Abum Review: Origamibiro – Shakkei Remixed

Bringing together Wauvenfold co-founder and Super Furry’s remixer Tom Hill with Andy Tytherleigh and video artist (and Typewriter Wrangler) The Joy of Box, Nottingham AV trio Origamibiro’s album Shakkei delivered an enthusiastically received suite of nuanced instrumentals reminiscent of an analgesic, arch Sigur Ros towards the end of last year. This is their Von brigði.
Setting the tone for this substantial 17-track remix album is Leafcutter John’s remix of Quad Time. Accumulating found footage, field recordings and wild tracks, Leafcutter John carefully packs up Origamibiro’s original before reassembling it in on a viaduct and driving a locomotive at it.  Full of dialogue and laughter, it sounds at points like listening to someone listening to the original song. But crucially, it also locates Skakkei Remixed as an album – and sets the conversation for subsequent tracks to alternately pick up on or push against.

Central to this is Calika’s remix of Nootaikok. A pressing of strings, coughs, rain and claps that manages to be both slightly silly and quite touching/touched. Elsewhere Plaid provide a slipped disc impression of Footfall that feels like a conjoined Orbital, while  Isan offer a gilded, sunlit take on Dusk & Umber that’s so evocative of a summer walk you might try and suck the pollen out the CD spindle. Factor in further highlights in Low in the Sky’s electro-baroque take on Quad Time and an amazing, Spiritualized-like swoon from Upward Arrows and you’ve got something of a winner.
The problem with most remix albums is they’re albums in name alone. Shakkei’s remixers translate, transplant and transfuse in service of finding new places in an already impressive album. Contradictorily, it’s a real trip.
Review by Rob Barker

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