One of the shrewdest strategies employed by LA’s 3 Teeth in the lead up to the release of their self-titled debut album was the near-constant stream of new music in the form of remixes, usually via Soundcloud with the added incentive of a limited number of free downloads. While the main advantage of that tactic was to get their name out and keep listeners engaged without giving away their whole record before the date of release, there was another much more canny way it worked in their favour: the selection of specific remixers allowed them to position themselves musically within the broader world of industrial music, and provided them with some very handy cosigns from both emerging and existing names in the genre.
While the lion’s share of the versions on Remixed were originally available for purchase on the super-cool, super-limited USB tooth that came with their debut’s limited edition version, the new digital and CD version omits a few tracks and subs in entries from the a recent remix contest. Missing are the remixes by Blush Response, Traumatik, Deathface and (sadly) Bestial Mouths, with new versions of “Final Product” by Freakangel, Brain Influenza, Restriction 9, and Synesthesia. They’re all good, but that last mix is especially nice, capturing the spacey dark electro feel reminiscent of Individual Totem and marrying it to the intensity of 3 Teeth’s processed vocals.
The variety and vision in the remainder of the tracks still feels pretty excellent, perhaps even moreso after some months out in the wild. The intensity of Mr. Skeleton’s rapidly sequenced take on “Pearls 2 Swine” is as compulsively listenable as ever, and Randolph & Mortimer’s exceptional machine-rock version of “Consent” remains as good as any throwback to Ministry-in-their-prime as we’ve ever heard. The slower-paced atmospheric entries by Kanga, ∆AIMON and M‡яc▲ll▲ still serve to highlight the depths of 3 Teeth’s music beyond the upfront bombast, and while the average genre fan may be drawn in by contributions from familiar names like Caustic, Aesthetic Perfection or Dismantled (all of whom acquit themselves well), the strength of the release comes from its variety and consistent overall workrate.
There are a non-zero number of people who seem to believe a phenomenon like 3 Teeth happens by accident or luck in 2014. If nothing else, a release like Remixed reaffirms that none of this is a coincidence: building your audience and maintaining your mystique is a carefully executed process. And it’s not just about your music, or album art or social media engagement; it’s about how you present yourself in relation to your genre and what acts you align yourself with. You can’t really teach that sort of thing, although this release – from the astute nature of its curation, to the actual quality of its contents, and to its immaculate design of the CD version – should serve as an excellent primer.