Frontier – Suture (CD Version)

2 out of 5

Label: Perishable

Produced by: Brian Deck (source material)


As in: Why does this exist? Why should I listen to it? Probably not the best questions to be asking yourself – unprompted – when putting on a record. 

I used to collect Perishable Records’ output, as I was a Red Red Meat fan, and especially appreciative of Brian Deck’s production work at Clava. So there’s a very base ‘why’: I bought this because it was on Perishable. But given their roster at the time, I couldn’t quite answer the question from the label’s perspective – it didn’t really fit very well with their lo-fi folksters – and I definitely struggled with the second question (why listen to it?) once understanding a bit more about its creation: that Chicago band Frontier handed over some snippets to Tim Hurley and others for the remix treatment, and this is the output. 

Unfortunately, that output is a rather stereotypical definitions of remixes. Which doesn’t mean they’re bad – getting some good ambience out of samples and some supplementary clatter – but they’re also not especially notable or compelling; they are, to me, the kind of stuff you’d find on a sampler, probably in thr “groove” section of a record store. And while I’m unfairly bias in that such music isn’t generally my thing, the genesis of this project always suggested, in my opinion, that it was a lark: my friend’s band had this idea to remix their stuff – let’s give it a go!  

The final track on the CD is less of this: it has vocals, and a sense of build and release not evident on the other tracks, sounding quite like Windsor for the Derby or a similar slowburn, quiet-to-loud group. It’s interesting, but not enough so as to counter the slightness of the release. 

The vinyl version if this features a whole bunch of extra songs which I believe aren’t remixes, and maybe adds better grounding / context to the mixes. But the remixes-only CD version has only ever succeeded in making me ask: why?