In Signs remixed delivers what it says on the surface: Hprizm remixes Gerald Cleaver's album Signs. As such, Signs Remixed consists of two levels. We have a first-order level where we are considering the work of Gerald Cleaver, and we have a second-order level where we are considering what Hprizm does to Gerald Cleaver's work, and as such, demands attention.
The sounds contained in Signs Remixed allow the listener to relish and savour each moment. The transcendental sounds of the album are commenced by "Jackie Smiles Craft A." A swathe of synths demarcates the birth of some glitchy monster, whose appendages crash in and out of existence asynchronously. Gusts of high-hats and polyrhythmic flurries are interspersed over sets of oscillating voices which loom in the background, shadowing the track as it progresses. The song then marches towards its apotheosis: off-kilter loops coalesce to such an extent that sounds seem to fight for air, creating an acute sense of claustrophobia.
"Signs II Proper Version" begins with an atavistic drum beat that is stalking the listener over the horizon, somewhere far away. As the drum beat approaches to accost the listener, it is met with monolithic walls of hums. These phlegmatic hums provide a dependable framework for the effervescent and stochastic drum beats to flourish in. These drum grooves persist throughout the track, and it is only ephemeral spurts of silence and rhythmic glitches that manage to disrupt these almost intransigent rhythms.. "Signs III Remix" continues this inquiry into glitch. "Signs III Remix" begins with white noise-esque sounds quickly metastasizing into sets of claps and drum beats. However, the groove of this track never manages to truly entrench itself; the rhythms, like the Ouroboros, consume themselves and trip themselves up. The listener finds themself in a rhythmic purgatory, in some liminal space between rhythm and the lack thereof.
The next tracks, in my mind, act as a palate cleanser. This sonic reprieve is spearheaded by "Blown Remix." Replacing the rich and fervid beats of before is an anemic and sparse sonic landscape. In this hauntology, insidious bell rings reverberate throughout the impoverished mix, hanging and looming for what seems like multiple eternities. These rumbling sounds are embellished now and again by a sharp, albeit parsimonious, beat.
Then we have "Tomasz Remix." A throbbing bass sequence breathes life into the track. Dainty sounds flutter above this lumbering, languid bass, occasionally pitching on it as if it were some oversized Savanna animal. These delicate flurries circle throughout the track, perhaps searching for flies that pitch on the beast-like bass. The following track, "Aka Radiator," is a tad more 'ambiguous.' This song, to my ears, is not too far removed from something on James Blake's self-titled album. The textures of this track are redolent of post-dubstep. A husky and raspy backdrop is quickly juxtaposed with an opulent bass sequence. These thick rhythms saunter with heavy feet, barging their way through the track. The decadence of these rhythms becomes starkly apparent when they phase out momentarily, and one hears insubstantial electronic epicycles attempting to fill the void.
Signs Remixed, and its toying with the notion of rhythm, is truly unique. Hprizm adroitly deconstructs the rhythms erected by Cleaver and makes them his own. In some cases, these forged rhythms are anything but; Hprizm forms arrhythmic sequences which embody the word 'glitch.' Yet, in the other cases, Hprizm creates tracks that contain unwavering rhythms, where one can easily bob their head.
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