End to End is our track-by-track take on non-album and compilation releases, in which we try to give thumbnail first impressions of each song and point to particular numbers to be cherry-picked via the consumer’s online retailer of choice.
32Crash’s Y2112Y was a nice piece of work, one which we negligently overlooked in our end of year coverage. As I mentioned in my review, the bonus tracks and remixes from the mega-packed 2CD version mostly focused on giving more mellow and textured takes on Y2112Y‘s fraught and jarring science fiction snapshots. The press copy for the Hyperreal remix EP, however, describes this new clutch of in-house remixes as being aimed squarely at the EBM club floor, and after a limited vinyl run it’s now seeing digital release with a couple of extra tracks tacked on: it’s the perfect time to go digging for some DJ gold with Jean-Luc De Meyer & co.!
Hyperreal (Überwirklich Mix)
A classically bouncy EBM beat which would remind me of Nitzer if the bass line wasn’t subtly fuzzed and almost sunny. Stripped down, almost too much so, but strikes an interesting balance between anhalt and the punchier side of electropop.
Dawning Sun (Crepuscular Mix)
When you’re using a song’s lyrics to call out contemporary EBM, you’d best come correct. Thankfully, this is a nice n’ chewy revamp which pulls back the stormy guitars of the original and wets the rubbery bass just right.
Perpetuum Mobile (Velikovsky Mix)
None too different from the original, to be honest. Something about the in-the-red, splattering synths reminds me of C-Tec’s “Nightbreed”.
Hyperreal (Happily Peel the Pear Mix)
While not super clubbish, this mix is awesome. A great, minimal EBM arrangement that slows the track down to a crawl, drawing out the unease lying nascent in the original. A brief manic tempo change at the bridge seems to come out of nowhere, but the core groove can’t be beat.
The Man That Came from Later (Future Zukunft Mix)
The tightly wound time-travel track gets made over into a whooshing, outer-space synthscursion, complete with classic Simmons drum kit rolls. Some Numan-like pads round out the 80s feel, and should appeal to those who appreciate the project’s science fiction trappings.
Elegy for Himself (SDB Activated Mix)
Scales back the wall of guitar on the original for an arrangement which nicely straddles older and newer EBM tropes: a minimally arpeggiated bassline and a simple beat.
What Happened Here (Taunting Devils’ Mix)
An oddly constructed mix which oscillates between the spacious sweeps of the original and and acidic, over-processed (and perhaps over-compressed) bassline and techno klaxons (which recall The Immortals’ “Techno Syndrome”). Not to my DJing tastes, but I can see it working in other folks’ contexts.
100Y (The Life Review Mix)
Y2112Y‘s opening tale of harrowing near-misses in a deadly future gets a bleepy, everything and the kitchen sink workover, with all manner of sampled squelches and yelps. While fun, it feels a bit circular in comparison to the original, the production of which managed to raise the stakes each time De Meyer’s narrator offered another glimpse into 32Crash’s future world.
The Takeaway: While a few tracks are floor-friendly, what you’re really getting with Hyperreal is stripped down, roots EBM interpretations of Y2112Y‘s dense cuts, with just a light dusting of guitars. The quirkier elements of 32crash’s production are present, too, though in a similarly streamlined fashion. De Meyer’s voice, while never seeming diminished or pushed out of the frame on the original album, has much more room to prowl and snarl on these roomier versions. If hearing classic steez, De Meyer-fronted EBM with a quirky science fiction delivery is up yr alley, Hyperreal‘s a worthwhile purchase. If you just want some club tracks, take the Überwirklich and SDB mixes, though the Peel The Pear and Future Zukunft mixes may work on more open-minded floors and deserve to be heard regardless.
Hyperreal is now available at most digital retailers. The vinyl version can still be purchased here.