Legowelt Elementz of Houz Music - Actress Mixes
Legowelt's Paranormal Soul LP was easily one of the better LPs of 2012. On it, the artist otherwise known as Danny Wolfers delivered yet another solid album's worth of straightforward and non-gimmicky dance music. One of the standout cuts was "Elementz of Houz Music," a moody ode to the titular genre's Chicago roots and a song heavily indebted to the jazzy ambient excursions of Virgo Four. It was a beautifully executed track, one that managed to evade the trappings of nostalgia, seemingly via the power of sheer earnestness. Now, the song is back in the form of a two-sided remix single featuring the touch of UK producer Actress (a.k.a. Darren Cunningham). It's an odd pairing of two eccentrics, but despite initial impressions, the quirkiness of the match-up doesn't lead to much more than what's already been done.
The first of the two mixes to catch the ear is "Elementz of Houz Music (Actress Mix 1)." It's immediately very different from its source material, with Basic Channel-style ambient noise crackles setting a background for the song's broken rhythm and monotone acid bassline to mingle with a newly added virtual choir. It's quick on its feet and still club ready, giving Wolfers' original a forward-leaning drive that takes it a stretch away from Chicago house proper. The criticism comes in the track's noodly wandering—whereas the original seemed to float through a specific emotional mood, Cunningham's remix seems scattershot and aimless. This might be the intended effect though. He fares better on the b-side, "Elementz of Houz Music (Actress Mix 2)," which is almost indistinguishable from the other remix, something largely due to the fact that it's been slowed down by what sounds like a full 50 bpm. It's a play with tempo that gradually slows towards motionlessness. As the velocity drops, a whole range of hidden textures and sounds emerge from within the framework of the song, creating a twisted sonic Rorschach test in the process. It makes for strange listening, but ultimately, neither remix manages to top the original.
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