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The Snodgrass :: Tristeza - Mixed Signals Review


Mixed Signals- Tristeza Remixed

If you get a remix album, what can you expect? In a best case scenario you'll get a totally different product from the original featuring a number of different artists from verying genres. Mixed Signals, the new remix album from Tristeza does not exactly follows this mold, however it remains a pleasurable listen.

In regards to a diversified cast, Triteza enlisted Styrofoam (Morr Music), Marumari (Carpark), and Windy and Carl (Kranky) along with some newcomers to all offer their takes on the groups previous full length 'Dream Signals in Full Circles.'

With the wide array of artists, however, you get a very similar mood throughout the disc - cool and composed. It's an extremely easy to listen to disc; there are no glitch, clicks, or cuts throughout the disc. Marumari sets the mood very effectively with a remix of "Shifty Drifty" not sounding far off from a Boards of Canada track. Sientific American seems to be a perfect fit, being the solo project of a DJ, with the mostly loop based music of Tristeza, and turns in the first standout track of the album with their take on "Shift Drifty." Verbose's "Building Parks" slides by without any sort of effect and only whets the appetite for the next track by Styrofoam who turns in the finest mix on the album. "Casio" is minimalist in feel and comfortably crowded in sound. With a steady drumbeat and joyful melodies, Styrofoam seems to be part Kraftwerk and part, well, Tristeza.

As for the rest of the album, I can imagine an impatient listener would have no problem hitting the skip button more than a couple of times to avoid some slower remixes, most notably The Snodgrass's "City of The Future". And even though it is true that none of the tracks past Styrofoam's mix will really grab you, it is untrue that they are poor tracks. They merely follow the Tristeza formula: ambient, slow, and requiring little to no thought from the listener. Simon Raymonde from the Cocteau Twins closes the disc with "Are We People" leaving the listener a bit more drowsy than they were before this disc was put on.

You'll listen to this once, you'll listen to this twice, and it will continue to play as a very anti-climactic album. One of the main problems with remix albums is that there will be no actual flow because none of the artists know what the other is going to do with their particular remix. After repeated listens to this disc you'll be hard pressed to find things that stand out as memorable. But, with that said, even in the sub-zero temperatures of my house in the Midwest, "Mixed Signals" makes its mark as a perfect companion to a sunset. In simpler terms, if you are in a patient and good mood, you will like this album.

- Adam