Phasen: Selected Remixes: 2008-2009
Unnamed Label

Unnamed Label's third outing is a more-than-solid remix collection from Phasen (Ryan Parmer), which features remix treatments by Parmer of other's tracks and others' rendering of his own material. At eighty minutes in length, there's lots to dig into, and a broad range of material too with artists such as Anders Ilar, Joseph Auer, and Celer taking part. There's nothing slapdash about the productions either, as a focused listen reveals. Hear, for example, how many twists and turns Phasen's reading of Rumorse's “Electrah” (from Unnamed Label's debut compilation Friendly Strangers) moves through as it deftly blends IDM gleam and hip-hop beats. Other strong renderings by Parmer include a version of Itokim's “Between The Visible And The Invisible” that retains the breezy, Detroit-flavoured bump of the original and polishes its sleek lines with tangy synth chords and a chiming vibes theme. Phasen also adds classical colour by way of harpsichord and (synthetic) string elements to an exotic techno-oriented rendering of Lackluster's “Dextro.”

Many of the guest artists' treatments of Phasen's tracks are memorable. Ilar opens the set on a rather chilled, downtempo tip with a makeover of “The Man With Two Watches,” the track's feel ice-cold and heavy on Arctic atmosphere, the sole warmth emanating from the acoustic piano that drifts alongside the track's biting winds. Mexico-based In Vitro animates the chopped acoustic guitars and IDM treatments of “Wait” (previously heard on the Phasen II: Progressions release) with a robust gallop, while Mick Chillage deepens the brooding character of “Realizing Your Own Mortality,” a dramatic setting that spotlights the more overtly emotive side of Parmer's music. “Crystal Dance” receives contrasting treatments by Monoaxial and Joseph Auer, the former a radiant, gently jacking swirl of dubby delay and vaporous chords, and the latter a funky, streamlined techno cruise down the Detroit freeway powered by a swollen synth bass line. Unnamed Label associate Five Step Path brings some welcome aggression to the release in a hot-wired take on “Spihn”; Celer's contribution, by contrast, is galaxies removed from Five Step Path's. Not surprisingly, in Celer's hands, “Lost In A Beautiful Face” becomes fourteen minutes of aromatic, clandestine shimmer—pure Celer, in other words—and therefore the collection's biggest departure.

February 2010