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Reviews
Pia Fraus - Ten Remixes Of Yenissey
Sunday, February 01 2009 @ 01:00 AM PST
Contributed by: Blond Adonis

Ten Remixes Of Yenissey

Artist: Pia Fraus Estonia

Title: Ten Remixes Of Yenissey

Label: SekSound Estonia

Genre: Shoegaze / Indie

Track Listing:

01 Future Pilot AKA - Yenissey vs Future Pilot AKA!
02 Galaktlan - Galayeni
03 International Airport - One Transition: Tundra Into Taiga
04 Mirabilia - Yllar Lyndi Uued Püksikud
05 Seeland - Yennesay: Seeland Reemix
06 Pia Fraus - Niva Meets Yenissey
07 Teenage Fanclub - Yenissey
08 3Pead - Las Voolab
09 Bill Wells - Yenissey
10 His Name Is Alive - Forever 93

 Pia Fraus is a brilliant band from Estonia who’ve been putting out simple but intricate ethereal works for two decades now with only a minor shake-up of personnel. Their new CD, Ten Remixes of Yenissey, is a real treat to listen to.

This is an album of remixes of something called “Yenissey” - but don’t get me wrong, it’s not just a “one-song” CD, where that one-song gets played over and over until you’re sick to death of it. No, each version is radically different than the previous. Well, ok, not radically different, but each remixer puts their own stamp on the material. But, no matter how you slice it, it’ll always be Pia Fraus. They have a unique sound that will, soon after making a couple more albums with a larger catalog, come to be recognized when one of their songs starts playing. A lot of artists/bands are like that: you can hear just a few measures of the beginning of a song or listen to the first verse being sung and say to yourself: “I know who that is! That’s [so & so].”

Having been around for about two decades now Pia Fraus keeps chucking out more and more beautiful, delicate music. The fact that they aren’t a worldwide phenomenon is not at all a bad thing, nor does it reflect on their talents or abilities. The way I see it, the longer a great, talented group can avoid the meat grinder of the corporate music industry (major-labels such as the Warner family of labels, EMI, Sony, Bertelsmann, etc.) the better off they are and the more freedom they have to experiment and come up with concepts, styles and even new genres that radio execs would frown upon because it wouldn’t fit in with their demographic who wants mindless pop music or, for those rednecks who are in their 40s and 50s, mindless chattering, far-right talk radio.

Just a few of the guests who remix some of Pia Fraus’s music include such disparate names as Future Pilot, Teenage Fanclub (!?!) and His Name is Alive. Even after being remixed and molded, somewhat into the image of the remixer, Pia Fraus’s original, core being stays intact, so for the ears who’ve not yet heard the music of PF, this will give one a push in the right direction. If you dig this CD, you may want to find some of their previous releases: albums like 2006’s Nature Heart Software and In Solarium as well as an EP from 2003, Plastilina.

Recently having discovered Pia Fraus myself, I can say that it’s exciting when one hears that indeed, there are talented musicians (who have integrity) that are out there in the world, still coming up with new and ever-more inventive and innovative ways to express themselves. There are hybrids of all sorts of art forms in general, but the most remembered, most revered stuff will be the truly new forms of any kind of art that lead that area in a new direction, shine fresh light on staid, leftover bits and pieces of obsolete forms and in the process help to always keep ennui at bay.

So, basically, what you get here on Ten Remixes of Yenissey is exactly that: ten different, unique takes on a song called “Yenissey”, remixed by colleagues, friends and I’m sure there were the occasional serendipitous happenings that brought this or that together in the making of this album. It’s basically a CD with one track on it - one long track that has different “parts” to it, but with the diversity that is inherent in having all these different artists helping to hone this into a sharp, crisp belle of the ball, one won’t get tired of listening after just a few tracks, they did a good job of stretching this one tune into ten different interpretations, as it were. However, two remixes that stood out were 1) the remix by Galayeni (track #2) and the one by Forever 93 (#10, the closing track).
I would still recommend one to go back and listen to some of Pia Fraus’s previous original work, Nature Heart Software for instance, so you can get a sense of the real Pia Fraus without the distraction of others being involved.

     


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