Greie Gut Fraktion: reKonstruKtion
Monika Enterprise

Remix sets can seem like cheap exploitations of already issued material, but there are times when the parasitical release holds up quite well on its own, thank you very much. One such case is clearly reKonstruKtion, a generous set of remixes of Baustelle, the debut album Antye Greie (aka AGF) and Gudrun Gut issued last year under the Greie Gut Fraktion name. An A-list of remixers (Alva Noto, Barbara Morgenstern, Mika Vainio, and Wolfgang Voigt among them) make appearances, as do the original artists who offer new takes on their material; three new faces, Donna Neda, Chra, and Villinette, also contribute.

In their generous incorporation of industrial machine noises, the tracks sometimes call to mind Einstürzende Neubauten, and that it does so is wholly understandable for two reasons. Gut, first of all, is actually a one-time member of the Berlin band, and, more importantly, Baustelle was assembled using sounds recorded at a construction site that the duo then reshaped into tracks at their respective studios. The AGF overhaul of “Drilling an Ocean” establishes the set's experimental tone and the abstract range of textures, vocal and otherwise, the producers liberally scatter over the beats that often give the tracks foundations. Gut gives her “Rubberboots” mix of “Betongiessen” (“Pouring Concrete”) a punk-like swagger that's reinforced by a monotone vocal delivery, while AGF spits out her vocals in similar manner during Voigt's rollicking, piano-laden “Wir bauen eine neue Stadt” makeover. In addition, Gut stretches the pliable “Make It Work” in multiple directions, slowing its tribal pulse to a crawl before re-animating it; AGF, on the other hand, drags the track through a digital shredder in a half-minute interlude, and Greie also gives “Cutting Trees” a funky overhaul powered by a memorable if skeletal beat crunch and bass thump.

Elsewhere, Natalie Beridze locates the melancholy heart softly beating at the center of “We Matter” and in so doing seemingly rebrands it as a soothing Beridze creation as much as a Greie Gut Fraktion original. Though Soulphiction's club-thumping treatment of “Mischmaschine” oozes a warm and jazzy vibe, Alva Noto's “Wir bauen eine neue Stadt” remodel is the pick of the litter, given the arresting way it merges Carsten Nicolai's precision-tooled pulsations and pops with AGF's vocals. The seventy-minute set offers considerable range, with room enough to accommodate the brittle and ominous atmospherics of Vainio's “Drilling An Ocean” treatment, the delicate dreampop of Beridze, and the clubby moves of Jennifer Cardini, who contributes a slow-burning overhaul of “Make It Work.”

October 2011