Mixers & Elixirs Gothrock, Post Punk The Wake I am no stranger to upsetting both elitists and fans within the industrial, gothic, and general dark underground community. There have been multiple conversations where a group of fans talk about some legendary band or another that has been on their radars for a long time and never escaped their attention. When I chime in, I usually say, "Who?" and thus the beratement and confused stares begin. I never really give a flying fuck about those responses, though; I listen to what I want and when I want if I so come across it. Thus when I was approached with the opportunity to review The Wake who are touted as being legendary, I once again found myself in a situation where I simply muttered to myself, "Who?" This simple and confused question has been answered ever since, but it's both a query I'm glad I asked and a band I'm excited to talk about. For others who are unaware of their presence much as I was, let me give a little introduction. The Wake is a gothrock and post-punk project that was found in 1986 by singer Troy Payne and guitarist Rich Witherspoon. Throughout the years the line-up has changed but members James Tramel (bass) and Daniel C. (drummer) have remained as The Wake's most constant members. Last year The Wake made a return after a long, long time with their album "Perfumes and Fripperies" released via Blaylox Records. The Wake looked to bands in the forefront of today's dark electronic scene to reinterpret those songs in their brand new remix EP "Mixers & Elixirs". Mixers & Elixirs by The WakeThe first project that appears is the ever wonderful SINE, who remixes the title track of The Wake's 2020 album 'Perfumes and Fripperies'. The original track doesn't sound a day out of the late eighties; it's post-punk guitars meet smooth bass guitar. SINE takes the track and transforms it into something that's completely unrecognizable; it's a scratchy, glitchy track with mid-tempo drum'n'bass elements. I also appreciate that they cleaned up the original vocals some on the remix, as I felt that the reverb or echo placed on their in the original mix is a bit much. Agent Side Grinder takes over 'Hammer Hall' for yet another phenomenal remix. The primarily synthpop project utilizes their knowledge of dance music to create a punchy, gothic track. I imagined that the vocalist was Dracula and that he was playing this song during a vampiric ball. Fellow post-punk and darkwave outfit Kill Shelter then take a stab at 'Emily Closer'. Kill Shelter adds in a ton of synthetic mastery and grittier guitars that bring the production into modern territory. Andee Blacksugar then shows us what he can do with 'Break Me Not'. Rather than following the grim gothrock detail that The Wake is presumably known for, Blacksugar added a bit of funk to the mix by allowing the bass guitar to really shine through. It becomes less a gothrock track and more of a straight rock'n'roll single. The last song on the EP to be remixed, 'Everything (feat. Wolfie)', is courtesy of Matt Hagberg who also mastered the EP and original album. This is my least favorite of the remixes on the album; while it sounds decent, I found it too similar to the original version to appreciate. What SINE, Agent Side Grinder, Kill Shelter, and Andee Blacksugar have managed to do is nothing short of incredible. Rare is it that I find myself appreciating a remix more than the original track. In my opinion, however, I'll take these remixes over the original songs any day of the week. My favorite track by far is Agent Side Grinder's take on 'Hammer Hall' which I'll promptly be adding to next year's Halloween playlist. Nonetheless, whether or not you're a fan of The Wake, just discovering them (as I am), or looking for something a bit different, than "Mixers & Elixirs" is for you. Seven out of ten! This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 450
Brutal Resonance

The Wake - Mixers & Elixirs

7.0
"Good"
Released 2021 by Blaylox Records
I am no stranger to upsetting both elitists and fans within the industrial, gothic, and general dark underground community. There have been multiple conversations where a group of fans talk about some legendary band or another that has been on their radars for a long time and never escaped their attention. When I chime in, I usually say, "Who?" and thus the beratement and confused stares begin. I never really give a flying fuck about those responses, though; I listen to what I want and when I want if I so come across it. Thus when I was approached with the opportunity to review The Wake who are touted as being legendary, I once again found myself in a situation where I simply muttered to myself, "Who?" 

This simple and confused question has been answered ever since, but it's both a query I'm glad I asked and a band I'm excited to talk about. For others who are unaware of their presence much as I was, let me give a little introduction. The Wake is a gothrock and post-punk project that was found in 1986 by singer Troy Payne and guitarist Rich Witherspoon. Throughout the years the line-up has changed but members James Tramel (bass) and Daniel C. (drummer) have remained as The Wake's most constant members. Last year The Wake made a return after a long, long time with their album "Perfumes and Fripperies" released via Blaylox Records. The Wake looked to bands in the forefront of today's dark electronic scene to reinterpret those songs in their brand new remix EP "Mixers & Elixirs". 



The first project that appears is the ever wonderful SINE, who remixes the title track of The Wake's 2020 album 'Perfumes and Fripperies'. The original track doesn't sound a day out of the late eighties; it's post-punk guitars meet smooth bass guitar. SINE takes the track and transforms it into something that's completely unrecognizable; it's a scratchy, glitchy track with mid-tempo drum'n'bass elements. I also appreciate that they cleaned up the original vocals some on the remix, as I felt that the reverb or echo placed on their in the original mix is a bit much. Agent Side Grinder takes over 'Hammer Hall' for yet another phenomenal remix. The primarily synthpop project utilizes their knowledge of dance music to create a punchy, gothic track. I imagined that the vocalist was Dracula and that he was playing this song during a vampiric ball. 

Fellow post-punk and darkwave outfit Kill Shelter then take a stab at 'Emily Closer'. Kill Shelter adds in a ton of synthetic mastery and grittier guitars that bring the production into modern territory. Andee Blacksugar then shows us what he can do with 'Break Me Not'. Rather than following the grim gothrock detail that The Wake is presumably known for, Blacksugar added a bit of funk to the mix by allowing the bass guitar to really shine through. It becomes less a gothrock track and more of a straight rock'n'roll single. The last song on the EP to be remixed, 'Everything (feat. Wolfie)', is courtesy of Matt Hagberg who also mastered the EP and original album. This is my least favorite of the remixes on the album; while it sounds decent, I found it too similar to the original version to appreciate. 

What SINE, Agent Side Grinder, Kill Shelter, and Andee Blacksugar have managed to do is nothing short of incredible. Rare is it that I find myself appreciating a remix more than the original track. In my opinion, however, I'll take these remixes over the original songs any day of the week. My favorite track by far is Agent Side Grinder's take on 'Hammer Hall' which I'll promptly be adding to next year's Halloween playlist. Nonetheless, whether or not you're a fan of The Wake, just discovering them (as I am), or looking for something a bit different, than "Mixers & Elixirs" is for you. Seven out of ten! 

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Nov 15 2021

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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