Bleeding Heart Narrative - Lung Mangled Bear
Nick Lewis 01/12/2009
Not strictly a Bleeding Heart Narrative album, this is actually a free download available from the Tartaruga Records website comprising 16 remixes of BHN's second album Tongue Tangled Hair. (Lung Mangled Bear - geddit?)
By and large all the treatments are of a very high standard and very imaginatively done. Labelmate Brassica manages to make a laid back party tune out of music that, although wonderful, could never previously be danced to, as does Okkam on his version of A Dialogue. There's a couple of “doesn't it sound cool with a beat added?” type remixes (namely Ladyscraper's Port and Cigars and DJ Floorclearer's At The End Of It All) but like the best remixes on here, they do in fact serve to remind you how brilliant the original material is, whilst maintaining their own identity.
Worthy of particular note are Tongue Tangled Hair by The Exploits of Elaine, Max Bondi's Turn Colours Turn and Ala Muerte's Tilted The Wall; all of which bring the best out of the source by augmenting and changing the song very subtly with their own sound.
Unfortunately, the record does feel a little bloated and frontloaded. talkingmakesnosense's twelve and a half minute contribution of mesmerising drone is positively stunning at track 4 - but by the time Euhedral tries a similar feat at track 13 I'd just lost patience with it, having been tested in particular by DJ Topgear's utterly boring mess mid way through.
The second half does have its moments, but generally it lacks the imagination, sensitivity and beauty of the first. To all the artists' credit, even the compositions that rely heavily on the originals are still respectable as pieces in their own right. In fact, the least successful tracks are the ones that seem to use it only as source material, mangling the samples out of all recognition.
At its best this is a remix album to rival the recent Warp collections or the reliably excellent Nine Inch Nails remixes; it just has a little fat to trim. But hey, it's free, so why complain?