Pleq – RE:COMPOSITION. 

The Dronarivm label has been around for 5 years now and label curator Bartosz Dziadosz aka Pleq sees his first release since 2012’s split cassette with Philippe Lamy on the label he has steered (not forgetting his tracks  on the compilations “Aquarius”, “Past Disappears”, “Into the White” and “Illuminations”). Pleq is no stranger to remixes and collaborations with releases such as “The Seed” with Segue, “Perceiving Perspective” with Lauki, “The Prelude to” with Guilio Aldinucci to name a few as well as releases like “Good Night” Ep (Basses Frequencies 2010), “Good Night Two” (Progressive Form, 2011) as remix releases. “Re-Composition” sees various releases that he had been a part of remixed by artists that have also been a part of the Dronarivm catalog. The original tracks were released from 2010 – 2016, with some original tracks being recorded as early as 2008 (“The Seed”).  The artists who remixed the tracks include Christopher Bissonnette, Segue, The Green Kingdom, Olan Mill and others. They are remixing either Pleq tracks or those he has collaborated with others.

I have decided to compare the tracks contained on this collection to the original versions. (Note: links to the original releases are included. Where possible they go to the label’s bandcamp pages, all others go to Pleq’s).

As with all remix collections the interpretations are all with the artists take on the original track. It’s interesting to see where the remixers take the track. Do they focus in an element or elements and expand from there. Or do they radically alter the track to bring it to a completely different light. On this collection I feel the remixers have been very faithful to the original tracks of Pleq and his collaborators. The one that stands out the most is Segue’s remix of an Offthesky and Pleq collaboration and for me as the best remix, closely followed by The Green Kingdom. That said, all the remixes are good and this release is a worthy addition to Pleq’s catalog.

The album starts with Christopher Bissonnette’s remix of “Sans Titre Une” (originally on “Sans Titre”  by Pleq and Philippe Lamy on Pocket Fields) and is a take on glacial ambience with deep waves, almost industrial soundscapes and ever-growing hiss which adds to the glacialness giving an Antarctic atmosphere at dusk. The original is a glitch track, but with the darker glacial elements in it,  it is interesting that Bissonnette has darken the darker elements of the original and worked on it to be the feature, but to also modify it so it’s not as dark.

“Gap in Time” remixed by Autustici (Originally on “Absorbed by Resonance”  released on mAtter records), Autistici’s remix takes the track in a post industrial/ drone/glitch vein. The original had a metronomic beat with looping tones and repeating chimes and crunchy glitches. With the Autistici remix, elements such as the looping drones, crunchy glitches and metronomic beat are sped up with other elements added like a sample of a laughing/ crying female saying “Do you hate me?”.

“Delicate Exit” remixed by Segue (Originally on “A Thousand Fields”  by Offthesky and Pleq on Infraction Records), the original features a mournful violin from an unnamed source which is laid over a melodic drone giving a feeling of nostalgia. Segue takes the track in a more rhythmic almost dub techno direction with the repetitive loop of the violin as a percussive like instrument with a clicking underlying beat, what sounds like swirling field recordings,  beats and synth stabs and is an equal match to the original and an early standout for best track on the album.

“Momentum” remixed by Guilio Aldinucci (Originally on “Momentum” by Pleq and Philippe Lamy on DataObsura), the original is a field recording based drone track with microsounds and muted drones best heard through headphones for all the layered textures and sounds. The remix by Aldinucci comes across like a theme to a suspense movie. Ominous waves of drone, swirling almost screeching synths, what appears to be ghostly vocal sounds all envelop the track.

“Good Night” remixed by The Green Kingdom (Originally on “Good Night Two” on Progressive Form), the original is a slow looping meditative piano based track that would normally be classified as Modern Classical if it wasn’t so cloaked in ambiance. The Green Kingdom’s remix (which to my tally is the 19th released remix of this track) takes Pleq’s ambiance, stretches it out and in true The Green Kingdom quality, enhances the melody of the original. Guitar parts are added which sound like its the same piece that the piano was playing in the original. A nice subtle glitch like beat is added.

“Calm Coolness” remixed by Offthesky (Originally on “The Seed” on Databloem), the original appears built with looped backwards sounds, drones, static, noise of an impending storm. Offthesky adds piano, what sounds violin, but keeps the elements of the original on the static and impending storm feel and towards the end gives the track an almost violent feel, like it would be perfect on some sort of slasher film.

“Ashes of America” remixed by Olan Mill (Originally on “A Thousand Fields”  by Offthesky and Pleq on Infraction Records), the original features dark drones, chimes that build up, with synth like screeches (almost like bicycle coming to brake suddenly), field recordings, repetitive pounding in the distance and orchestral overtones. Olan Mill’s remix sees a rumbling track with the chime sound still present, the orchestral sound is still also present and is complimented by synth drones and is a light to the shade of the original.

“Middle Point” remixed by Legiac (Originally on “The Prelude To” by Pleq and Guilio Aldinucci on The Long Story Recording Company), the original is a drone track with scattershot sounds of what appear to be field recordings, swirling noise and synth ambiance. Legiac’s remix takes the swirling synth and ambience of the original, but augmenting with keys and giving a classic synth driven ambient second half before fading out.

“Absorbed by Resonance” remixed by Aaron Martin (Originally on “Absorbed by Resonance” on mAtter Records), the original is surrounded in silence with glitches, microsound loops,  industrial noise,  super low-level drones, before louder drones become the central theme of the track accompanied by the loops. Martin’s remix cuts the length of the track in half and keeps the microsounds loops and adds his trademark emotive violin to the sound pallet. The loops and glitches provide a good base for the violin to soar above.

“Witch Hunt” remixed by Elegi (Originally on “Witch Hunt” by Pleq and Hiroki Sasajima on Taalem Records), the original is a slow burning piece over 24 minutes with microglitches, what sounds like compressed air, field recordings of water sounds and dark ominous drones which are inspired by the theme of the track. Elegi’s remix is exactly what you would expect to hear with a title such as this. Ominous music of a dark feel leads this track in a more experimental dark ambient sphere. Harsh noise, what sounds like scraping metal, eerie noises, disconnected glitches and industrial feel.

“The Seed” remixed by Tomasz Mreñca (Originally on “The Seed” by Pleq and Segue on Databloem), the original which is one of the collaborative tracks on the album could be described as dark ambient, but not in the traditional wall of sound of that genres. Percussive elements clang, the sound of something scraping along metal, industrial sounds and drones make for a claustrophobic track. Mreñca’s remix starts off eerie with glitches, the metal sounds come in and synths and drone envelop the sound. The track builds up and with the glitches, field recordings of someone shuffling around reaches a crescendo in the final part when Mreñca’s jagged violin is added and everything fades away to the shuffling feet.

This release,  limited to 200 copies is another fine Dronarivm release and would appeal to those that like either Pleq and his collaborators,  or the  remixes and also those that like detailed thought out music.

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