James Rutledge turned heads with his debut album last year that hashed together melodic instrumentation with electronic programming for a warm pastoral release that was one of many releases that showed electronic music is far from frigid. This EP finds six different artists doing their take on one track ("Fear And Resilience") from that album, and the results take the track in a much different direction than the original, pushing it more towards an instrumental hip-hop feel.
Most of that can be attributed to the batch of remixers assembled, as nearly all of them lean to that side of the fence musically. Prefuse 73 opens the release with a punchy, hyper cut-up version of the track, turning in one of the better pieces I've heard from Herren in some time, while Cherrystone (an up-and-coming UK hip-hop producer) also drops a thumping beat behind the track and turns the track into a chunked-out spy-theme piece.
Elswhere, Dangermouse adds a trademark touch to the track, keeping the theme running while Rutledge himself beefs up the original with thicker beats and a more schizo sound. The oddities of the disc arrive in the form of a remix by Home Skillet (a new project from Padraic McGuire and Manitoba vocalist Koushik Ghosh) and an epic mix by Four Tet. The former is a psychedelic stew of fluttering tones and junk-shop percussion, while the latter is unfortunately a rambling mess of a track from Hebden, who's usually as reliable as they come. At nearly 45 minutes, the release is a mixed-bag of fun (with standouts being the blow-up opener from Prefuse 73 and the bizarre collage of Home Skillet) that's definitely padded out by the unfocused ramblings of the Four Tet mix that close the release. Should tide those over who are waiting for something new from Rutledge himself, though.