:papercutz: Ultravioleta rmx's

If Ultravioleta rmx's is intended to whet the appetite for :papercutz' Apegenine debut album Lylac, the thirty-one-minute remix set succeeds on that count. Admittedly :papercutz is represented by only one song so imagining what a full album of the group's material might sound like isn't easy; nevertheless, the one we're given is certainly promising, and the remixes are an appealingly diverse lot too.

We should first of all clarify that :papercutz isn't a group at all but the solo project of Bruno Miguel, a Portuguese musician and computer science graduate who's attempting to merge the two interests into a panoramic strain of left-field electronic pop. In his :papercutz original, a kinetic bass line wends a serpentine path alongside a jittery rhythm base while a dense web of harp-like flourishes, synth melodies, and sultry female vocals intertwines over top. It's a busy and head-spinning mix of techni-colour sparkle that's never less than captivating and, if it's representative, bodes well for Lylac.

“Ultravioleta” is pulled down to the oceanic depths in The Sight Below's makeover with only the barest remnants of the vocals bobbing to the surface of Rafael Anton Irisarri's dub-techno mix. Irisarri discards much of the original's sonic material and re-imagines it as a surging tsunami of gaseous vapours and guitar-sculpted reverberance so huge you could get lost within it. Needless to say, Riz Maslen's Neotropic mix is entirely different in character from both The Sight Below's and Miguel's. She transforms the track into a Gothic, swamp-water electronic-blues mutation filled with incantatory vocals (“There is light and shadow on the other side”) and other viral touches. At disc's end, Spandex (Matt Southall) neatly shreds and scatters the original's vocals over a tight and jacking techno pulse before Signer (Bevan Smith) grabs the controls for an eight-minute plunge into a vortex of psychedelic haze.

November 2008