Review: Bitter Music is Ali Wells's third studio album and manages the rare feat of combining experimentation with a focus on the dance floor. It means that the husky, breathy vocals and found sound ambience of "Exit" and the spooky tones of "Wax Apple" both sit next to the panel-beating techno of "Unelected" - possibly another one of Wells' political references - the eerie, rumbling drums of "Chatter" and the low slung menace of "I Just Can't Win". On other occasions, Wells articulates his ability to straddle both worlds in one arrangement, audible on the deeply disturbing shrieks of Aja Ireland over the gnarly rhythm of "Spit" or the tape dub cut up groove of "Rat Run". Ali Wells has matured as an artist but as Bitter Music shows, in the process he has lost none of his bile-laced anger.
The Thought That Counts (Head Front Panel remix) - (7:26) 133 BPM
Chatter (Hodge remix) - (5:56) 129 BPM
Exit (Pessimist remix) - (7:30) 86 BPM
I Just Can't Win (Dale Cornish remix) - (6:17) 120 BPM
Review: In this first volume of remixes, Ali Wells gathers an impressive cast to rework tracks from his Bitter Music album. First up is John Heckle's Head Front Panel project, which turns Perc's "The Thought That Counts" into an intense, dense techno groover, led by intricate riffs and tones. By contrast, Hodge's take on "Chatter" is loose and free-flowing, underpinned by massive, dubbed out drums and a rhythm that sways and swerves in all the right places. Pessimist's take on "Exit" pushes the release back towards the opaque and, in this instance, mysterious, thanks to its shadowy drones. Last but certainly not least is Dale Cornish with a superb, stuttering minimal house take on "I Just Can't Win".