Spyweirdos - Wetsound Orchestra
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Wetsound Orchestra

Wetsound Orchestra is the newest release from Spyweirdos (aka Spyros Polychronopolous), and it's a massive one. In addition to a full album release of ten tracks and just over fifty minutes of music, there's a bonus disc of remixes, with contributions from big names like Alva Noto, B. Fleischmann, Funckarma, and others. Throw in that the release was mastered by Murcof, and one is able to get some pretty good reference points about what to expect within.

Wetsound Orchestra is actually a fairly descriptive title of the music itself, as the music has that sort of micro-sound heavy feel that finds little bits of watery clicks and squiggling electronics squirming through just about every song on the release. With bowed and clipped string elements frequenting most tracks, it also has a stately, albeit damaged feel that often calls to mind the work of the man who mastered it. Pieces like "Fallen" and "3.5 Ec" both take lofty strings and mingle them with deep bass hits while the latter rides a 4/4 kick all the way home as static-damaged elements seem to constantly try to derail things. At times, the sheer amount of glitchery is almost distracting, and on deep and dark pieces like "The Key," the constant chatter takes away from the rich instrumentation.

That said, the production on the release is something. "Innsbruck" moans and groans with deep cello swoons and murky machine-noise while weird drones ping and modulated swoops make you feel like you're teetering on the edge of a bad dream. "U" takes a bit of a different direction, with more of an instrumental hip-hop style beat (punctuated with little breakbeat bursts), muffled spoken-word samples, and more wobbly synth parts to haunt.

As with most remix collections, the second disc isn't solid throughout, but is better than most. B. Fleischmann wins the award for the most drastic reworking, taking "U" from a slow rumbler into a quirky electronic pop piece that stands out as a highlight while Ollie Olsen goes the other direction with "The Key" and makes it even more swirling and massive than the original, pushing everything into huge clouds of sound while a beat kicks away relentlessly underneath. Funckarma gives a much-needed boost to the same track, kicking up the drum programming into something head-spinning while layering in the other elements to punctuate it. If you're a fan of some of the aforementioned (especially Murcof), the slithering sounds of Spyweirdos might be just what you're wanting to hear.

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2007-08-16 21:10:51