Wrangler: Sparked – Modular Remix Project (MemeTune, 2016)August 5, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
I haven’t heard any of Wrangler’s original material, but they’re a modular synth group doing the early electro/industrial thing. On this album, they approached some electronic musicians they admire, invited them to remix a track from their debut album, and sent them some stems. They also told the remixers to use a modular synth for their remixes. The result is a pretty wide range of styles, from spooky electro-techno to synth-pop to cinematic ambient. Of both takes on “Mus IC”, Abul Mogard’s is ominous and beatless, with detached vocals surfacing in rhythm; David Burraston’s version adds a beat to the voices and is otherwise pretty sparse. Mute Records founder Daniel Miller’s “Theme From Wrangler” essentially sounds like a lost Underworld track. Steve Moore’s “Harder” sounds closer to his Miracle project than any of his other projects, but it sounds like Nine Inch Nails more than anything else. Scanner’s “La Spark” is fairly relaxed bleepy techno, but Chris Carter’s “Lava Land” is a dark, ominous monster filled with unsettling noises and a throbbing, grisly kick drum which keeps orbiting between the backward and the foreground. Dean Honer’s “Space Ace” is a trippy acid lounge tune, while Alessandro Cortini’s “Modern World” is a brief lunar expedition in the form of a bassy ambient drone. Benge’s “Peace & Love” feels fractured and circuit bent, but it sticks to a repetitive beat. Solvent’s take on “Harder” is sparser than Moore’s, but it’s darker and dubbier. Wrangler end the disc themselves with “Theme Meme”, a 14-minute techno track which has at least 3 or 4 distinct sections connected by a bit of hummed vocals cloaked in effects.