Tripping back through Alias’ discography, it’s evident that Brendon Whitney is a man on a mission. Over six full-length albums, several EPs and numerous collaborations, Alias has been, well, for lack of a more artful term, diversifying. From group projects (Deep Puddle Dynamics, So Called Artists) to solo rap outings (The Other Side of the Looking Glass) to wordless electronic compositions (Muted) to improvisatory instrumental duets (Lillian), he’s proven steadfast in whatever marketplace he enters. Most recently, 2006’s Brookland/Oaklyn—in which Alias plays the accompanist to singer Tarsier’s dusky croon—earned Brendon heavy stock with critics and fans, and with the release of Collected Remixes—a hand-picked compilation of Alias’ greatest work as a remix artist—there need be no question: Alias is, indeed, the owner of a damn respectable portfolio.
Here Alias reworks, reinvents, remixes and otherwise welds his personal touch to the respective works of a wide range of peers, friends and fans tied together by the old good people/honest music bond. The modern slowcore of the One AM Radio is given a crystalline rebirth; indie folk-pop patriarch John Vanderslice is wrapped in vellum and dropped into a deep chasm; the freewheeling electronics of Lucky Pierre (Arab Strap’s Aiden Moffat) are grounded below the song’s sweeping strings; Italian post-rock quintet Giardini Di Miro are taken on a midnight bar-run; Canadian hip-hop virtuoso Sixtoo is chopped, screwed, and rethreaded into a nasty, heaving work of aural art; Notwist sister band Lali Puna is sunken to ocean floor; the avant electronics of Christ. and Eno favorite Lunz are given new beauteous beat-driven existence; and Boy in Static’s electro-pop minimalism is reimagined in dub. Also, Anticon’s own Yoni Wolf (WHY?) drops by to do vocal duty on a lost jam session from 13 & God (Themselves and the Notwist), hijacking Dose’s lyrics from across the album while Alias arranges it all to a jaunty winter pulse. Finally, a second, heavier version of Alias & Tarsier’s “9:24 Cigarette” (from the Plane that Draws a White Line EP) is served over melodica and drum breaks.
Most impressively, this collection of import-only, lost or limited release tracks plays like an album, each song the proud new owner of the Alias trademark: that alternately searing and frostbitten production, reverberating and crunchy, built of considered keystrokes, finely cut click ’n’ pop, guitar pickings, and drum machine ballistics. With yet another accomplishment in his weighty profile, Alias will be returning to the studio in 2007 to craft a new solo instrumental LP.
* free immediate download of mp3 files with vinyl purchase of this product