Sonic Residue From Vapourspace – The Magna Carta Remix Volume 1 – Various Artists

Album Review by EDF

From the vaults of the US label Magna Carta, comes this compilation showcasing some of the label’s artists and tracks especially remixed for this release. Mark Gage who works under the name Vapourspace sifted through Magna Carta’s back catalogue and selected the tracks that would respond to the Vapourspace treatment. Fusing some of the more progressive rock based material with an electronic remix, could these remixes give life to an established genre of music?

The first track is ‘Girl From Enchilada’ by ATTENTION DEFICIT, which features Tim Alexander from Primus. Where the original track was jazzy, Gage remix turns the track into a funkier affair and is also the most dance orientated track on this release. Next up is NIACIN featuring Billy Sheehan who featured with the likes of Mr. Big and David Lee Roth and Dennis Chamber who played with Parliament and Funkadelic. The track picked was ‘Blue Mondo’, a jazz prog rock instrumental with a driving beat and the unmistakeable sound of a Hammond organ.

‘Led On’, a homage to Led Zeppelin by STEVE MORSE retains some the Eastern influence found in Zeppelin’s music. Here Gage adds some atmospheric sounds which gives it more of a chill-out feel to it. The ten-minute plus extravaganza ‘Dark Corners’ by BOZZIO LEVIN STEVENS starts off with a low sinister groaning sound of a violin and develops into a King Crimson style jam. The remix of ‘Another Dimension’ by LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT has more in common with UK based trance groups than the original prog version that the track is based on. The track ends with what sounds like street life outside of a French café, which is taken from the original version.

While the whole concept is very interesting, the fact that this could actually cater for fans of both genre of music is quite a smart move. Where most progressive rock tracks can be a bit trying for some listeners, Mark Gage does his best but he should really have cut down the running time of some of the tracks.

4 stars

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