This collection of remixes from Richard Norris is well overdue as he's put out some crackers in his Time and Space Machine guise over the past year or so. If you're not familiar with Norris in this guise then you might know him from being one half of both The Grid (with Soft Cell's Dave Ball) or Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve (with Erol Alkan). The eight tracks here all adhere to Norris' ethos of "...staying true to my favourite artists while adding technicolor and hypnosis to the mix", giving a psychedelic feel to the songs (in places similar to the Future Sound of London's Amorphous Androgynous offshoot) and resulting in a coherent sound throughout the record.
So what (or who) do you get on the record? For me the T&SM remixes of Jagwar Ma's album Howlin' last year were even better than the original, turning it into a modern-day Screamadelica, so it's no surprise to find 'Uncertainty' is one of the stand-out tracks on here. Almost as good is the mix of 'Mesmerize' by Temples, which I already had and have played to death (there's a whole remix of Temples' 'Sun' album on the way from Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve in November which will be worth hearing). Of the remaining 6 tracks I must confess that I've only heard one of the originals, by Warpaint, which here becomes a bit of a pulsing, throbbing beat. It can be hard to judge a remix when you've not heard the source material, as you're never sure whether the good bits (or bad bits) are down to the original artist or the remixer. By far my favourite of the remaining tracks is the mix of 'Ride' by A Mountain of One. In the interests of study I guess I should go away and find out more about this but I kind of don't want to destroy the picture I've build up in my head, which is that Norris has discovered a rare track from the late 60s or early 70s and worked his magic on it. Somehow combining a Jean-Michel Jarre-type riff, some Pink Floyd vibes, Spanish guitar and Eastern drums, he's produced a monster of a mix that I could listen to over and over. (Update: I've just been off and listened to the original on Spotify. It's good, but nowhere near as good as this mix).
The rest are maybe not quite as good, but overall it's a great combination of tracks that's well worth your money. You can order a copy of the limited-edition vinyl here or get it on download from the usual suspects (but preferably not tax-dodgers Amazon). Here's the tracklist:
- Warpaint - Disco // Very
- Jagwar Ma - Uncertainty - The Time and Space Machine Dub
- Temples - Mesmerize - The Time and Space Machine Remix
- Cheval Sombre - Couldn't Do - The Time and Space Machine Remix
- The Sufis - Sri Sai Flora - The Time and Space Machine Remix
- The Lucid Dream - Devil Rides Out - The Time and Space Machine Remix
- A Mountain of One - Ride - The Time and Space Machine Remix
- Psychemagik - Valley of Paradise - The Time and Space Machine Remix