Robert Logan :: Flesh Decomposed (Slowfoot)

Flesh Decomposed shows a bit of softness and light among the darker tracks that dominate this album of reworked tracks that breathes new life and new depth into Logan’s oeuvre.

Robert Logan :: Flesh Decomposed (Slowfoot)

Robert Logan’s Flesh (Slowfoot, 2015) was one of my favorite albums of 2015. Flesh brought together modern electronics, classical music, jazz and soundscapes into something evocatively dark and wonderful. He blew my mind repeatedly during our interview last year, showing an energetic artist with a very different approach to music than most working in the tropes of techno, IDM, and electronica. When I heard he was releasing an album of remixes—or re-envisions—of Flesh I was excited but also tentative.

Reworking previous releases has its up and downs that can produce both gems and turds. The Mix (Kling Klang, 1991) was loved by many, creating new Kraftwerk fans and renewed interest in their older catalog. But has it stood the test of time with the overuse of the “oontz-oontz” beats plastered onto every track? To my ears no. The techno re-workings of Cabaret Voltaire’s music in the Technology: Western Re-Works 1992 (Virgin, 1992) album make me cringe with their overall sound of immature, poorly sampled versions of their songs thrust onto techno beats like an arranged marriage of a much older man to a too young child bride (funnily enough when they journeyed to Chicago to collaborator with Al Jourgensen he was disappointed to find the grandaddies of industrial were more interested in the underground house music scene than Ministry’s proto-metal industrial tracks).

Logan fortunately manages to dispel all those concerns within the first minute of the first track of his Flesh Decomposed album. “Older Jug’” opens the album with dark, brooding drones, metallic scrapings like dead wind chimes in a deserted farm while Middle Eastern melodies burble up through the mire like a dirge for some deceased martyr. “Throne’s” dark bells chime out the call to worship from a brooding place, drawing the listener into an intricate, murky landscape. “Four Wheels (with Andy Knight)” opens with the tortured wail of a flute warped and wrapped into the voice of some forgotten beast while grand orchestral swathes of sound roll like dark cloud across a scorched sky. “Tri’s” softer, warming opening chords provide a slight lift to the dark atmosphere of Flesh Decomposed without pouring saccharine into the wine; this is evidence of Logan’s mastery of sound and composition, working a measured and light touch into the track. “Wind” closes the album out with another light track, showing a bit of softness and light among the darker tracks that dominate this album of reworked tracks that breathes new life and new depth into Logan’s oeuvre.

Flesh Decomposed is available on Slowfoot.

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