One Second Bridge: EP + Remixes
Symbolic Interaction

One Second Bridge, which pools the talents of Vicente García Landa (aka Fonogram) of Mexico and Matias Bieniaszewski of Argentina, garnered attention with a self-titled record issued on City Centre Offices' sub-label Büro in 2006 (subsequently re-issued by Static Discos in 2007 with extra tracks). Thankfully the music collected on EP + Remixes is a whole lot more interesting than the recording's title. The fifty-minute collection splits into two halves, the first made up of five originals of varying character and the second a remix set featuring contributions by the likes of Bill Van Loo, Crisopa, and Winterlight.

The originals are a bit of a hit-and-miss affair, with some strong moments balanced out by some weaker. “Song of Time” starts the recording off on a positive note with a pulsating shoegaze instrumental that receives a healthy share of kinetic propulsion from a driving bass line and buoyant midtempo beat. The less intense “Briza” opts for breezy languor by giving the lion's share of the spotlight to crystalline electric guitar playing. The group's stab at vocal shoegaze-pop “My Intentions” is weakened by singing that's less distinguished than its instrumental attack. The softer murmur that whispers through “The Trip is Long,” on the other hand, proves considerably more appealing on vocal grounds in blending a high-register whisper and a low-register growl. That vocal style, especially when accompanied by laid-back drumming and synth-drenched atmosphere, points One Second Bridge in the direction of Pink Floyd-styled prog-rock, a connection intensified by the track's seventeen-minute running time. A shame to report, however, that the track title ends up being all too apt, as the song's length could have been shaved down considerably and would have been all the better for it. The one-minute instrumental “Are You Listening?” is barely long enough, by comparison, to leave a lasting impression.

On many releases that pair originals and remixes, the latter come across as secondary add-ons. In this case, however, they're the more consistently satisfying of the two groupings. Bill Van Loo initiates the remix half with a pretty piano-and-glockenspiel treatment of “Dos Minutos,” after which Crisopa's dreamy instrumental “Ventana” evokes a Manual-styled beachscape of epic splendour from which one would wish to never leave. Winterlight's lush handling of “My Intentions” is appealing too, though the remix would be better had the vocals been removed altogether rather than merely downplayed. The ‘Di Maggio Baseball Team' offers a lovely, guitar-focused meditation upon “Briza,” and Strand contributes a sunlit, folktronic spin on “Everywhere.” Even with the caveats taken into account, EP + Remixes nevertheless provides a generous share of enjoyable moments, though more of them materialize in the second half than the first.

July 2010