Piano Interrupted: The Unified Field Reconstructed
Denovali Records

The Unified Field Reconstructed functions as an advert not only for Piano Interrupted but for Denovali Records' roster in general. Anyone unacquainted with the imprint could do far worse than treat the release as a label sampler of sorts. Yep, it's a remix collection, but it's also a pretty good one as far as such things go, especially when the remixers' versions, despite the individuating differences between them, form such a cohesive bunch.

Piano Interrupted itself is the brainchild of Tom Hodge and Franz Kirmann, who've issued two albums to date under the group name, Two By Four and The Unified Field (Kirmann also recently released the solo collection Meridians, also on Denovali). As the album title makes clear, The Unified Field Reconstructed concentrates exclusively on material from the duo's second album, with Hidden Orchestra, Origamibiro, John Lemke, Floex, Saffronkeira, Second Moon Of Winter, and even Kirmann himself making contributions to the forty-minute release. In this case, the guests have been helped along considerably by Piano Interrupted, whose material is so rich and multi-layered it opens up all kinds of interpretive possibilities.

Hidden Orchestra's “Cross Hands” version proves to be an ideal opener, given how effectively the remixer's sensibility aligns with the original artist's. With the intricate material receiving a strong rhythmic charge from the acoustic bass playing, the moody tune sparkles and swings in equally vivid manner, with ample keyboard sparkle nicely complemented by an energized drum accompaniment. Kirmann's take on “Two or Three Things” locates itself at the center of a glitchy, dub-techno swirl that only gradually comes into focus, while Lemke's “Darkly Shining” version impresses as a sophisticated post-classical rendering of the original. Mournful strings move to the forefront during Origamibiro's shape-shifting “Accidental Fugue,” though percussion treatments, mallet and otherwise, also appear within the dust-speckled treatment. Drawing upon IDM, house, and hip-hop, the wonky “Emoticon” treatment by Floex offers a bold re-imagining of Piano Interrupted's material, while Saffronkeira's “Lost Coda” provides an explorative electroacoustic excursion, though also finds room for some Murcof-styled beatsmithing, too. The release takes an unexpected though not unwelcome detour into classical territory when clarinet and a graceful female soprano surface within Second Moon Of Winter's “Camera Obscura” treatment.

Remix albums are often issued to fill the gap between formal album releases, and true to form The Unified Field Reconstructed appears in anticipation of the duo's third album, which is scheduled for release later this year. But even though it's not a formal Piano Interrupted release, The Unified Field Reconstructed does present a strong argument on behalf of the group and by extension Denovali's roster in general.

April 2015