Eamon the Destroyer – A Small Blue Car – Re-Made / Remodelled

Posted: 17 October 2022 in Albums
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Bearsuit Records – 21st October 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

To recap on a long and often retold tale of mine: I love weird shit, but I’m not quite so mad keen on remixes – unless they’re inventive and interesting. So what to make of a remix album of Eamon the Destroyer’s A Small Blue Car?

When I reviewed the album on its release back in November of last year – which barely feels like three months ago, let Alone the best part of a year – I was perhaps ambiguous in my appreciation, describing it as ‘downbeat’, gloomy’, and ‘soporific’. It is very much all of these things, but these are reasons to appreciate this understated collection of songs, with their lo-fi bedroom production style being integral to the Eamon the Destroyer listening experience as he rasps away darkly to aa droning backdrop in a crackle of distortion

One frequent niggle with remix sets is the repetition, but here, only a handful of tracks appear twice, with three interpretations of ‘My Drive’, which is fair enough having been the lead single, and dispersed among sixteen tracks in total, it doesn’t feel like overkill.

The reimaginations of the original songs certainly capture their spirit and essence, from the stop/start glitchy gloopiness of the wandering Like this Parade remix of ‘Nothing Like Anything’ to the longer, more abstract reworkings, like the six-and-a-half-minute festival or reverb and cavernous slow-mo, downturned echo that is Société Cantine remix of ‘Tomahjawk Den’ that’s as experimental as you like and quite disturbing in places, to Michael Valentine West’s seven minute spin on ‘My Drive’, A Small Blue Car – Re-Made / Remodelled is the definition of eclecticism. There’s low-level pulsating electronica and swerves into electronic chamber pop, against ambient electro and scraping industrial noise.

Yponeko brings swirling synths and grating distortion together in a drowning space-rock drift, while MVW deconstructs ‘My Drive’ to a junkyard of spare parts that’s somehow elegant and delicate as well as a wheezing, droning hum that wheezes and groans.

There are no obvious rehashings here, no lazy no-effort remixes that do the usual thing of whacking a booming beat behind the original. In fact, there are absolutely no stonking beats, techno or disco remixes here: these are all most sensitive to the original intent. Sometimes there are beats – as on the thrumming Ememe remix of ‘Avalanche’, but it’s a stuttering wall of drilling noise, ploughing into a mess of glitching loops, a mangled cut-up collage of sound – and often there are not: The Moth Poet’s take on ‘Slow Motion Fade’ is nightmarishly dark, a whirling churn of sound, which drifts into sepulchral opera at the end

Across the course of the album, there’s a lot of cut-and-paste splicing galore, resulting in an ever-shifting sonic collage, and John 3:16 brings gloomy, stark industrial to ‘Humanity id Coming’. House of Tapes turn ‘My Drive’ into a throbbing grunge beast, with additional helium. It’s hard to imagine anything further removed from the original, and that includes Halai’s twisted tribal techno take on the same song.

Alongside one another, it should all amount to a horrible mess, but is, in fact, an absolute triumph, because this is exactly how it should be: Eamon the Destroyer’s original work was a kaleidoscope of darkly disorientating oddity, and this revisitation is more of the same, only different. It’s unlikely to land any spins in nightclubs across the land, and even less likely to find any of the tracks landing Radio 1 playlisting, and it’s even unlikely to win many new fans – but then again, Eamon’s acquired some admirably influential fans, and moreover, that’s not really the ambition for any artist releasing work through Bearsuit. And it’s so refreshing when so much emphasis is placed on not just sakes, but airplay, streams on Spotify, and likes and followers on various platforms, that there are still those who value artistic freedom and exploration above all else.

A Small Blue Car – Re-Made / Remodelled is a source of pleasure, not only because it’s genuinely interesting, but simply because it exists.

AA

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