The remix album carries with it certain dance-y, ostentatious, capitalizing-on-a-hit-record, usually drum-heavy connotations. Lymbyc Systym (a duo of brothers from Arizona) challenges this with subtle, nuanced remixes that work as continuations of the original songs from their 2007 album Love Your Abuser. Courtesy of Bibio, The Album Leaf, Daedelus and others, the remixed songs never really approach anything dance-y, aside from “Astrology Days (The One AM Radio Remix)” which finds hand-clapping, ass-wiggling grooves where there once was only spastic jolts and drum fills.
This re-thinking of the songs help them to achieve more clarity and focus. A few of the songs are actually shorter than their original brethren—some longer and two (“Birds” and “A Day At The Beach”) are actually the exact same length. The album has a hovering air that suggests the musicians are building on something big. Countless moments play like incidental music in a film where some startling moment is approaching; a realization about to take bloom. What that realization is is never quite clear. Everything is always slightly out of reach and slightly muddled. The remixes and the originals seem like a collection of ideas that Lymbyc Systym deliberatley leave a little raw/ underbaked. They forego rigidity for bewilderment.
Like the original album, Love Your Abuser Remixed maintains an amorphousness of song structure. Melodies bob and weave. Verses, bridges and choruses are smeared together. Drums appear as if from a fog. The sparkling of clinks, clacks, buzzes and whirls sound like the mental workings of some schizophrenic robot loosing its bearings and then stumbling back again all the while showing distance and warmth from the light in its metallic eyes.
The sound is not unlike some jam session held by Radiohead, Tortoise, Matmos and maybe one of the Kraftwerk guys at a benefit for something strangely beautiful like a cure for existential ennui. There are little to no vocals. Syncopation, the feel of improvisation and touches of virtuoso playing appear but never with the scuzzy air of anything jazzy.