AMN Reviews: Erik Friedlander / Scott Solter – No Compass: Solter Resets Friedlander (Skipstone Records)

English: Erik Friedlander live at Saalfelden 2...

Producer Scott Solter was given carte blanche by Erik Friedlander to be as depraved as he wanted with five songs off 2008´s Broken Arm Trio, on which the cellist was accompanied by bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Michael Sarin. The two have been putting their heads together ever since Block Ice & Propane and Solter has a portfolio thick with indie remixes for the likes of Liam Singer and St. Vincent.

Encouraged to be his usual aggressive self, the remit fitted Solter´s remix method perfectly, which doesn´t consist of adding beats or new instruments but rather “manipulating, eviscerating, expanding, cutting [and] destroying” original content in search of the song´s “troubled siblings”. On No Compass, the results are so unlike the originals that each track has a new name, too.

To begin with, Solter takes Friedlander´s “Pearls” out into the alley and proceeds to beat the living drum´n´bass into it. To make amends, he turns “Cake” into a woozy ambient hash brownie. “Ink” – now “Assault by St. Wolfi” – is a clockwork soca parade and “Drfiting Pyre, No Moon” animatronic Baroque chamber politesse aboard a listing pirate ship. The finale “Steppe Dub” is a distant, sandstorm-blown, imaginary Mongolia.

Stephen Fruitman