When Nicolas got in touch with us to say he wanted us to remix a track from his debut album, The Upward Spiral, we were a little surprised at first to be honest…That record was the product of a number of years he had spent honing his genuinely ground-breaking approach to techno composition which had seen him working closely with Daniel Miller of Mute and setting up his own imprint, Denkfabrik.
For this package of remixes, he’d invited Chris Liebing, Benjamin Damage and Kosei Fukuda along others to contribute – all techno royalty. As much as we’ve loved genre-jumping, this is definitely a tag that doesn’t stick. It was also the first project that we would work on with Nicolas since we released Full Moon, whilst he was a member of the band in 2016.
Even so, our interest was piqued and our arms open….
Conversations with Nicolas about music have always been broad. It’s never “what does it sound like”, but always “how does this track serve a particular purpose?” “What does this track do that no preceding track has done before”. He wanted to encourage us to approach a ‘remix’ in the same way. No stems, no dancefloor re-edit, but a recomposition of the ideals of the original. In short he wanted us to use our palette and our ‘emotional reaction’ to create something entirely new.
Higher Up the Spiral is a ‘recomposition’ (we just call it a remix though because it’s easier to say….and a little less pretentious, perhaps….) – an interpretation of the original score but a completely new composition (based upon the “little open scores” of the original track.