Friday, 21st September 2018. 10:20:23am ET
Artist: AM
CD Title: Mainstay Remix EP
Label: self-released
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 8/25/05

AM's Mainstay EP, featuring the original version from AM's self-titled full-length debut plus its video (in Quicktime format) and four electronic remixes, finds a handful of artists creating a number of fairly interesting reinterpretations of the song. Three of the remixes found here are the work of album producer and multi-instrumentalist Jamie Myerson, one also featuring additional work from AM, while the fourth is a considerably different take on the song by The Rip Off Artist. Notably progressing from the original's more organic sound to one that's more electronic throughout, the EP's almost narrative tracklisting finds the original song slowly evolving, each mix differing more from the original than the last. Whether intentional or not, it's fairly interesting to hear "Mainstay" transform from its original incarnation through more ambient interpretations before hitting club territory and becoming the barely familiar "unsettled mix".

The original version, one of the more pop-oriented tracks from AM's self-titled album, is a nice little mid-tempo drum/bass-driven acoustic rocker with a hooky chorus. The "pedal mix" is a fairly straightforward, mellower mix, more attention paid to electronics and subtle ambience. The "walk light-footed mix", perhaps the strongest here, starts out fairly ambient, reversed loops and subtle electronic percussion backing reverb/delay-affected vocals, before transforming into a nice ethereal club number with the addition of a synth bass line and a steady dance rhythm. The "hard stomper mix", conversely, fills out a thumping dance rhythm with relatively sparse loops, slowly building layers and intensity throughout, for a somewhat colder, more mechanical club take on the original. The final mix, notably the only one featuring an outside remixer (The Rip Off Artist), is also the most radical, a dark electronica take on the track that chops up the original's vocals and weaves them into a sinister new framework.

As a whole, AM's Mainstay EP is a fairly interesting remix disc. Granted, it may be a mixed bag for some. The first couple remixes will likely please fans of the original, while the more radical latter two, like many modern remixes, cater more towards the club/electronica scene and may slightly alienate less diversified fans of AM's folk-infused mellow alt rock debut. However, with several interesting reinterpretations of the original single and a CD-ROM music video, it's worth checking out.

 

AM website: www.AMsounds.com

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