Album Review: !!! – R!M!X!S EP

Although not the industry’s standard “EDM” talents, the electro-punk output of Sacramento’s !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk) is prime for sweat-inducing edits. Complete with funky bass lines, tightly woven keyboard interplay, and glistening disco-era guitar arrangements, the bulk of !!!’s releases are only a few presets away from falling into the minimal house subgenre. To that end, three tracks from the collective’s 2013 Thr!!!er LP and one previously unreleased single have been hand-plucked by indie-crossover perpetrators like Alex Burkat and album co-producers Jim Eno and Patrick Ford in order to achieve a metamorphosis. The R!M!X!S EP pumps some new electro tactics into the original cuts, but that doesn’t mean they’re any more danceable.

Across the EP’s seven tracks, there is little attempt to significantly alter the LP’s original vibes. “Slyd” already contained a deep bass line, jittery synth runs, and classic house vocals. By bulking up the feminine charm, Ford’s edit merely lands like a quick dub edit for more underground-focused nightclubs. Burkat’s personal take on the track is slightly more gratifying, with the producer speeding up the melody and tagging the conclusion with a pounding chase sequence that thrills through to the EP’s final moments.

Akin to Shabazz Palaces’ remix of Animal Collective’s “New Town Burnout” — a shining example of the distance a remix can divert from the original — Ford’s remix of the snap-along “Californiyeah” is centered on new hip-hop verses. The rhymes, however, courtesy of Oakland’s Main Attrakionz, do little more than promote their love for the West Coast, bass music, and herb. As the smoke clears, Anthony Naples reassembles “Californiyeah” around a repetitive shuffling percussive build. At seven minutes, and best embodying the timeless Chicago house vibe, it has the best chance of making the rounds through clubland.

Recorded during the Thr!!!er sessions, “Broadway [Gimme the Lights On]” features guest vocalist Sonia Moore. Amongst the lifeless remixes, the single’s soul is too large for this EP. If !!! plan on a series of silent disco sets, these new selections are brilliant. If not, expect these edits to be forgotten before the dancefloor’s cleared.

Essential Track: “Slyd (Alex Burkat Remix)”, “Californiayeah (Patrick Ford Mix)”


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