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  • Filed under: Review
  • 01/05/2012

Peaking Lights 936 Remixed

It was nearly impossible to read XLR8R during the latter parts of 2011 without seeing some bit of ecstatic praise for the LA-based experimental dance music label 100% Silk; we've been more or less hooked on the record hub's output since day one. Elsewhere on the internet, you've likely found heaps of accolade for sister imprint Not Not Fun, especially in regards to the 936 LP it released for Madison, WI husband-and-wife duo Peaking Lights. So, one might assume that the 936 Remixed EP is the end product of a handful of 2011's most exciting artists coalescing into 25 minutes of top-shelf dancefloor sounds, and that would be wholly accurate.

Ital's rework of the drifty, sun-soaked "Marshmellow Yellow" easily takes the prize for the best remix. The Brooklyn producer's knack for sample manipulation is on full display here, as he builds most of his track from chopped elements of the excellent original and beefs up the reformatted tune ever so slightly with a solid dance rhythm, funky bass pattern, and some whispy atmospherics. And even though "Marshmellow Yellow (Ital Remix)" works out its sticky groove with barely any reprieve, there are more than enough sonic subtleties interwoven throughout its lengthy run time to keep your attention from waning.

The remaining three productions opt to use less of Peaking Lights' source material, though the results are no less interesting. "Shine for U (Innergaze Remix)" is a cool, electro-tinged jam that soaks its elements—vocal samples, drum-machine loops, bulbous basslines, dark synth tones—in spacey delay before coasting along for four and a half minutes, and Xander Harris' "Birds of Paradise" remix boasts a syrupy kind of house music that still remains engaging, bubbly, and readily danceable. The only real misstep on 936 Remixed comes from Cuticle, whose version of "Tiger Eyes" is a bit unsettling. Even as it builds to its synth-laden epoch, the sloppy composition just crosses over the fine line between pleasantly loose and irkingly off-kilter. Thankfully, this record offers plenty of other options for DJs and electronic music lovers looking to score an eclectic mix of inventive dance tunes.

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