Michigan-born and Los Angeles-based Zach Thorpe releases his debut EP “Incense” on Bit-Phalanx Music with a selection of remixes by label acts such as Earth Is Flat Remix, Ivan Cheng and Derek Piotr. Thorpe makes music via an experimental process that includes electroacoustic composition and found sound, using flutes and bass alongside his own vocals on the original “Insence”. It’s formed around a tender, light vocal with minimal beats making for a lush, electronic lullaby.
The Earth is Flat turn that lullaby into more of a haunting with a dramatic mid section which warp’s Thorpe’s vocals while the Niggle remix offers a dirty electro bassline to grind away after percussive build ups. Same Actor and Alexander Dai (of Sayaconcept) retain the dreamy nature of the original without doing enough to warrent a remix credit - their changes are too subtle but the final three remixes from Ivan Cheng, Derek Piotr and Arp DB opt for a more dramatic take on the source material.
Cheng strips out the vocals in favour of a high-pitched renition of Thorpe which veers between oriental charm and an annoying fly while Piotr uses a multitude of percussive layers to build up a marching pace then strips it all back to just the vocal at the end. Arp DB’s goes to the extreme with his deconstruction by giving the impression the music is being compiled by a machine as you listen. The eight tracks add up to a varied EP package helped by the strength of the source material and, though there are a couple of fillers, this is a fine example of the more experiment sides to electronica.