Remixes, particularly when they’re boxed together in a single disc, allow for us to look at a song from a litany of different angles, but the new extended play centering on ooberfuse’s “Call My Name” composition goes well beyond that. From the abrasive sounds of “The Noise” remix to the fundamentally simple “Hal St John Radio Edit,” each version of “Call My Name” gives us a unique insight into the musicality of this incredibly skilled British duo. Ooberfuse are delivering an electronic/indie pop hybrid for the ages here, and though I’m not typically one to go for this style of music, Call My Name is simply too captivating to be ignored.
The synth parts that we hear in the “Patrik Kambo Radio Edit” aren’t all that different from the ones that we hear in the “Push The Frequency Festival Mix” in that they both utilize textured melodies to create a narrative for us. The lyrics are the same in both versions – though the vocal serenading us with them is a lot more pronounced in Kambo’s cut than it is in the festival mix – but that said, they’re never the main focus here. In essence, it’s all about the instrumental prowess in these two mixes, with everything cosmetic element in the tracks taking a backseat to the grooves themselves.
In Call My Name’s “Paul Kennedy Radio Edit” the synthesizers, percussion and bassline are stoic, colorless and totally blinding in a couple of crucial moments, but despite the dreary backdrop, the consistent crooning of our singer warms up the atmosphere just enough to make it a palatable listen. It’s a rather interesting choice for ooberfuse’s new music video, but I suppose that the contrast in tonality gels with the visual concept better than, say, the passionately dark “The Noise” would have. While I can admit that I don’t completely understand the method to their madness, there’s no debating whether or not this pair clearly know what they’re doing both in and out of the studio.
Hal St John’s mix is the most straightforward of this bunch, but it’s doesn’t play out like a boring radio version of an urbane experimental track at all. On the contrary, the “Hal St John Radio Edit” replaces the crushing blows of the synths with rollicking guitar rhythms and a string melody that complements the vocal in a way that an augmented harmony never could. This is my favorite version of “Call My Name” by far, and it’s reason enough to pick up this awesome mixtape this July.
Call My Name was tailor made for hardcore electronica connoisseurs, but there’s no reason why occasional pop fans shouldn’t also be able to dig its intriguingly experimental foundation, which is derived as much from alternative rock, indie pop and post-punk as it is EDM, house and modern club music. Littered with more sonic sundries than one would expect to find in a five track, sixteen minute long extended play out of the European underground, ooberfuse’s latest record is a lovely listen this summer, and a noteworthy step forward for a duo that has already done so much to impress both critics and fans in the last few years.