Album Review: Various - Strain Of Origin II

3 July 2012 | 6:53 pm | Brendan Telford

The same two-week stricture remained, thus keeping things as raw and improvisational as possible, gleaning some stellar responses as a result.

Remix albums are always an interesting anomaly in that they offer the chance to revisit artists' work whilst magnified through the prism of another's eyes – and therein lies the danger, as a heavy-handed approach can see the beauty of the original shattered by the shoddy fingerprints of an amateurish or egotistical reimagining. However last year's Strain Of Origin, the compilation between Brisbane's Lofly and Sydney's Feral Media artists, was an awe-inspiring delight, offering some of the best underground electronic artists at their creative heights.

The 21 tracks on display on this year's Strain Of Origin II expand on this experiment in exploration and adulation. This time the roster has expanded to include artists such as Jonathan Boulet, Mystery Twin (who also are responsible for the artwork) and Anonymeye alongside label staples such as AFXJIM, Mr Maps, and ReSTReAM. The same two-week stricture remained, thus keeping things as raw and improvisational as possible, gleaning some stellar responses as a result. There is the beautiful glitch-happy clutch of Dot.AY's re-envisioning of Comatone's The Sun Sets Over A Bad Day; AXXONN's sonic meltdown on Outerwaves' Big Cats; and aheadphonehome stretches Zeal's Infidelity into an electronic wander into the corridors of technodrone. Newcomer Ambrose Chapel has his track A Small Return To Big Nothing turned into a molten drone by Underlapper, whilst Jonathan Boulet's take on Subsea's En Pleno Envierno is a guide through the sun-bleached climes of the Mexican frontier.

Strain Of Origin II is an exemplary sojourn into the minds of artists who are forging new paths, and warmly inviting the listener along for the ride.