88:88 Remixes by Various Artists (Review)

Not all of the remixers remain faithful to Makeup and Vanity Set’s sonic aesthetic, and thankfully so.
88:88 Remixes

While we wait for Make & Vanity Set to release Wilderness — easily one of Opus HQ’s most anticipated releases for 2014 — Telefuture has collected and released a series of remixes of material from the Set’s 88:88 soundtrack to celebrate its re-release on vinyl.

On the whole, 88:88 is a bit more brooding and contemplative than much of Makeup & Vanity Set’s material, though it’s still full of the arpeggiated vintage synth goodness one has come to expect from Matthew Pusti. However, not all of the remixers remain faithful to that particular sonic aesthetic, and thankfully so.

Take, for example, C-jeff’s remix of “Collapse,” one of 88:88’s more atmospheric and haunting tracks. At first, C-jeff’s take doesn’t seem all that different from the original’s slowly unfurling clouds of synthesizer. And then, just past the minute mark, he injects some — dare I say? — funk into the mix thanks to a sprightly beat that makes you want to strut while whistling along to the melody. It almost sounds like a Chromeo jam session… and that’s not a bad thing in my book. But it’s so different from the original, and an unexpected delight as a result.

Then there’s Arcade High’s contribution, which transforms “System Override“ s ominous arpeggios into something akin to a Nintendo fight theme. Oh, the arpeggios are still there, but there are also chiptune bleeps and bloops, some acid house squelches, and what sounds like some slap bass rendered in 8-bit for good measure.

Elsewhere, Mild Peril’s “The Hand” is all glass-like synth melodies and crisp, meticulous beats. Compared to the uber-kitsch of his recently released Matter, it’s a bit more restrained, though still evocative in its own right. Dead Astronauts’ Jared Kyle and Hayley Stewart lend their beguiling vocals to a remix of “Homecoming,” giving it the same melancholy they lent to Perturbator’s Dangerous Days. And finally, Pilotpriest takes “Don’t Wait for Me,” arguably the soundtrack’s most harrowing track, and exchanges its ambience for some beats and more polished, Daft Punk-ish synth-work that only enhances the original’s pensiveness.

Update: The streaming audio has been changed to Bandcamp for easier purchasing/downloading and the artwork has been updated to the correct version.

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