Late in 2014, the Manchester techno tyranny known as AnD put out its debut LP, Cosmic Microwave Background, on Speedy J's Electric Deluxe imprint. The release, a carefully laid-out collection of tracks that stirred the soul and shook the foundations of listeners with its penchant for powerful analog sequencing, was a shrewd, powerful reminder that techno is an ever-evolving presence. So naturally, when it came time for the remix EPs to get sorted, the duo didn't opt for the most obvious choices to rework their already impactful music—they went a bit deeper, with choices such as Justin K Broadrick, Sleeparchive and Black Rain taking the reins and finding more caverns to explore.
The first of the two EPs has Speedy J and Lucy leading the charge under their Zeitgeber alias, working somewhat in reverse as to what AnD did with their original track. Instead, they tackled it in Zeitgeber style—by stripping it to its bare-bone structure, deconstructing its sequence of events into a dub-techno snowball which grows to an avalanche over an 11-minute run. The track is in stark contrast to Sleeparchive's forward-charging remix of "Power Spectrum." Evoking a cornucopia of his previous sonic endeavors, while begging it to be mixed with the likes of AFX's "Elephant Song," it shimmers brightly throughout its magnificent chaos, serving as the highlight of the first EP. O/H's remix of the same track follows, and while solid, doesn't change up that much from Sleeparchive's momentous rework.
The second EP starts with Broadrick molding his grooves onto "Non Sky Signal Noise," providing a slow-burning, industrialized skitter-bomb that contrasts nicely with the original track's organic matter. However, once Black Rain gets their hands on this material, the mood changes brilliantly. Between the exploratory, distorted, IDM gravitas on "The Surface Of Last Scattering" and dub-laden mischievousness on "Galactic Motion", Black Rain harkens back to a grizzled time in electronic music where the term bangers was subjective. These two mind-numbing remixes add complexities to the original material that let loose the crude curiosity that Black Rain exudes.
AnD already had a strong album to be proud of, which likely made the remixers' work a difficult process. Still, they've managed to provide a good-to-stellar exploration into the outer workings of the duo's tracks, while enhancing and furthering the listening experience to the original album with class and catharsis. It's a good thing when your remixers care—because this is what comes of it.