ALBUM REVIEW: GLOK – ‘Dissident Remixed’: Andy Bell’s tronica alter-ego gets a comprehensive rerub

OUT OF all the four members of Ride – Mark, Andy, Loz and Steve, it’s hands down Andy who’s had the most varied and viable extra-curricular activities.

There was Hurricane #1, his Britpoppish outfit from immediately following the black nite crash of first-era Ride, who grazed the top 20 with “Only the Strongest Will Survive.”

Following that band’s two LPs, he moved through a brief gun-for-hire slot with Gay Dad and on into all-conquering Oasis, staying on the Liam side of that rupture in Beady Eye.

The circle seemed complete with the glorious reformation of Ride, but Andy still had a hankering after a more recherche electronica outlet, which was given voice in the shape of last year’s warmly-received Dissident set, under his GLOK nom-de-plume.

And now Dissident itself has come back for a further tinkering, a further exploration, in the shape of Dissident Remixed, for which Andy has gathered a guest list of the great and innovative to push the original furthur

It all kicks off with London graffiti legend Richard Sen, whose rerub of the title track pushes out on a raft of a punchy, rock-paced break, all layered up with space disco lofts, electro insistence and a certain Daft Punk-like cosmos vibe. It’s music to skin up to at a rave at an observatory.

GLOK labelmate Franz Kirmann pulls a similar tone on his M25 Mix of “Kolokol”. You want to sashay to this one. It’s trancy in the best sense, not in the much-abused sense: it pulses and mantras and wants the space inside your skull. 

Chloé Raunet, as C.A.R., has more eerie, downbeat things to say with “Weaver”. There’s distant samples with that Boards of Canada memory-unsteadiness. It has proper hauntological proudness; it’s looking back at Earth from a pristine white pod on the red planet. 

Andy looks his electronica in the mirror with his own retake on “Pulsing”. The kick drum is right at the back, gently nudging; the synth textures up front wow and flutter over piano notes, scattered over the horizon. Imagine Basic Channel getting just slightly more Ghost Box in their minimal scaping. Not forgetting his roots over on the analogue side of things, there’s big shoegazey shimmer, too; nice.

A personal highlight is Timothy Clerkin’s take on “Projected Sounds”; there’s haze, retro synth motifs, discorporeal female voices. I want this loud on vinyl with a sunset. Preferably in a twin-sun sort of galaxy. Guitars are overdriven, hum and fuzz, growl, just barely suppressed. 

RIP Andrew Weatherall, a true gent. One of his last creative acts before he left us would’ve been his Sabres-style, cinematic sweep across “Cloud Cover”, gentle and occasionally eerie by turns, with that classic Weatherall boom and skitter. 

Minotaur Shock has always been one of the more interesting artists on the edge of the downbeats scene. Now also happily at home at Bytes after stints at Melodic and 4AD, he brings a little introspective atmosphere. It’s playful and textured and ethereal. Yum.

James Kenneth Chapman, who records as Maps, has also gradually sidled in from leftfield to an eventual Mute contract. His reversioning of “Pulsing” is beautiful and filmic, almost Nordic, with a real elegance. Massive bass threnody well … pulses, Music for glaciers, this. 

Your journey is completed with an additional dub on “Kolokol” from Franz Kirmann, which is ooh, soo tremulously burbling and alien; and another GLOK retake on the title track, bringing it right out into krautrock.

In summary? As any remix project is, it’s more of a fractal journey than a unified whole. Yet there’s a real cohesion here. The leading edge of the album has much, much more knowledge of a techno club dancefloor than you would imagine any Ride-related album to have business to be; as it journeys on, it loosens up and stretches, gets eerier and increasingly deep in its textures. Snag a vinyl copy if you can. I sense this one will reward a lot of 2am plays.

GLOK’s Dissident Remixed will be released by Bytes on August 7th on digital and limited edition, double-gatefold, transparent blue and pink splatter vinyl, with extended sleevenotes from Andy Bell on the music that influenced GLOK. Pre-order yours at Bandcamp.

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