Classic 3: Mutron — Alone (12″, 2007) [King Kung Foo Records]

03BIG

See it on Discogs
Listen the Mutron original here
Listen the Ronny & Renzo remix here

I heard it in club space only once. Of course, it was Pavel Plastikk, one of few Ukrainian true selectors who has brave and power to play stuff of any kind. In 2009 Pavel told me that he booked Mungolian Jet Set to Xlib Club (Kiev) and he was preparing the warm-up set (in his own words “the space trip”). This King Kung Foo record was the first one of that night in Xlib and it created the exactly right mood. This record opened the portal and the trip was started!
It’s Bladerunner soundtrack but with modern abilities and computers. The A-side is an original “Alone” from Yasuyuke Mutron Hirata, Japanese music composer. It’s a fast, agressive track with dirty vocoder vocals and a feel of pandemonium. You can hear also a clear piano line here, line that is maybe one of few elements you can recognize on the other side of the record. And what’s on the B-side? It’s far more than just a remix! Imagine you waking up in the strange place, there’s no blue sky — it is black, you can see planets, the Moon! You stay on the Earth and you can see open space. I saw it in my dreams sometimes. You woke up and gradually see all strange, scary things around you. Future is come! And there’s no way back to warm bed, tea and cake. It’s a cold expanse full of steam, flying objects, there’s no gravity. Shock! It’s an absolute new composition full of unpredictable turns. It’s not an EDM, it’s a pure bliss, enlightment, sounds from cosmos.

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This remix fascinates me so much that I asked Ronny & Renzo tell us how they did it. And here’s their story:
“We started working on this remix somewhere in the first half of March 2007 and finished it April 23rd (actually, that is what our DAW log tells us). As usual, Brian & I first discussed some typical things like the mood we wanted to create, the tempo of the remix (88 bpm), what or what not to use from the original sounds, etc. We decided to step away from the original and start from scratch hereby avoiding some of the classic ‘remix traps’. We then listened again a couple of times to the original track and to the parts supplied by Yasu aka Mutron and chose to take only one element from the original almost like extracting some DNA and then create something new from that. The sole audio part from the original we used in our remix is the hard L/R panned ‘ping ponging’ noise hook that precedes the returning chorus part. One or 2 melodies from the original were played over but with other sounds and rearranged a little.
Nearly all the sounds in that remix are self-programmed, no 3rd party samples were used (we try never to do that) so the swampy frog sounds, the bubbling noises or the various “screaming” flute sounds are all made with analog synths. Some of them we sent through guitar stompboxes, hardware DSPs or filters to give them a different character. The atmosferic intro and outro sounds are designed with our custom RS8000 modular. The main bass melody I played on a Precision Bass. (the recording chain was P Bass -> D.I./Tube Pre Amp -> Moog Parametric EQ -> Tube Compressor -> DAW)
The sequenced synth-bass sound that carries almost the complete track is a patch from the Synton Fenix we processed with the Mutron Bi-Phase, giving it that distinctive spatial panning effect. That’s a little salute to Alan Parsons’ mighty I Robot track.
In the final stage we also added a couple of live overdubs, mainly pads and atmosferics.
The largest part of the processing, equalizing & balancing was done in the box as we went along so that the final summing/mixdown on the analog board didn’t need too much adjusting.
But don’t let our technical memories bore you folks to sleep! Listen to Mutron’s great original and while you’re at it give our version also a spin and please, enjoy the music!”

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Huge thanks to Brian De Schryver and Nicolas Rosquin (Ronny & Renzo)
First part — review by Sasha Tessio.
Second part — story from Ronny & Renzo.
Photos by Sasha Tessio