Arkist Rendezvous (SCB Remixes)
On occasion, it feels like Paul Rose found the "anthem" preset in Ableton and didn't look back. Whether crafting coiled dub as SCB or melancholic hits like "Adrenalin" as Scuba, Rose's more recent tracks often hit a sweet spot of melodic intrigue that doesn't necessarily suffer from their omnipresence. With these SCB remixes of Arkist's "Rendevous," Rose doesn't go too big, as the tracks here retain a recognizable unease and dark touch that emphasizes the frozen percussive space of the original tune while tossing off its swampy vocal sample.
There are two different takes on "Rendezvous" here, a "2011 Edit" and a "2013 Dub." Given the rapid bubble and burst of microtrends within the electronic landscape, it's a little surprising that Apple Pips has chosen to pair the tracks together as an official release, especially when the former is at least two years old. First appearing on Scuba's DJ-Kicks mix, the "2011 Edit" has supposedly served as an Apple Pips "secret weapon" in the interim. There's only a two-note ghost of the original song's melody, while sublime pads envelop the kick with a sense of warmth. The shuddering outro suggests potential as a powerful mixing tool, but otherwise, the edit inspires more roundabout disorientation than heads-down concentration.
The "SCB 2013 Dub" is the superior effort, obscured in murk and rustling field recordings. An extended spoken-word sample is totally indecipherable, but the quicksilver hi-hats and pressurized kick are transportive enough to make any literal translation unnecessary. The brooding melody recalls SCB's "Dissipate" from the Nonplus+-issued Think and Change compilation from earlier this year, and the song's arpeggiated paranoia almost sounds like an old Underworld record. The track exudes a claustrophobic feeling, and when the staccato bassline lunges from the fog of the breakdown, it's a reminder that Rose's SCB guise hasn't lost its unnerving touch.
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