The counterpart to BUNKR’s debut album The Initiation Well from earlier this year, this collection sees a diverse collection of electronic artists tackling Brighton-based James Dean’s exquisitely-executed pieces. The Initiation Well was a brilliant, if relatively understated gem of an album; an album that didn’t come with glossy promotion or a massive PR budget and yet which exuded a confidence, panache and depth very often absent from a lot of solo electronic efforts that cross this writer’s (virtual) desk. The happy news is that each of the mixes here simply shine a light on how good the original material was in the first place, even if they take Dean’s vision off down interesting, and sometimes unexpected pathways.
Fujiya & Miyagi return the favour offered through BUNKR’s mix of their ‘Personal Space’ with a fresh take on ‘Solitary Drift’, here recast as a mournful vocal pop track thanks to the addition of uncharacteristically muted vocals from F&M’s David Best. The result is a towering synth pop epic moving along on a waltz rhythm and dystopian path. ‘The Initiation Well’ is given a reverential acid techno retread by Jonathan Krisp that immediately transports you back to a mid-90s Richie Hawtin night, beautifully augmented by ambient washes and blurry vocal snippets.
Elsewhere, Echaskech’s mix of ‘Left For Dust’ flips the original into deep minimal techno shapes, its fluttering, filtered melody and unswerving rhythm given a firmness and urgency as the mix progresses, while Luxtron’s remix of ‘East Of Eden’ sounds like an updated version of Aphex Twin’s ‘Xtal’ from Selected Ambient Works 85-92, all woozy texture and shimmering, obfuscated melodies over a restrained progressive house beat.
Perhaps the most surprising moment in this set comes with Infinite Scale’s mix of ‘Docking Procedure’, which pushes the track squarely into deep dub territory, replete with springy percussion, haunting echo and stuttering rhythms offset by squelchy and vibrant 303 flourishes.
The Initiation Well Remixed by BUNKR was released November 29 2019 by VLSI Records.
Words: Mat Smith
(c) 2019 Further.