Published on Pumped Audio 04/03/2013:
Men have been preserving history in museums. Like art collectors, the two DJs called Tale of Us have selected a series of tracks to produce ‘The Mix Collection’ for Renaissance Recordings. According to Tale Of Us, it was created to paint “a musical picture of where we’re at, where we’ve been and most importantly a little bit of where we’re going”. So far, they have performed in well-known clubs such as Berlin’s Watergate, Ibiza’s DC10, as well as festivals such as Sonar and Movement.
Could this mix collection by Tales Of Us be a museum in the form of an electronic music mix album?
The beginning of humans would start in a time where humans lived in the forest. ‘Softice’ by Roman Flügel has a tribal feel with its drums and tambourine. Claps with scattered plucking sounds of Mathew Jonson’s ‘When Love Feels Like Crying’, and the exclamations or declaration of innocence in ‘Life And Death’ by Tale Of Us & Clockwork feat. The Das, create an unsettling effect. These thrilling, mysterious sounds are precisely what entice the visitor to venture or dive deeper into the forest of treasures. Among the bushes, or up in the tall trees, the dangers of the wild make a silent yet alert call with ‘Nonneo’ (Donato Dozzy Remix) by Tin Man.
Was chaos ever predicted by a shaman? If it ever was, the shaman may sound like the vocals of ‘Upon Ourselves’ (Osunlade Stripped Mix) by Argy feat. Bajka. Maybe, it could involve some religious or melodic chants of worship in ‘Water Jump’ by Daniel Avery. ‘Dancing Alma’ by Gran Cavaliere is like an account of human conquest. After rustling sounds and beats of the jungle, it introduces clatter and drums that signal a Cavalier march, before it proceeds into marble grandeur. ‘Distant Shores’ by Petar Dundov seems to create the scene of suspense, as an opposing party observe and prepare for the approach of attackers, sailing towards land from afar.
It may sound unusual for songs to depict the famous Michael Angelo painting called The Creation of Adam, but this album really does in its Kollektiv Turmstrasse remixes. The transcendent, glittery twinkles in of ‘Ordinary’ (Lake People’s Circle Motive Remix) has an airy, cloud-like sound of delicacy, yet the bass adds a lot of muscle and strength to it. ‘Heimat’ (Robag’s Turmkolle Rekksmow) plays the harp used by the winged cupids and beautiful angels. Wareika’s ‘Burnin’ describes the touch of a finger, with feeling: “We burn connected”.
The desire to connect and collaborate brings us into the next exhibition of modern development with its whooping pops and ringing tinkles. Multiple tracks take the form of dots, sprinkles, sparks, chirps, and boo-beep. Digital, interactive buttons which make different sounds can stimulate the mind, nerves, and impulses in their own unique way. The buttons include: ‘Scuba’ by Hardbody, ‘Cerulean’ by Simian Mobile Disco, ‘Straight & Arrow’ (Four Tet Remix) by Falty DL, ‘Cagliostro’ by Mind Against, and ‘Hate Transmissions’ by Robert Hood. Roman Flügel’s ‘Cookies Dust’ has cheeky, chewy squeaks that are soft, subtle, and swift. A rough, industrial sound, or horns, can be heard in ‘Magnetic’ (Barnt Remix) by Daniel Avery and The Deadstock 33’s. ‘Departures’ by Closer Musik turn dial-up connection tones into a music box melody. The fade-ins and fade-outs of each note create a contrast with the lower tones. ‘Zoom’ by Seph includes mysterious voices in a big, empty space, spoken through an announcer’s microphone.
There can be interruptive intrusions with signals or none at all in moments of puzzlement, as one can hear in the laid-back ‘Marriage’ (Baths Remix) by Gold Panda. It has little bits of warm fuzziness or shuffles here and there, and wavy soundwave tweaks that hypnotise. It also creates an illusion of empty space with a windy whir. This empty feeling stretches on in ‘Nebula’ by Delta Funktionen, and the unending desire to create experiments of fulfilment repeats “again…again…again” in Sei A’s ‘Frozen Flower’ (Midland Remix). ‘At Les’ (Christian Smith’s Hypnotica Remix) waves side to side in front of the eyes, like a floating pocket watch hanging on an invisible chain, while ‘Felicity’ by Recondite has a light ticking with its two-note melody. ‘Point In Time’ by Lake People creates a timeless void of no boundaries.
The mind goes into a ringing intermission or state of oblivion, with ‘Obscure Promises’ by Tale Of Us. The mixed words in ‘It’s Only’ (DJ Koze Remix) depict the process of much confusing thoughts and reflections. Something extra-terrestrial or unseen seems to be buried under the ice in Extrawelt’s ‘Phoebe’. A more chilling thought of the moment where everything freezes also hauntingly presents itself in ‘Leuchtturm’ (Wighnomy’s Polarzipper Remix) by Triola. Even after one theory is proposed, another question arises, as the deep bass interrupts the echoing “oh” in ‘P.R.T.C.T.N.’ by Area Forty One, released on Field Records.
As one travels from time to time, and decade to decade, in the journey of self-discovery, the question emerges: What does it all mean?
Visiting a museum is not a bad way to look at the past, present and future. Dive into silent places of solitude. It is where the ancient remnants and vivid replicas come to life, as it takes the mind to different imaginary worlds. These sources of inspiration or occurrences in history provide foundations for which future generations build upon. Artistic portraits containing figures making direct eye contact follow at any angle with a deep, intense stare into the soul. ‘Renaissance: The Mix Collection’, compiled by Tale Of Us, will linger in minds and memories forever as food for thought. There can never be one definite answer of what defines artistic practice, when there are multiple artistic processes that take bits and pieces from so many places.