May 2014 08

Atiq & EnK - Embracing the UnknownAtiq & EnK
Category: Ambient / Electronic / IDM
Album: Embracing the Unknown
Stars: 4
Blurb: Altering its creator’s lushly ambient and beat-powered worlds via some of Tympanik’s and Mindtrick Record’s talented roster, this companion piece is one that truly lives up to its title.


Despite an overwhelming host of artists that came together like a creative hive mind in 2013’s electronic music scene, Dutch combo Atiq & EnK’s instillation of Fear of the Unknown seemed to stand out more than most. Drawing controlled doses from very contrasting solo endeavors, the act’s solidarity came in the form of a fully realized, intelligent, and above all mesmerizing reassessment of heavily rhythmic and ambient soundscapes that garnered countless well deserved acclaim and possibilities for what can only be an incredibly bright future. With a plethora of talent from Atiq’s Mindtrick Records and some of Tympanik Audio’s own, this hulking, cleverly dubbed 20 track remix collection celebrates the duo’s accomplished debut by embracing modern electronic diversity.

Celestial ambience, fiery drum & bass, and rippling dubstep are just a few tinges of passing matter in this refreshingly schizophrenic sonic downpour. Almost from the onset, fractured hymns carry a restructured aerial-like synth bed and classical debris through a striking Middle Eastern tableau, affirming that Zinovia Arvanitidi’s exquisite rendition of “Stay with the Familiar” will make all who follow merely pale in comparison. However, it is immediately met with sounds akin to extraterrestrial field recordings in Julien Mier’s lushly organic take of “Shards of Brilliance” and a misleading acoustic guitar intro that erupts into sputtering drum & bass in Semiomime’s leftfield “Moonlit Tea Party,” all rather quickly eschewing the notion that this is yet another companion work with just a select few worthy of accolade. The pattern of the album erratically caroms from – but definitely not limited to – cunning power electronics to mid-tempo breakbeat downtime to even lulling ambience, further exploiting and intensifying the original’s literal track-to-track atmospheric diversity to an all more vivid and frequently hypersonic level. Despite being sparsely flecked by reworks that are perhaps all too safe or just blatantly ineffective like Delete’s paralytic drone, SubOctane’s clunky film of wooden percussion or He3dless’ arduous task of giving Mike Redman’s rapping any degree of cogency in the ever so ill-suited “The Moment of Truth,” they are, fortunately, lost in the large shadows cast by the rest.

Both Tympanik Audio and Mindtrick Records are known to offer some of the most exceptional compilations this side of the universe, so it comes as no surprise that the unity of both rosters sparked nothing short of a thoughtful, high-quality, sensory-overloading experience with massive lasting appeal. From deeB’s trip-hop-esque touch to The Illuminated’s erotic club-ready aura to even Deformer’s breakneck power electronic-charged “Sim One” that infuses Orson Welles’ Future Shock narration with more imperativeness, this companion piece is quite a mixed trek that fans of the original will adore. And as with most successful remix albums, Embracing the Unknown not only gives longevity to its creators’ works and allows its interpreters to shine, but also opens the gates for newcomers into the realm of electronica that is truly best enjoyed by taking its title to heart.
Track list:

  1. Intro (The Travel)
  2. Moonlit Tea Party (Tangent Remix)
  3. Stay with the Familiar (Zinovia Vocalized Remix)
  4. Shards of Brilliance (Julien Mier Remix)
  5. Moonlit Tea Party (Semiomime Remix)
  6. Slow Clouds (Roel Funcken Remix)
  7. My Obligation (The Illuminated Remix)
  8. What Was That (Inofaith Remix)
  9. Sim One (EVS Pretty Annoying Remix)
  10. Stay with the Familiar (deeB Remix)
  11. Like an Angels Feather (Hajee Remix)
  12. Moonlit Tea Party (Cyance Remix)
  13. The Moment of Truth (He3dless Remix)
  14. Moonlit Tea Party (Atiq’s Cup of Tea Remix)
  15. Sim One (Deformer Remix)
  16. Like an Angels Feather (Sinister Souls Remix)
  17. Sim One (Delete Remix)
  18. My Obligation (H-Sik Remix)
  19. Moonlit Tea Party (SubOctane Remix)
  20. Slow Clouds (Nour Fawzi Remix)

Atiq & EnK Website
Atiq & EnK MySpace
Atiq & EnK Facebook
Atiq & EnK SoundCloud
Mindtrick Records Website
Mindtrick Records MySpace
Mindtrick Records Facebook
Mindtrick Records SoundCloud
Mindtrick Records Bandcamp
Tympanik Audio Website
Tympanik Audio MySpace
Tympanik Audio Facebook
Tympanik Audio Twitter
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Zachary Locke (ZLocke)

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