I’m not going to start this review off with my typical “Remix albums are a mixed bag” rant because Chris Kniker, the mastermind behind Primitive Race is a pro when it comes to these things. The man is also a pro when it comes to subverting expectations relating to the recorded output of this particular outfit. The debut from PR was shrouded in mystery before revealing a veritable melting pot of Industrial luminaries and iconic guests while the follow-up, 2017’s Soul Pretender, went a completely different route with more of a band structure showcasing the talents of the late, great Chuck Mosley.
Which brings us to today and the imminent release of Cranial Matter, a remix album that’s not only a stellar tribute to Mosley but also a subtle reminder of why you should probably revisit Soul Pretender real soon.
But I digress.
Unlike many a remix album, Cranial Matter sounds like a cohesive album despite the diverse line up involved due in part to the strength of said contributors but more likely because of the diverse beast that Primitive Race already is and Mosley’s presence throughout. From the instant Toshi Kasai drops the dirge version of the title track, listeners are already well aware that they’ve just boarded one wild ride and even more so when Dave Lombardo’s fittingly tribal Electro romp take on “Turn It Up” practically hums as it swells with mighty riffage.
A proper Industrial beats-heavy ditty, Dave Ogilvie’s version of “Bed Six” will throttle your senses as Mosley’s stirring vocals mesh with the electronic atmosphere before segueing into the somber piano-driven “Dancing On The Sun” remix from Bumblebee.
Butthole Surfers’ own Paul Leary transforms “Soul Pretender” into a sprawling synthetic masterpiece of haunting beauty while “Cry Out” gets an Angelspit makeover and becomes a proper club anthem and later, Kevin Rutmanis (the melvins, Tomahawk) turns “Take It All” into a discordant racket in the most perfect way possible.
In addition to more contributions from Skatenigs, Ego Likeness, and Rodney Anonymous (The Dead Milkmen), Cranial Matter ALSO boasts a straight up tribute in the form of new track “Heart In Real Time” done by none other than the legendary Chris Connelly. You know you need to order this right now. And here’s how!
Cranial Matter will be unveiled on August 9th via Metropolis Records. Pre-orders are live and can be gotten by clicking here and here (The digital release also includes three bonus remixes from Pop Will Eat Itself, John Fryer, and Go Fight). For the latest on Primitive Race, follow them on their social media places by clicking here.