Released in May this year as their debut on R&S records, Tundra presented the listener with an immersive experimental techno soundscape that marked a highpoint in Lakker’s production career to date.
The record was noteworthy for its masterful fusion of unique organic field recordings, from Inuit throat singers to Berlin church bells, with atmospheric and brooding synthetic noises and electronic drums. The subsequent counterpart Tundra Remixed, builds on the source material with a solid collection of reworks by an inspired assortment of producers.
The album begins with Mark Fell’s minimalist interpretation of Oktavist, a footwork inspired percussion crescendo over-layered with fidgety high hats. Kyoka alters the bewildered euphoria of Three Songs into an entanglement of crunchy, industrial techno. One of the lead tracks on the original, “Mountain Divide”, is rendered unrecognisable by Bjork producer Spaces in his head thumping remix, omitting the ghoulish synths of the original for a stripped-down, tumbling, erratic drum-heavy track.
One half of Lakker, Sam Smith remixed “Ton’neru” as Arad. The track retains some of the essence of the original, including the field recording of motorway tunnels in Japan, but has been fortified by Arad with crackly percussive techno bass thumps replacing the paranoid yet dreamy minimalist resonances of the original.
The other member of the Irish production duo, Ian McDonnell, makes a solo appearance as Eomac with a new version of Halite. This version puts greater emphasis on the Irish female choir vocals than the original and intensifies the spookiness of the track with ice-cold synths and eerie nocturnal samples.
Primitive World’s Pylon remix foregoes the desolate, synth-led storm clouds of the original for a fist-pump, techno pulser. Acid Mondays cuts the choral vocals of the Milch original into a single truncated sample for a pulsing 4/4 dance track. These floor-centric tracks, whilst not as pioneering as the originals, offer a straightforward but stimulating interval from the moody, experimentalism found elsewhere on the LP.
Remixed serves as a complementary expansion on the concepts present in the original release. Although at times the record slightly misses out the seamlessness and coherence of the original, it brings new perspectives on the Lakker sound through the inclusion of a variety of avant-garde producers worthy of the R&S prestige.
Tundra Remixed is available to listen to in its entirety on the Bandcamp link below: