Andy Vaz: Different Times—You Got Remixes

Memory Foundation: Reptiles In Exile

Already up to its sixteenth and seventeenth releases, Yore keeps rolling on, this time with a set of Andy Vaz remixes and a new release by Memory Foundation. On the first release, four Yore artists tackle Vaz's originals on Different Times—You Got Remixes and in doing so offer a solid if partial introduction to the label's roster and stylistic range. This is one of those cases where the remixer's imprint is stronger than the author's so only echoes of Vaz's originals remain—which isn't a bad thing, necessarily, when the guests are able to bring so much of their own artistry to the proceedings.

New recruit Trus'me (Manchester-based David James Wolstencroft) gets things moving with a funky “Bygone Times” makeover replete with strings, claps, and a percolating groove that really kicks in when Alton Miller's soulful vocal appears. Synthetic strings add an elegant touch while disco hit-hats and an electrifying bass line provide high-velocity propulsion. “Hurry, Hurry” receives two treatments, the first by Lerosa and the second Rick Wade. Lerosa works up a trippy lather with a slick weave of vocal loops and a stepping dance pulse. The intricate vocal effects are sweetly funky but it's the subtly electrified funk rhythm that's most affecting. Anything but a wallflower, Wade roars in with his customary slamming beats to wholly recast Vaz's original. The tune lunges forward with Wade draping its muscular groove with electric piano chords, Moog flourishes, and synthetic strings. The breakdown arrives two-thirds of the way through just like you knew it would, after which Wade ups the beat ante to drive the now stripped-down track home. Todd Sines twists “You Got” into cubistic shape that's very much in keeping with his viral .xtrak techno style. Splattering chopped vocal fragments over a slinky, snare-popping groove, Sines' remix is clearly the wildest of the four. If there's not a whole lot of Vaz left over when the quartet's done roughing up the material, the EP offers a solid teaser for the Yore catalogue.

Memory Foundation, a Berlin-based techno outfit originally from Vienna and manned by Michael Peter and Martin Retschitzegger (aka Hi-Lo, Ratio, The Skinless Brothers, Die Rhythmiker, etc.), returns from seeming oblivion (Discogs records the duo's lone 12-inch, Your Last Chance, as having been issued on M-Plant in 1997) for the Yore four-tracker Reptiles In Exile. One might expect a bit of an old-school vibe to seep into the material and “Words” doesn't disappoint in that regard but, generally speaking, the track burns with electro-funk fire, with natural kit and cymbal sounds giving the already-surging cut extra thrust and the staccato burble of metallic chords adding Berlin flavour. A lithe eight-note bass motif anchors the warm techno-funk of “Bass Traveler” as a flaring synth motif squiggles alongside Rhodes chords and a boogieing clavinet line, and it's easy to become so engrossed by the tune's relaxed swing that the artistry of its arrangement can go underappreciated. Textbook body music, “Summer Visions” is an earthier, mid-tempo funk workout that's sure to get the dance floor crowded, while the light-speed closer “Reptiles” blazes a slinky house trail whose fresh swing has got Yore written all over it. With any luck, we won't be waiting twelve more years for the next Memory Foundation release.

June 2009