UNFUG – The Deep Sea & Its Rivals (The Remixes) [GIBLP007]
Label: Gibbon Records
Release date: 2017-06-12
Catalog number: GIBLP007
2016 saw the successful release of The Deep Sea And Its Rivals by Unfug scale the charts and following the overwhelming support for the Harpune remix competition, a full remix album felt the logical next step. Careful selection was made with each remixer to produce very special treatments of every track in order to create a stunning undersea take on the original album. Taking influence from a life growing up near and around the briny depths of Germany’s Northern coast and now residing in the relative calm of Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen, Unfug guides on a trip among the waves of sonic delight to visit the creatures that lurk below the crests and the mysteries unknown to humankind; unmarked on any atlas.
“It all started with the title track. It is one of the few on the album featuring some sort of vocals.” says Unfug. So who better than Kompakt regular, Marten Sundberg to start things off with Atlas, which he takes into fairly jazzy and upbeat territory utilizing a catchy hook in the main break to capture our attention. A deeply hypnotic affair, Wolfgng’s take on Shipwreck keeps things fairly muted giving the auditory impression of sinking; its claustrophobic atmosphere really drives the track forward.
After the hugely successful Bootleg Ben remix of Poseidon, label mate Max Jacobs had a lot to do. Devilishly deep and atmospheric, he does a magnificent job of translating Unfug’s original idea with nuanced touches throughout. The remix of Pray For The Lost sees Pilofre back after a year away from the Gibbon family. He turns in a respectful and satisfying re-imagination of one of Unfug’s stand out originals. Moving on, the opening barely audible vocals and deliberate tribal percussion of Drew Miller’s remix of The Deep Sea And Its Rivals signals a change in tone on the album swapping the mangled guitars of the original for some skippy percussive synth hits and a rubbery bass line.
“I always had a thing for concept albums and themed music. My favourite records are actually concept albums, stuff like Crack the Skye or Frances The Mute (if you’re familiar with Prog Rock/Metal). The other thing is that I always liked the sea. The calm yet unpredictable movement of silent waters.” – Unfug
Harpune, according to Unfug, was the result of playing around with a new synth. The bass growl of which has not been overlooked by fellow Germans, Oemtilde and the Hamburg natives therefore construct a thoughtful, deep reworking that sticks very closely to Unfug’s original ideas. Next up is label boss Benwaa for his remix of Gotteslachs.
No slouch in the studio, Benwaa ups the tempo and unleashes a powerful remake using the originals guitars to great effect. Oxlaid and Ometilde’s remix of A Strange Sea focuses on the powerful vocal, around which they construct something of a progressive house masterclass with glistening guitars, silky saw-toothed bass and a whole lot of soul. Weighing in next, Bootleg Ben wields his considerable talents on Whales. Originally considered for the opening track of the original album, Ben takes the atmospheric ambience and throws in some brilliantly balanced deep progressive beats to keep things rolling.
“Geisterfisch differs a bit from the rest of the album as it’s slower than the rest and celebrates that psychedelic vibe.” Unfug tells us, suitably, theMaLm delivers a beautifully ambient and shoegazy version focusing on those guitars and more relaxed vibe serving as a wonderful ending to a sensational album of remixes. Each track compels us to embrace the power of the sea and its own small story, leading us into a personal world not just of the Whales, Shipwrecks or Poseidon, but also showing us what A Strange Sea this is. Where the Geisterfisch swim alongside the Gotteslachs, and men wrestle in the oceans wake readying their Harpune, whilst they Pray For The Lost… A Deep Sea And Its Rivals will leave you breathless once more.
“So there you have it, a sea of weird guitars, heavy bass and funky organs; in short, my idea of electronic music crafted into an album. All you have to do is kickback and relax!” – Unfug