Mistakes Are OK – Mistakes Are OK Remixes review

Introducing an artist to the world via a set of remixes of material not yet heard is a risky and rarely used method, but it can work. Back when Skudge were cloaked in all manner of faceless mystique, a brilliant Aardvarck remix of their then-unreleased track “Convolution” made for an instant mental entry on this writer’s internal notepad, as it probably did for many others, and possibly made a lot of people wonder who they were.

This is an approach adopted by Hivern Disc in unveiling (partially) the work of Mistakes Are OK, described merely as a producer residing in Barcelona. Little is known about Mistakes Are OK and Hivern are doing their best to keep it this way, dropping verbose hints about the high standard of his music, which has been granted the honour of the first artist album on a label whose output to date hasn’t really veered further than a seven track digital EP.

It’s clear the label has a lot of hope invested in this unknown quantity, and the level of intrigue is stoked further on this inaugural release from Mistakes Are OK that sees Kassem Mosse & Mix Mup, Downliners Sekt and BNJMN all provide their own context to his/her material. With no knowledge of what the original material from Mistakes Are OK sounds like how does one attempt to dissect the remixes here? Well you can’t really, but it’s clear that Hivern chose wisely when electing who should rip apart and piece back together music that is described as “strange, adventurous and enigmatic, impossible to define with genres or styles”.

All of the above is present in the dissection of “Best Before” from Leipzig’s Kassem Mosse and Mix Mup, a remix that greedily hugs the A Side yet demonstrates unselfishly the natural – if wholly unique – groove the two share when placed in a studio environment. Lolloping into smudged-out action at a stunted pace that sounds too slow even at 45 rpm, it’s a remix that presents Mosse and his trusting ally at their most blunted and musically disfigured, and is comparable only to Jamal Moss’ recent insectile crawl through Virgo Four.

The shadowy enclave of producers known as Downliners Sekt are an equally shrewd choice to tackle Mistakes Are OK, sharing a similar sense of mystique and remoulding “Crumbs” into something as equally uncompromising on the ears as what precedes it. Lurching into focus through thickly caked speaker fuzz, the track gradually accrues a steppish rhythmic sense underlined by deviant strains of sub bass. This writer imagines the moment where it ripples into full action, sounding like Burial remixing Moments in Love for a few seconds at one point, to be quite intoxicating on a system befitting of the track’s many textural intricacies.

Prolific Rush Hour artist BNJMN provides perhaps the most straightforward remix here, adopting a subaqueous Drexciyan groove on “Koala” that veers ever deeper into dark expanses of melodic warmth as it rotates towards the runout groove. It’s a fitting way for Hivern to demonstrate the various rhythmic contexts of an artist who, for the moment, remains a mystery.

Tony Poland


Tracklisting:

1. Best Before (Kassem Mosse & Mix Mup remix)
2. Crumbs (Downliners Sekt remix)
3. Koala (BNJMN remix)