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Mugstar – Serra (Distant Sun remix)


Taken – kidnapped, stripped, re-educated and reborn, even – from Mugstar‘s heavyweight slab of spacerocking goodness [post=mugstar-lime text=”Lime”] and given a thorough going over by Robert Hampson of Main and Loop fame, “Serra” reappears in a 39 minute extended format on clear green vinyl (split in two parts) and CD. And what a re-imagining this is. Hampson extracts the essentials, then reprocesses, extends, twists, unravels and distends them until he returns with something which has many affinities with Steve Stapleton‘s much-more-than-a-remix of Stereolab as the highly-lysergic Simple Headphone Mind.

There are quite often sounds present which are akin to radio static and disc-drive detritus interfering with the playback – and there are plenty of moments where a double-take on whether the fidelity of the audio reproducing equipment has been compromised. But it was always that way with Hampson’s work as Main in particular, and this grittiness adds to the feeling of peripatetic weightlessness which develops throughout. The motorik component of the original is soon foregrounded (naturally), extending the rhythmic chug into an apparently endless recursive glide with dips and dives as the track unfolds and broadens, though once full lift-off is acheived and the earth is left far in the distance, so is any history of percussion. All the while as the journey accelerates and evolves, guitar feedback and organ sustain worm and unfurl on a raft of delay FX, making their way straight towards the third eye via the surface of the listener’s skin, raising goosebumps and sundry horripilations, especially if given sufficient volume.

That’s what this remix really benefits from, rather than just a cranially-snug headphone audition, good as that is. Set up on a decent sound system – or even better no doubt, a massive club rig – and the depth of bass frequently shakes the walls and threatens the speaker cones of the woofers, doling out the sort of visceral body-bath in infrasound which just doesn’t happen with vanilla earbuds on a personal stereo.

Hampson has done an admirable job in extending the original to three times its already considerable length and neither sticking to one simple component nor departing too far from the spirit of the source. Stoners will of course love it, but even those unencumbered by weed paralysis will most likely also be floored by the immersive full-spectrum mass the mix embodies.

-Linus Tossio-

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