Sunday, December 18, 2011
Derek Piotr: AGORA Regathered
An agora, in ancient Greece, was a place of open assembly where people would congregate for various reasons. It's also an apt title for Derek Piotr's remixed album: AGORA Regathered, released earlier this month on Bitsquare records. Remixes are the way that modern electronic musicians talk to one another, and make sense of our musically cluttered world. In an age where technology makes anyone a producer, but sometimes isolates us, the internet and sites like Soundcloud are kind of the modern Agora for musicians, a place to connect and share ideas.
Projects like AGORA Regathered are effective in the way they create such a sense of musical community. The album is a collection of remixed tracks from Piotr's first full length solo album, AGORA, a darkish electroacoustic soundscape full of jagged digital artifacts and vocal manipulations, partly produced by Finland-based artist AGF. The contributors include an eclectic array of electronic/experimental musicians, some known, some obscure, but all worth checking out: Ralph Steinbrüchel, HeeG, Twenty Knives, Zach Thorpe, Carlos Lemosh, Blevin Blectum, Chaircrusher, Salakapakka Sound System, Thone Halo, just to name a lot. It's an impressive gathering of experimental people and shows some ambition on the part of the young New York musician. “I carefully chose mixers from widely different demographics, both notable and obscure, but all of whom are dear to my heart. this echoes the concept of the ancient agora, by uniting people from various backgrounds into a single moment,” says Piotr.
The remixes, according to Piotr, are "essential extensions of the original ideas." “AGORA Regathered was a chance for me to expand on the initial concept of the AGORA record by gathering together diverse re-presentations of my work.” Many of the tracks indeed feel like they've retained some of Piotr's ethos, however re-arranged, re-interpreted, “re-gathered.” Blectum's version of “From Whiteness,” for instance, maintains it's cold feel (minus the apocalyptic lyrics) with it's percussive, industrial reverberations. In yet another version, Protofuse was able to sample and manipulate it into what sounds like locusts buzzing incessantly, yet rhythmically in the background. Perhaps the most distinctly different (and enjoyable) remix is “Winter Consummation.” The original feels like a romantic encounter on a lazy, snowy day while Thorpe's version is a little more frenetic and weird, with a kind of happy, pulsing rhythm.
You can compare both albums for yourself via Piotr's bandcamp. Be sure to support the experimental community by downloading AGORA Regathered. You won't be disappointed. Enjoy.
at 1:50 PM