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Australian independent record label Hidden Shoal pride themselves in putting out a wide range of different musical styles. The label have embarked on an adventourous series of “split singes” that sees two diverse artists on the label each performing a track and then remixing the other’s track. This EP is the debut release of this series and sees English dream-pop artist Chloë March take on a track from the latest album by German experimentalist Markus Mehr – and vice versa.

Markus Mehr’s remix of Chloe March’s Ember has a harsh industrial feel to it, opening with metal electronic beats offset by Chole’s sweet and beautiful vocal sounds. As the track progresses it drifts from the two extremes of the harsh industrial sounds to the softer piano sounds and Chole’s voice. The success is a little mixed especially especially where the different elements overlap. At times it works as an intriguing trip-hop song in the vein of Massive Attack, and other times it sounds like two songs are being played at the same time.

Chloe March’s remix of Buoy has a spooky but intriguing feel to it. The warped drone sounds create a dark soundscape that makes you feel like you are wondering around some foreign planet. Chloe’s subtle vocals act like a faint guide towards humanity and lead for a short whole before drifting away.

Chloe March’s Ember is a beautiful piano driven tune. The very minimalist approach creates a certain spacey depth. Chloe has an amazing voice that she uses to full effect to add a phenomenal layer of moving emotion.

Finally Markus Mehr’s Buoy is a curious experimental offering with ambient sounds drifting through and past each other creating an eerie intergalactic journey.

This is quite an interesting twist on the split single concept especially considering the different musical styles of each artist. On offer are two solid (albeit very different) single tracks and some interesting remixing exploration. The music may have been stronger if the two worked together the whole way through, nevertheless, in terms of approaching this concept it has been done reasonably well.

Check out the Hidden Shoal website to find out more!

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