Erik XVI
Stern-Gerlachs Versioner

By Kone-R

Erik XVI was a new name to me but on the strength of this remix package from Highpoint Lowlife he's about to be brought to the attention of a much wider audience. Dropping on 12" vinyl and an extended digital selection, the source material is warped and melded into various new shapes and textures by some of the hottest producers currently plying their trade.

The selection opens with a fine version of Unionens Sista Dagar from Ruaridh Law, currently turning many heads under his TVO moniker with his esoteric brand of techno. As usual he submits a sprawling epic, constantly evolving with impressive subtlety as jittery percussion underpins the delicate pads. Among the other versions of this track, Brassica offers up high-tension italo synths, guaranteed to engage the floor of the disco, a technique also employed (perhaps unsurprisingly) by Ali Renault — best known for his work as producer of the uber-hip Heartbreak. Renault also throws a darker edge into his mix, with elements of EBM alongside vocoded germanic vocals, combining to make one of the best tracks I've heard so far this year. Finally Hot City gets to work, throwing down a skippy, almost UK garage workout that retains the synth pattern to an altogether different effect.

Of the remaining tracks, Spatial applies a minimal and dubby method to Kalabaliken i Bender, which also offers a nod to the UK urban sound, while Gravious gets properly moody with Gravitationskraftens Stilla Vrede — it's quite heavy on the wonk angle and features a frankly blood-curdling robotic voice; definitely one for the depth of night. Finally, Bill Ambrose tops off the dark end of things with a crisp and clinical electro reworking, the like of which isn't too common these days — more's the pity.

Overall it's another great package from a UK label which has been pioneering some of the hottest electronic sounds from across the spectrum over the past few years. Assembling a cast of remixers this strong is no mean feat but it's a testament to the work being carried out by label manager Thorsten Sideboard. If you've not encountered Highpoint Lowlife before, don't you think it's time you did something about that?
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