(Grimalkin Records / Fish Prints)
A dream collaboration for those in the know, Hit Rendition sees experimental music wizard Thor Maillet aka Petridisch (who also runs Fish Prints) team up with one of the cassette world’s best new labels in Grimalkin Records. The result is, unsurprisingly, forward-thinking and quite peculiar.
Hit Rendition is something close to a double EP in the sense that it’s divided into two halves with entirely different thematic content and instrumentation, with the A-side consisting of the eight movements (the fifth of which is a seamlessly integrated adaptation of News From Babel’s “Arcades (of Glass)”) of the titular “Hit Rendition”, and the B-side consists of short, more segmented programmed guitar pieces that with titles like “The Locomotive” and “Bremen to Sumner” seem to be inspired by the theme of travel. “Hit Rendition” could be described as darkwave in a broad sense, but the way it’s structured is much like a classical piece, albeit a highly unorthodox one, floating through distinct sections like unsettling dreams branching off of each other.
The B-side for the most part has a much brighter tone to it, with “Bremen to Sumner” in particular sounding like something that could soundtrack an uplifting TV moment. The surrounding tracks are less overtly cheery, but still don’t hold you over a bottomless pit of looming nightmares the way “Hit Rendition” threatens to, instead opting to go for the sounds of pleasant solitude, like taking a late-night train so that you can move and exist within the greater world while being permitted to be alone with your thoughts.
There seem to be several meta layers to this project, intentional or otherwise. Despite the differences between the two sides, they also blend together shockingly well. The greater Hit Rendition has an accompanying visual album that’s a real trip, which helps reinforce an idea that it may be Petridisch’s own beautifully warped take on Fantasia. In any case, another hit (get it?) from Grimalkin.
Favorite track(s): Release should be experienced as one whole piece
Rating: Strongly Recommended