Review: colorStar: Komplementer

Crying over a mediocre result at the Eurovision Song Contest does not lead anywhere higher. Neither artistically, nor when it comes to success and fame abroad. What does? Or – at least – what should? Creative work. colorStar do work. Even when they just give away stems and tracks to remixers.

I’m sorry for the strange parallel I tried to draw up there but it just pours out when one meets something that could be easily sold with great success anywhere in the world.

‘Komplementer’ has been around for some time in news and band interviews along with a new EP planned for release later this year. Its making was also accompanied by a remix competition. (The entries can be heard over HERE on colorStar’s Soundcloud page.) But how’s the core product?

Bearing Óperentzia’s remix as an opening track, we instantly get a taste of what’s to come – well-crafted remixes with a twist. Óperentzia decided to follow the original structure and dynamics of ‘Morning Call’ adding some glitches here and there with some manipulated vocals.

Playing around with singer András Keleti’s voice continues on the remix of ‘Petite Adéle’ which has an almost acoustic breakdown with drums and reversed guitars but what comes before and after is no short of dare either: DJ Kraak and Sch_Dave have brought a real 4/4 hard house madness with the original song’s Turkish elements – actually reminding us of Korai Öröm’s 2003 remix album ‘Reflected’, sonically at least.

The next segment of the album presents four remixes with typical song-like lengths but don’t be mistaken, these shorter versions span from complete deconstruction (Achim’Da’s ‘Imarobot’ remix) through acid jazz (Gabor Deutsch’s take on ‘Fragrance’) to true re-mixes with just a bit angrier sound (‘Komfort’), in keeping with original song characteristics so their shortness does not give them away.
The second half of the album raises the stakes even higher. We get exciting mixes in electroclash (‘Light Up The Stars’), the organic techno which remixers Bernathy & Son are known so well of, some French electro, either with a resonator guitar-like addition (the ‘Air Traffic’ remix) or just pure electro-house on the Budapest-Paris axis (‘Another Day’). One of the best songs among the already great ones on the album is the psy-dub rendition of ‘Origination’, the electro-swing remix of ‘Forog a világ’ by Savages and Suefo and the competition winner Gargaj remix of ‘Falling’ which with its harmonies, arch and orchestra at the end surely has a feeling of a grand finale.

Anybody who wants a great compilation of current Hungarian electronic music should get this album. The situation is somewhat similar to what it was with Valravn’s ‘Re-Cod3d’ : if you want to dance, you get plenty of floor-fillers, and if you want some interesting takes on some songs you already love, you should definitely look into ‘Komplementer’ which only has two minor (and one ‘real’) flaws: one (and the less important one) is that – possibly because of the limit of a CD’s running time – the killer breakbeat remix of ‘Another Day’ by Chi Recordings artist Cord is not included. But that’s my oh-so-personal longing for a great track that has been around for years. The remix can be heard here by the way. Just click Another Day (2004) and it’s track 2.

The only real drawback – which could have financial reasons – is that there is no booklet or production credits included which makes really hard even for Hungarians to identify some of the remixers.

Other than that, two thumbs up.

colorStar: ‘Komplementer’
(Narrator Records, 2011)

The album can be ordered HERE.

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