REVIEW Âme ‘Dream House Remixes’ [Innervisions]

By virtue of an airtight track record — Âme — Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann have reputed as one (or two) of the most cogent and exemplary figures in contemporary electronic music. In 2003, the duo of many faces previewed a calibration via their releases on Jazzanova’s Sonar Kollektiv label. Merely two years later, Âme affiliated with the unanimous Steffen Berkhahn (aka Dixon) and founded the Berlin-based Innervisions: a sub-label of Sonar Kollektiv. Shortly after Innervisions was conceived, Âme birthed the prodigy child ’Rej’ and encouraged others to start plucking overgrown — and rather unkempt — hairs within the electronic music state. The label has globally accumulated a die-hard following, infiltrated shopping carts, and gained even the harshest critics’ respect. Although the layers comprising each track defy minimalism, Âme’s approach to handling consumerist greed upholds conscious minimality; not forcing any idea behind a project, hence ‘Dream House’ was their first LP in 2018. ‘Dream House’ paved a slightly different soundscape from Âme’s typical dance-floor construct, instead as ‘an evocative home listening journey,’, or rather, a home away from home – whatever that means to you. Literal or not, a home serves as a solace of sorts; a reliable shelter where a return is inevitable. With soul-stirring rhythms and poignant harmonies, Âme’s universal musical language rolls off Emotion’s mother tongue – still reserving an infinite amount of combinations to mix and match within ‘Dream House’. Therefore, every (model) remixer redecorates their own ‘Dream House’; stylizing in their signature elements – furnished from electronic music’s top- shelf.

To head the remixes Rampa, Berlin producer and Keinemusik label-head, leads the congo line through elongated breakdowns; building tensions and apprehensions for remixes to follow. Rampa’s style of ‘No War’ incorporates an afro-house chomp while melodically tracing a finger around utter benignity. The pious bass line muffles out angelic sounds until Rampa warmly snares his signature Afrocentric attack – intensifying a cornucopia of (narcotic) vibrations. The trimmed choral chant teases a pre-pubescent vocal tract, which is then softly met with a tremulous, mature echo. The bass-driven track drains into a percussive basin, compounding Rampa’s bongo rhythm atop the freshest of Innervisions’ sets.

Shoveling emotion to a (priceless) face value, Solomun has coined a propitious presence in the melodic-tech realm. The wiz glosses over a melodic house, nailing chilled metallic techno into his solid foundation of technical bastardy. He features two remixes of ‘The Line’ – each “vote” indicative and well catered to Frank and Kristian’s individual perspectives and wholly representative of the ‘Dream House’ ideology. Frank’s vote of ‘The Line’ cruises along a spring- time road trip, drumming snares to jolt open heavy eyes and quash over (surprise) potholes. Vocals shyly step up to the mic and chase around the little voices in your head. Almost overwhelmed, with only a few minutes left, the mumbling vocals finally break through their hesitation at 4:02. Taken aback, the Italo disco winsomely emulsifies old-school nostalgia into a reveled groove.

The remixes vary and better yet, demonstrate a fork of fates for Âme’s theoretical divisions in ‘Dream House’. When Solomun manipulates ‘The Line’ it curves around the pliability of ‘Dream House’s ebb and flow – continuous and without endpoints. In Kristian’s vote, the growling pads are engulfed towards the epicenter of Solomun’s electrifying rhythm. One step forward, has Mathew Hebert’s lyrics taking many more “step[s] back”. The upbeat tempo merges into the vocals, with a little more throttle this time – the gas pedal still evenly spaced between gridlines. Entrancing and terrifyingly peaceful, the track’s suction coasts through a roundabout of forthright bliss. Ascending high-pitched keys pace the famous Kristian sway — back and forth — until the melody smoothly brakes its speed.

With plenty of remixes underneath his bulletproof vest, the aberrant Fango joins the top of the industry with his remix of ‘No War’. The Italian DJ/Producer has already riffled his artistry between the ‘Rectum’s machine gun-down and ‘Sikhote’s meteorite shower. Bodily unashamed Fango uses an organic remedy and realist modifications to purge inflammatories and neutralize unmentionables. Not too intense or melancholic, Fango’s remix of ’No War’ uses loopy techno to level the remix’s middle road. The choral spirits an uplighting positivity, a childlike tonality, still airy and innocent. Fango’s consciously-sourced percussive elements eventually sink the wincing angelic reservoir. Increasing in brevity and pitch, his signature strong and fast-paced percussion slaps on every drum kick. The track drops in-depth and grooves in master keys, the beat unlocks a gated capitulation while manipulated vocals seemingly alternate between ‘wa’ and ‘more’.

Marcel Dettmann remixes three tracks within ‘Dream House’, paralleling a tour of his definite place in techno’s dark and dramatic mist. Contracted with hefty insurance, Marcel Dettmann has collaborated with Frank Weidmann in ‘Masse Remixes II’. Of course, the techno king storms down an industrial rein with an overlying melody in ‘Helliconia’ – graciously offering bumps of acidity throughout this warehouse vibe. The gusty track coils loops around the finger of a similar Radioslave jitter. After tightening up elements in the final third of the track, Dettmann facilely extracts batteries and unwinds down into a squelching descension.

Marcel Dettmann naturally remixes the ‘Neue Deutsche Welle’ (NDW) influenced track and suiting his early post-punk style and new wave foundations. ‘Gerne’s remixed elements heighten the evocative places in the original track – this time spacier and more visually inducing. The clicking bassline monitors chirping ribbets and moans. The irate synth pads trip over broken branches while Gudrun Gut’s swampy vocals forage through the NDW’s guttural backtrack – both fractured in rebellion and helping push one another further onward. Mystifying an already enigmatic track, the slow-motion remix highlights the dark edges of the reform’s original trek.

Drawing a halt to Marcel’s ‘Dream House Remixes’, ‘The Line’ swiftly swoops over a billowing cloak, embroidered with ambiance. The repetitive vocals create a drone-like effect, passionately diving headfirst into a tranced space (travel). The overlying pads are magnificently vivid — provoking an indecisive channel changer — impulsively switching between a montage of vivid recollections and present hyperawareness. As if clouds abruptly envelop the sun and ever so slowly elude beams of light.

Producing an effervescent melody within a sedating chill, Ry X catches an omen of warmth escaped from the murky mist. Ry X has teamed up with Frank Wiedemann in the Howling project to melancholically stroke through hair strands and sensitize (once-tensed) temples. The meditative chords gracefully blow over and reconfirm the unknown making space for fresh thought-processes to germinate. The mid-track breakdown sews in a suave transition into vocal’s virtuous height before the bass dips into a Worakls-like rhythm. Ry X’s alternative style and irresistible demeanor breezes over the gusto of genre-bonded borders.

The multifaceted Roman Flügel is perhaps best known for his versatile spectrum and shape- shifting psychedelic waves. Flashing an electric bassline, Roman Flügel quickly zips around laser sounds, lagging traces of reverbed light. The vocal breakdown burns the last of the fuel and fully launches into a stratospheric explosion; diminishing the downward thrust of the track’s gravity. Hoarse vocals are more upbeat here, still raspy with a dark feminine monotone. The more dancey remix of ‘Genre’ sparks frenzied receptors to swarm an implicit darkness. Hi-hats fictitiously tip-toe into the crevice of a child’s night terrors, anxiously awaiting the night’s peak to crawl over extremities.

Once again, Mano Le Tough’s spin-wheel impeccably lands on impervious work. He layers his own vocals over to the original track, exclaiming a more clarified meaning to ‘Dream House’. The minimal elements mellifluously swim through the simple and almost recognizable “lost and found” lyrics. Mano Le Tough’s vaguely familiar vocals reminisce a feel-good 80s movie while a silvery dulcet of spacecraft synths abduct simplicities of a tin heart. Broken down, “Olderado” references “El Dorado” — the evasive myth of ‘lost gold’ — over-time growing in value via telephonic heresy. First, a gold man became a gold city and eventually a gold empire. (El Dorado’s time-bidding value has still yet to be obtained.) El Olderado’s place at the end of ‘Dream House Remixes’ parallel the last scene in ‘Back to the Future’ and references its place as something that may take decades to fully understand.

Marking Âme’s journey with a timestamp, the remixes have ensured its ability to reach different corners within the experiential pattern of electronic music. As in any thriving partnership, the duo shifts directions and pursuits, individually evolving their roles with or apart from their collaboration. It would be a misfortune to confuse the original LP’s sustained perfection for less than. Even so, critics will. For them, Âme offers an alternative perspective with ‘Dream House Remixes.’. That of which is the freedom that comes along with flawless tonality, as it independently suits the progression of ever-changing tastes. More simply put, the duration and frequency of time in which the LP is listened to will inherently shift the way it’s interpreted. The remixes demonstrate the first step in discovering your very own personal covert, or ‘Dream House’. Whether it’s thirty years from now or not, the LP trickles down an overflowing stream, preserving an intimate place to tame present-day monkey minds.

Âme‘s ‘Dream House Remixes’ (in its entirety) were released on August 23rd on Innervisions.

Review by Isabella Gadinis

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