96 Back ‎– Issue In Surreal

4 out of 5

Label: Central Processing Unit

Produced by: Evan Majumdar-Swift

This is a really fun way to issue remixes: one 12″ with the originals, and one 12″ with a remix for each of these, in the same sequence. Keeping with CPU’s design scheme, the label / sleeve for the remix is black, which is a wondrous bit of consistency that’s another bonus point in this set’s favor, beyond having all amazing 96 Back tracks, and mostly great remixes.

Of the four cuts from 96 a.k.a. Evan Majumdar-Swift, we’re spoiled between some mind-bending bookends and two somewhat more standard – though still top tier – IDM electro. Opener Knock Out is well named: a breathless but restrained clicky beat that Majumdar-Swift manipulates rhythmically but unpredictably; followup My Time Here feels more familiar, constructed from notes of mid-era Rephlex pleasant bop, but it rather brilliantly deconstructs towards its’ end. B-side’s opener is similarly constructed, if a bit more danceable, and then again zooming out fascinatingly in its last bars. Typeface 333 takes us out on an absolute high-note, though: a glittering whirlwind of softened, game-y beats that’s both gorgeous and nervy at the same time.

Over to the remixes, only one feels more experimental than catchy – Happa + Jabes completely remove any sense of rhythm from My Time Here – causing something of a hiccup in the overall flow, but it’s at least interesting; I’m always appreciative of remix artists who do something with the original, and everyone here mostly does that. Jensen Interceptor absolutely clubs up the minimalist Knock Out, which is amusing, and Volruptus does something similar – if a bit more indirectly – on Typeface 333, with Sync 24 minimizing It’s Bright Out’s inherent beats, effecting a remixed reflection of what 96 Back was doing on Knock Out, meaning the remixes feel, overall, as balanced as the 1st LP does.