Cyclic Defrost about “Myths&Masks”

I’ve a fascination with contemporary remixes of classical music, particularly by electronic artists, but given the almost universal lameness of these projects it’s a kind of masochism that keeps me coming back. The high water mark remains Ekkehard Ehlers’ 2000 release Betrieb, which reconfigured music by Schoenberg and Ives into shimmering glitch-infested inhuman shards, treating them with a deserved reverence but manipulating them in a way that the original composers might well have done, had they had the resources; that this was 11 years ago is depressing. These treatments/realisations by Ukrainian producers of work by Poland’s ‘second-fiddle to Chopin’ Karol Szymanowski odder no challenge, presenting a diverse and generally palatable collection of pieces but lacking consistency and links to Szymanowski’s original material. Hence it’s more a haphazard compilation of random electronic doodles than anything with a clear purpose.

Opener ‘Andante’ by Dunaewsky69 uses organic bleeps and loose IDM patterns in a manner akin to pioneer cheesy-classical-electroncist William Orbit, while Zavoloka’s ‘Anxiety’ pairs a post-dubstep low-end presence with bubbly raster-noton tones. By using snatches of strings and piano Kotra’s ‘The Dust of Nihilism’ acknowledges the project’s roots, but there seems little reason for the inclusion of buffeted wind, gulls and grey noise. The latter half is stronger, from the utterly divorced but undeniably affecting clinical razor sines of Ujif_Notfound’s ‘Nocturne by Shi-Sin-Fi’, to the highlight of the final track: Andrey Kiritchenko’s ‘Op’, a confrontation with a voice and piano work that wrests the original into the 21st century, via the prog-synths of the latter half of the Twentieth.

Joshua Meggitt

Original is here: