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LISTEN: Ekoplekz Remixes Wrangler
Laurie Tuffrey , September 29th, 2014 14:40

Four Wrangler UK live dates coming up, beginning this week

Earlier this year, Wrangler, the three-piece of Stephen 'Mal' Mallinder, formerly of Cabaret Voltaire, Benge, producer and John Foxx collaborator as The Maths, and Phil Winter of Tunng and The Lone Taxidermist, released their fine debut album, LA Spark, on Benge's Memetune label - read tQ editor John Doran talking to the trio about it here. Now, they're set to play four live dates over the next month, starting this Thursday, October 2, at The Flapper in Birmingham. This will be followed on Friday at Pulse, a night also featuring Gazelle Twin, Scanner and Matthew Collings, at Glasgow's Old Fruitmarket, followed by a slot alongside Carter Tutti at Sheffield's Sensoria festival. They'll conclude the run at London's Red Gallery on October 18 with the inaugural Mus-IIC Festival, curated by the trio and featuring Gazelle Twin and Minny Pops.

To mark the dates, they've enlisted the help of Ekoplekz, aka Bristol analogue manipulator Nick Edwards, for a spaced-out rework of LA Spark's 'Mus-IIC' - take a listen up top and read up on Mallinder and Edwards talking about the remix below.

Stephen Mallinder: "It was good to have the opportunity to collaborate on something with Nick, we'd made contact and shared music we were working on. The whole idea of remixing has totally shifted and it's a good way of exploring ideas and joining of dots rather than the past where it was a corporate buy-in of another brand. We tend to see it more as mail-art where things move round and people adds bits to your work. I like it, very Fluxus. It was easy with Ekoplekz as we could do swap mixes without any fuss. Nick did MUSiic and we got to work on 'Severn Beach' [from Unifidelity].

"If you like the music remixes are a joy to do because you have something to work from, it helps give some focus when you start writing. Ekoplekz's music is so brilliantly layered so it was best to take some of those textures and build on it. It wasn't a case of grabbing four or 16 bars and structuring in a very programmed, blocky, kind of way but we were able to use sounds from the original as a sort of water mark all the way through. I believe the word is palimpsestic.

"It was flattering to be encouraged to actually add vocals - it's something we tend to do with Wrangler mixes but it's a responsibility when the original has no human voice. You can fuck it up - not everyone wants me trilling all over their music. Luckily it got the thumbs up. Phil's digits were nimbler and played the bubbling bass - I've been shamed into practising since that. Benge as ever was wrangling machines, the master controller!"

Nick Edwards: "For this remix I was given access to some vocal parts that Mal had recorded but not used in the original version of 'Mis-IIC'. Stylistically I decided to go for an unapologetic fanboy 'heritage' approach, imagining Wrangler as they might've sounded in the 1970s. The first half has a more abstract sound, similar to some of the Cabs' Attic Tapes era (it was a total trip to put Mal's untreated vocal through the sonic mangler and recreate that creepy ring-modulated gargle that we all remember from the early days). The second half is more rhythmic with washes of synth texture and electric bass, perhaps similar in spirit to Mal's solo track 'Cool Down'."