Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Mark E - The Day
1. The Day
2. Special FX
3. The Day The Day (Prins Thomas Remix)
B-sides are often paths to alternate routes not taken. If "Special FX," the nominal B on this three-song EP, had been on Mark E's Stone Breaker, it might have been one of the album's best tracks. It's a simple, slow-burning groove that pays tribute to electro-flavored boogie (or even, given the way it slowly builds, New Order's more cooled-down approximations of the same) that feels more lived-in than approximated. There are just the basics: a couple of neon synths, some old rhythm boxes, an enthusiastic voice shouting the title into an echo box and deep-digging bass. Mark E doesn't do all that much to it, arrangement-wise, because he doesn't have to. It shimmers.
"The Day" ends Stone Breaker with a shuffle, its fluttering female vocal and plodding bass and late-coming string fills giving the album a cushiony landing but not the kind of thing that takes off as a single. Prins Thomas's eleven-and-a-half minute remix kicks off with a minute of the strings sweeping around, as if clearing the grounds for the mother ship to land. Instead of bombast, the groove is almost woody in feel—acoustic guitars, clopping drums (which eventually come to dominate the arrangement, as everything else falls away), and an ARP that sounds like it's being manipulated in real time. Recommended for camping trips...www.residentadvisor.net