Tiefschwarz – The Mix Collection (Renaissance Recordings)
8 July 2013
Brothers, Ali and Basti Schwarz return with the latest instalment of the Renaissance series. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates is on hand to listen.
A double album containing two mixes of other people’s tracks is a bit of a strange thing. Whose album is it? Is it a compilation or is it classed as a Tiefschwarz album? It would seem to be the later but the remixing of their favourite tracks is a strange way to credit new material to the duo.
The Tiefschwarz back catalogue of people they have worked with is impressive – from Depeche Mode to Plastikman, from Goldfrapp to Madonna – and they are clearly in demand as remixers. They have also developed their own sound over the years from the House sound of the late 90s to the harsh electro house sound that they now inhabit.
By their own admission, today’s music is largely “crap” and it’s difficult in some areas to disagree. The question that is then raised is do they have a solution to the claim by adding their touches to existing tracks? They certainly have their audience and there is clearly a market for the Tiefschwarz sound and it can’t really be argued that, yes, they do add that little je ne sais quoi with their work. What is really the point here is – is it enthralling enough to create over two hours worth of mixing?
The answer(s) are simple. For die-hards of the genre, Yes. For anyone new to it, it’s a definite No. There’s no doubt that there are some great tracks here – Death In Vegas’ Richard Fearless mix of Basement Of Love by Bot’ox and Mornings by Knox are perfect examples – and, the way CD1 has been turned into a semi-atmospheric trip is to be applauded. There’s even an original track by the Schwarz brothers, Introduction, to kick off the proceedings.
CD2 is certainly more in the direction of their current sound and cleverly includes another of the own tracks, the Collection exclusive, Voices, and again there are some good sounds here from the likes of Dose Rhythm by Sonodab or Dauwd’s Heat Division. That said, there are also some very poor segues where the adjoining tracks don’t seem to gel.
The Mix Collection is by no means a bad album, but it really needs to be listened to as just two tracks. Playing individual pieces just won’t work, so unless you’ve got an hour to spare, you really won’t get the full effect of either. Close, but no cigar.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul has been working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, easily one of the best radio shows on the BBC. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow his personal twitter, @hiapop.