautifully, for instance. Enter Antiradas with a generous 11 remixes spread across a full length and a bonus 7”.

The result of eleven separate musical entities each (re)appropriating a track from the original album slightly backfires, as six of the eleven tracks focus on two songs. ‘Oxbow’ receives three takes on its opening 8 bars, some veering into a single loop with added effects (cf. Muslimgauze circa Azzazin) and some degenerating into underwater burbles of manipulated sound. Dan Bitney’s take on ‘…Hercules Rockaway’ sounds like all but a Tortoise song (naturally) and, as expected, uses a tight and controlled percussion backing, while Brooklyn garage/pseudo-Burialists Totem Test turn in a 2-step take on ‘Another Song about Euryale’ that is almost more enjoyable than the original. Each remix stands on its own well enough, save for the third and final ‘Oxbow’ remix by Bundy K. Brown. While the intro and closing are worthwhile ambient re-imaginings, the bulk of the track falters, veering into a loop with effects added but minus the gripping tension of an album or even track like ‘Azzazin,’ as mentioned earlier. But perhaps most jarring and disappointing is the mellow, funkless take on ‘She’s Made of Clay’ Clive Tanaka contributes. For the maven of electronic dance, it’s surprisingly reserved and straight-laced, to the point of needing to make sure the 7” wasn’t mislabeled by using the etchings in the runout groove to confirm the record was indeed playing the A side.

Coming into Atiradas with no preconceived notions seems to be a better idea than expecting to see something more, as most remix releases tend to prove. It’s not that any of these takes are bad (at worst they are merely redundant but at least well produced enough to be listenable), just that they fail to meet some of the original charm and deft editing that makes Pedras an album worthy of calling attention to Lobisomem. If taken as a chance to allow as many aspects as possible to come from the original song (a so called “primary progenitor”), then the remix LP works as a series of experiments and alternate faces contained within one body. If the covers are any indication, then this set was designed to be a peeling away of layers allowing the intent to come through as a distortion of the warped originator. Either way, it seems like too much work to justify or bash the album given its success rate and general translation into genre and artist boundaries in a way that is neither detrimental or groundbreaking.

Rating: 8/10 & 6.5/10