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And now, you children of the dance… the Warp label is all grown-up. But hey, they’re still not overt to the odd bit of plink, plonk - or Plone: Good tip for any of you potential future Warp signings … make your name one-syllable; preferably onomatopoeic; begin it with P - and hey presto (see, there’s one already that could work at a push … and another!) you’re in with a chance.
Rob Mitchell and Steve Beckett are outsiders no longer: the very sound mavericks now have lots of little mavericks in sound of their own: Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher, Plaid, et al. Household names in er, all the right households. No need to reach for the establishment analogies just yet though. The open-ended vistas the label embraces thankfully renders them as out of place as Boards Of Canada at a Young Conservatives’ barn dance. "I’ll have you know…" Cool it William, you were always more ‘arrogate than Sheffield, lad.
As a birthday present to us – and no doubt themselves as well - Remixes lets the likes of Mogwai, Stereolab, Labradford, Jimi Tenor, Red Snapper, Spiritualised, and many other team Warp members, associates and alumni loose on the Warp back catalogue. Why?… because you’re worth it. And for all those warm and cuddly - RESPECT! - type reasons. Brings a lump to the throat… whereas Underdog’s mix of Broadcast’s ‘Hammer Without A Master’ simply brings lumps to your head. Its free form thumps – a kind of gluttony on monotony – scratching the surface of the brain.
There’s no doubt that in some eyes Warp are surrogate style-parents: a home for difficult children making difficult music. The electronic-masonic life has never been an easy one … the avant-garde have got it hard: and as William said at the last ‘arrogate conference: "A substantial rise in appreciation of experimental and eclectic, electronic minimalism will not be attained and enjoyed without hard Warp."
Comparative accessibility your name is Plaid: breathe in their mix of Autechre’s ‘Vletrmx’ and detect the religious overtones and reverential approach - produced as if by clockwork. Pram’s mix of the LFO/Aphex Twin original – ‘Simon From Sydney/Untitled’ is jazz café doodlings meets guitar fuzztone, before a descent into white label/white noise: it’s the future past. As anyone seeking the soundtrack for a remake of one of those suspect espionage series from ‘60s TV could testify.
Stereolab take Boards Of Canada’s ‘Kid For Today’ across the border, and out in to spaced on an irregular pulse. A case of Canada sucked dry. For the kid in you - there’s Plone down at the ‘Tricky Disco.’ But let’s get serious: let’s get Mogwai-ed. The mix of Link’s ‘Arcadian’ is a monstrous sound wash replete with disturbing and disjointed voices: nothing idealised here… just discomfort. The Red Snapper remix of ‘Wilmot’ from The Sabres Of Paradise oeuvre is kitsch(en) sink Come Dancing - and they sewed on all the electronic sequins themselves. Not feeling quite so playful?… drag your brain/bwain/Brian? on an all expenses spared trip to repetitive noise hell with the Mira Calix approach to Seefeel’s ‘Air Eyes.’
So, as we hit Warp Factor Ten … all you electronic noiseniks, dance apparatchiks, minimalists, fans of rhythm twists, single-note expeditionists, scratchy exhibitionists, unremitting-permitting, machine-tooled up, won’t be sold a pup, twiddly-widdly, make mine fiddly, high-tech, definitely not suspect, low-rent, pitch your tent, in the left field, let the notes build, exotica, mechanical erotica, furious bleep, can’t sleep, samplers, steelers, the soul of the music - feelers… here’s the home for your heart.
Sheffield Steel: they don’t like it up ‘em. But you do. Visit the Warp Convention… Cast your vote and join the cry for - Ten more years! Ten more years!
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