The last time we encountered master architects Villalobos and Loderbauer in reshaping and remodelling mode, they were tackling ECM’s back catalogue, and the results were a reductio ad absurdum of abstraction (which, incidentally, I love more now than when I wrote that). This time, they’re working their magic with Conrad Schnitzler’s Zug (itself a vinyl reissue of 1973’s privately released The Red Cassette, history fans), and the results are positively banging by contrast. This is especially true on the Aktion mix, which is propelled along by a relentless 4/4 beat — its start minimalism isn’t going to make it an instant dancefloor classic, but it’s certainly the kind of thing that Villalobos himself would work into a long set. The B-side on the vinyl is the Sorgenkind mix, which strips away the beats and immerses us in an intricately constructed sonic structure, altogether otherwordly. I suppose it’s not surprising that Schnitzler’s pioneering electronics should prove such rich subject matter for these two, but it’s very pleasing. The CD comes with two additional remixes: I don’t find Pole’s version adds much, to be honest, but Borngräber & Strüver’s takes the propulsive power of the Aktion mix and really brings out the darkness, creating something deliciously down-and-dirty.
I bought this in the Kompakt shop in Cologne (ooh, get me).