Loose Link And Option Command + Friends – Karramantha (Siro237)

Pictured here is the album artwork for Loose Link And Option Command + Friends' Karramantha. I don't think they were TRYING to draw me with my chiseled lips, spray-on tan and cyber stealth helmet on, but that's basically what they've captured here. It's amazing, because I've never met any of these people.

Artists: Loose Link And Option Command + Friends
Title: Karramantha
Label: Sirona-Records
Cat#: Siro237
Keywords: Electronica, Experimental, Remix, Other
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Singles. They make the world go ’round. That’s not just a quaint expression… were it not for singles the world would simply stop spinning. Slowly, at first, but then as it wound to a crawl before stopping in full, the heads of every living thing on earth that had a head would suddenly explode for lack of a catchy single. For those lifeforms without a head, it tends to be the pancreas. This is science, dear reader… you cannot refute it. I did the experiment myself with rats. This is a very unique single, though! There happens to be a very large number of remixes and remixers featured, so let’s get started and see how it all goes down.

First up is the ‘Karramantha (Intro)’. Just short of 4 minutes, it offers up a taste of white noise, deep bell tones and a subtle, shifting abyss that underlies it. A rattling sound seems to be locked in a warped dimension.

Next is the original single, ‘Karramantha’, a thumping bass tone with jingling glass and mutant samples that might have once been a violin or cello that have been turned to serve as a rhythm, like evil robots marching. It has a bizarrely tribal feel, also kind of like breakbeat or hip hop, but highly eclectic. At the end, the artists kill the sound by downpitching the samples.

After, come the various remixes… it begins with Loose Link’s interpretation. The remix gets going with low bit glitch and bitdistortion. It builds up a groove and then demolishes it, sounding at times like something Pac Man shit out after eating all those pills and fruit. The programming with all of the percussion is pretty intense!

The [‘tima] remix follows, playing up the dark, neurotic aspects of Karramantha by adding downbeat breaks and dubstep bass like a roar. The tribal feel is maintained, but filtered-as-fuck.

Jostle Throng’s Ratatak Remix comes after, getting all experimental by leaving large tracts of the original in and just fucking around with the sound of it. There are lots of bass drops, highly erratic and precise glitchups. Distorted bass and a synth whistle come in, followed eventually by liquid squirting bass! Totally diarrhetic!

Then it’s the Sven Myer remix, phasing the samples in and out and then dropping them to add a hissing house groove. The samples continually phase back in, like horror stabs. The track eventually devolves into almost a thumping wall of noise with a distorted 4/4 bass, and then the groove comes back. This was really nice. The original sounds are overdriven and keep the momentum going.

Ok Sure Remix 2 is next, beginning with a broken electro beat and samples, highly syncopated in structure. After this is some lovely, textural ambient sweep after which the stilted groove comes back in. Everything underneath the beat sounds like a stifled growl. It’s very dark in the spaces between. Another groove is added later for awhile before the other one comes in, very electro.

After that, the JRK remix! The samples are distorted and noisy, very chaotic, with lots of free-floating reverb added. The rhythms end up completely glitched out for awhile, until a break comes in later, but even that doesn’t last for the entire length, getting broken up frequently. The effect almost reminds me of extremely fucked psy or goa, off it’s head on drugs and spinning off into the dark.

The Lupid Ocampo remix that follows lightens things up a tiny bit. Atmosphere and a bouncy ball on a spring, with maybe some kind of rainstick or chimes. Then the deep breakbeat with lobass frequencies comes in. Also added are what sound like a tiny vgm synth doing a little melody.

Then it’s ‘Karramantha (Treatment)’, and I’m not sure if this is… a treatment of the track by it’s original authors, or a remix by an artist by the name of Treatment, but it’s pretty awesome! Very dark ambient, in a sense, with creepy atmospherics… except the sounds are moreover in the foreground, like harsh guttural blasts! It ends on a highly dark ambient note, though, and manages to stay overtly frightening throughout.

The Dinosaur Youth remix adds swirling guitar sounds, reverse drums and suddenly aspects of the rhythm begin to sound like whip cracks. A single bass drum hits every 4th measure. The synthetics are very floaty and pretty, despite their dissonance.

Afterward is Clockwork Keyboard Remix 2, with heavily reverberating and echoing percussion purposely off-kilter like a shaking table. A minimalistic piano note is added, then a lobit rock beat. Everything gets glitchy and strange. The atmosphere created by the ‘verb and echoes is cool.

The Dinimiciúla Duo remix adds a 4/4 house beat and ringing, filtered snare, letting the sound of the original track work it’s magic over the top of it. The rhythmwerk gets pretty intense in places, which is really nice!

The PSVils remix has some interesting sounds going on when it begins. Breakbeat with echoing clap/snare. Mutated, distorted bass… warbling ambient sounds that are real subtle were a very nice touch. This might be my favourite of the remixes. It gets a little dubstep’ish, but it helps if I just think about it as neo-electro.

After that is the Noiseurfer remix, banging out some acid techno. It was nice to hear a remix like this on here, lending a bit of the oldschool flavour. It’s like electro/noise acid tech. Pump, pump, pump! <- that’s the sound of the 4-to-the-floor stomp that comes in. It’s a bad acid trip in audio format.

The Ok Sure Remix 1 that hits next has some fun with the drum programming! The bass line programming is awesome as well. This is probably the most fun track on the album so far. They should call this funstep.

Joetox’s Spitfire Remix goes nuts with filters on the drums, and there’s a really nice distorted synth squelch in the low freq’s. Sequenced bell tones come in, the pitch gets shifty, I feel like I’m listening to a warped dark epic symphonic trance record for some reason.

Clockwork Keyboard Remix 1 begins with guitar and strange sensations… those sensations are the samples that are spinning wildly out of control. Also strange is the buzzy sequence, sounding like a modular synth on the fritz. The rattling, as well as many other sounds from the original come in and get messed up.

The last remix is by Cubus and seems to be split into 2 parts. The first part has a 4/4 groove like a heartbeat and focuses on pure dark atmosphere and texture. The second half scraps the kicks and goes for pure dark ambient sounds, which keep you on edge as the album closes.

So, I can’t help but feel that this amazingly lengthy single/remix album got better and better for the most part as it went, becoming more wild and musically varied in the latter half, not to mention druggier. A lot of the remix artists did a really great job, at times capturing what I felt were the truly essential elements of the original track and just… diving right off the into the deepest, darkest and technologically psychedelic explorations with them as was possible. I really enjoyed getting through all of it, and so might you, so do make sure to check it out at the following link:

http://archive.org/details/siro237LooseLinkAndOptionCommandFriends-Karramantha

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