reviewThe Wire Magazine
Review of original Important Records CD version of 'Basilica'
Please note 'Basilica Origins (Deluxe) does not include the remixes referenced here
This collection of live recordings from London trio Rameses III attempts to both
manipulate and document the group's live sound. So the first part of this divergent
two disc set consists of a series of remixes of four live tracks by Robert Horton,
Keith Berry, Greg Kowalsky and Neil Campbell (aka Astral Social Club). The Horton
track is a remix of a remix, with Rameses III adding to Horton's own interpretation
of a track originally performed at London's Red Rose club. What each of these versions
does is reshape the group's sound, shifting the emphasis away from its more sedate
elements and focusing instead on amorphous, freestyle drones - the most extreme
being Campbell's taut buzzing "Tigers In The Snake Pit".
The result is an impressive but rather daunting succession of abstract pieces, moving
from the mesmerising shimmer of "After The Red Rose", through the murky, Ambient fog
of "Basilica" and the piercing tonalities of "Rose Blood" to the aforementioned
simmering tension of Campbell's remix. The companion disc of straight live recordings,
entitled Origins I - V
, is an altogether smoother ride, even grandiose at times,
with glacial, slo-mo guitar melodies to the fore and gentle, elegaic waterfalls of sound
washing over the tidal ebb and flow of pulsating keyboards. If, in constrast to the remixes,
it casts Rameses III as a less adventurous proposition, there's still enough here to
justify the inclusion of these unadorned tracks, particularly the distorted, reverb
organ and penetrating bass sonorities of "Origins IV".
Thursday 1 May 2008