Enei – Rituals Remix LP
Words by Mat Taylor
‘Rituals’ was one of last year’s better releases. Unlike a lot of artist albums that essentially end up as about three good tracks with a load of interesting but underwhelming fillers that you will never play in a set, Enei’s second full length album was full of tunes that worked as standalone creations as well as part of the album’s narrative. Yes, I said narrative. I hate myself a little bit for doing so but it seems like the best way to describe the way DnB albums work. Less than a year after its original release, ‘Rituals’ has been given the remix treatment by four very different producers. The result is a diverse, dancefloor friendly EP that takes in four contrasting corners of the genre.
Break is up first with his remix of ‘Homeworld’. This version is much deeper and unsurprisingly, rolls a little more than the original. What else can you say about Break? He’s the undisputed king of the rollers and apparently he can do his thing on liquid tracks as well as every other conceivable style. This is a simple, soulful tune with elements of RnB that will make it extremely popular with the more commercial DJs. Having said that, it’s very far from a cheesy EDM monstrosity. This is Break, rolling like only Break can.
Signal’s version of ‘Just One Look’ is up next. The introduction has no drums so the clarity of that warm bass and the vocals can cut through as clear as day. Even before the drop, we get a sense that the mood is about to change: and dramatically. What comes next is a stripped back, deep, industrial rhythm that could be straight from the underground vaults of Kemal and Rob Data. The vocal switches the mood up again when it drops in, making this a track of stark and deliberate contrast. This is really interesting as it could be played in all kinds of sets to create different effects and, hopefully, it will be.
‘Iron Curtain’ was one of my favourite tracks from ‘Rituals’ so I was excited to hear what Fre4knc had done to it. With more groove than the original, this is a dark, moody tune that keeps a lot of the original cold, mechanical sounds but strips back a lot of the percussion. We are left with a sparse and snappy drum pattern that leaves room for the enormous bassline that dominates this track. The robotic synth sound that kicks in later elevates this track even further making it one to buy if you’re in to that moody, minimal sound that feels like it’s 90% bass.
Finally, Current Value has turned his seemingly unstoppable production energy towards the digital bonus track on this EP and as you might expect, it is by far the hardest and most intense of all. ‘Vertigo’ was already a pretty savage track but this version is much, much harder. After a short and very dramatic horn laden intro, we’re back on planet Value, where everything shimmers like some kind of alien metal that hasn’t been discovered yet. There’s very little melody here, just the usual digitally rendered noise that sounds like its being broadcast from another planet. This will definitely be too much for some people and like a lot of his work, it will no doubt be praised and criticised in equal measure. (By now, I probably don’t need to tell you I love it, probably to a degree that is less than healthy or normal.)
Overall, I can’t recommend this enough. With so much competition around it must be incredibly difficult for labels keep things interesting for increasingly demanding and fussy music fans, but by gathering a cross section of diverse and extremely talented artists to re interpret one of last year’s most underrated albums, I think Critical have managed it here. Good stuff.
The Rituals Remix LP is out now on Critical Music, and the best place to pick it up is direct from the label here.