Glenn Murawski – Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2

 Glenn Murawski – Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2

Glenn Murawski – Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2 – Album Review

Been rad getting to know this guy’s music over these past couple weeks.  If you’ve been following along with the pages here lately at SBS, you’ll have seen the recent review on his Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 1 record from not too long ago…and we’re following up here with the sequel from the fifteen-plus year veteran of the independent scene.  If you did read that review, you know we’re not letting him get away with the ‘novice’ tagline anymore…this is a man that absolutely knows what he’s doing and creates seriously spectacular music.  It’s more than awesome to have him back on our pages and flowing through our speakers again so soon…I really dig what this guy does and it’s always rad to put on new music from an artist you know you can rely on.  Even if Glenn is digging through the back-catalog to refine the past & shine it up to the full-potential that has existed all along – everything I’ve been getting to hear has been all-new to me, and more music from Murawski in my ears is a guaranteed good thing.

So who better to listen to…on this day of all days…where this very review you’re reading right now, is the 2000th published on our site!  Glenn deserves the honors…more people should know about this guy…and you all know how numbers work, I’ll post up something about the 2000th review being posted up on the page, and for a day, a few more people might just care about the independent music-scene.  Hopefully anyhow….I’m pretty sure that’s how this whole internet thing works.  Even if it’s the slightest bump in traffic, I’ll take it…Murawski makes music that should be heard…dude’s got killer instincts for creating captivating atmospheric & powerfully melodic vibes.  So drop the balloons and join us in celebrating the official sequel with a new set of stunning songs from Glenn’s catalog & past revisited on Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2 – or feel free to get excited about that whole massive milestone thing we’ve just achieved…either way, we’re both happy to have ya here today – now read on!

With crystalline synths and ice-like digital sound, Glenn opens the second-half of his Revisions And Remasters set with “Someday My Friend, Someday” – expanding the music further with a bass/sax combination that lets the notes & tones of this song hang suspended in the air for all to hear.  By the time you get to the sweetness & character that the violin adds to “Someday My Friend, Someday,” you’re fully immersed in a beautiful array of sounds floating through the mix and complementing this whole vibe in incredible ways.  Glenn expertly combines these layers of instrumentation when it comes to the mix on this first tune, really making each individual component stand out gorgeously with its clarity & tone, and continually enhancing the structure of the song with the way each part interacts.  The curious way that “Someday My Friend, Someday” reveals itself is completely enticing to the ears; Glenn expertly shifts this track’s subtle-intensity by putting those brilliant low tones in there – and of course, the violin comes in to nearly steal the show…everything stacks up for a really impressive listen.  Almost futuristic terrain here…like you could somehow see this becoming the next thing Radiohead would reach into the next time they decide to transform for the millionth time.  I really dig on the way this cut pulls you in to listen so quickly and never lets go…definitely the kind of captivating sound that keeps your attention without question – and even though “Someday My Friend, Someday” appears early on in Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2 – it’ll remain one of the true highlights in this set.  Not a bad way to start a whole new experience with this sequel and create a solid first impression, wouldn’t you say?

“The Threshold (Redux)” definitely reveals a slight crack in the armor of this record with a noticeable drop in volume that listeners would have to compensate for on their end…which is bound to happen at points when revisiting material of the past, and does appear throughout a couple cuts in this set.  Glenn might be superhuman & all, but there are limitations to what can be done with any set of original stem-tracks, depending on how everything was laid down in the recording sessions at the time of creation.  That being said, a tiny bump in volume might just put this in-line with the rest, and the real bottom line is, no matter what version you might find out there of this track, it’s an idea worth turning up and another smart choice to revisit the gripping & hypnotic sounds this cut contains.  Drums, strings, and guitars all play vital roles throughout “The Threshold (Redux)” and put Glenn’s gift for structure in the spotlight once again; there is an insightful amount of twists, turns, and audible innovation happening all throughout the exploratory depths of this track on Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2.  There’s a bit more noticeable menace & bite to this haunting & melodic tune that drifts Glenn closer to the rock-side of his sound here, especially when you factor in the busyness of the drums in comparison to the rest of what you’ll hear on “The Threshold (Redux),” or of course, how the guitars contribute to this tune.  It’s ambitious & it’s got a healthy dose of light & dark in a bold combination…as to whether or not this new treatment in the redux got it quite to the level where Glenn was hoping to get it, might be another story.

He responds immediately by heading into what I’d happily argue could be the album’s best song.  Instantly diving back into a more gentle atmosphere & displaying the range of sound you’ll find on Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2, the piano-led melody of “State Of Consciousness (Redux)” is definitely my jam.  If you dig on songs like “Auto Rock” or “Friend Of The Night” from that era of Mogwai’s music, you’ll find a similar vibe in this tune your ears will certainly appreciate…that whole mix of mysticism, curious sound, intensive grooves, and enticing melody…it’s all here on “State Of Consciousness (Redux)” and it’s definitely a highlight cut on this sequel record.  As subtle as it is, the depth of sound and textures here are extraordinary…contributions like the synths and sax are again essential…the bass-lines supply the ultimate in controlled low-end grooves…every element of the music & what Glenn adds to it ends up with an opportunity & space in the structure to really make an impact.  It’s probably a close call for me between “State Of Consciousness (Redux)” and “Seize The Day (Redux)” to come later on in the lineup, in terms of what would probably be my favorite tune from the record.  I think mix-wise, “State Of Consciousness (Redux)” probably has a slight edge…either way, they’re both completely fantastic tunes and subtle melodies at the same time.  What I love about this particular cut, is that for what appears so gentle, gliding, smooth, and atmospheric on the surface, also really combines a low-end rhythm that continually connects and bonds all these elements of the melody together.  I always believe tunes like this deserve the extra-credit…at the end of the day, Glenn’s working in a mid-tempo range here, which is generally-speaking, always a tougher sell to the ears of the masses – but I can’t help but believe he’s got a song here that can break that stigma…“State Of Consciousness (Redux)”  sounds universally fascinating to me.  At the very least, it’s up there with the very best in his catalog.

A tune like “Abject Sentience (Redux)” could be in for more of a challenge upon repeat…it’ll depend on how you feel about the main hooks that drives this tune, because there’s quite a lot of’em inside of this three & a half-minute tune; it’ll flex & shape-shift a bit as the song plays on, but whether or not people respond to its repetitive hypnosis could be another story…I think it’s fair to say this might appeal to a more niche part of Glenn’s audience, like me.  Low-end rhythm again plays a massive role in the movement of this tune…the drums as well…awesome keyboard melodies inserted into the mix around the two-minute mark as “Abject Sentience (Redux)” begins to morph itself anew…as to whether or not this track does enough to change from its main-line melody to satisfy the people…I’m honestly not sure.  My gut’s telling me that with that one repetitive aspect of the music being featured so prominently, that a lot of the great attributes that line the walls of “Abject Sentience (Redux)” might get lost on listeners.  Not necessarily…just sayin’ it’s possible is all…at the end of the day, there’s something to be appreciated in the remarkable moment in time this song creates and how it still retains that immaculate ability to transport you out of your world and into Murawski’s…and you gotta admire that.  It might be more stoic than some of the rest, but it’s another true audio-journey…all Glenn’s music truly is – and just like the rest of the material on Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2, you’ll find he succeeds in that respect yet again in the inventive combination of sounds he’s woven into the fabric of “Abject Sentience (Redux).”

“Seize The Day (Redux)” has a real epic magnificence to it…majestic like…awe inspiring in many ways, considering how mammoth the scope of sound, ideas, and artistic ambition are combined into this tune.  At times tender, at others bold – “Seize The Day (Redux)” contains some of the most powerful emotions inside of any melody you’ll find throughout this particular set…almost like something out of The Cure’s catalog from the Disintegration-era…which is more than cool with me.  You get that mix of Post-Rock-meets-Post-Punk on this tune, not to put too fine a point on it…because to really to listen to this track, is to marvel at the level of heavy sincerity & emotion you’ll find in this music and how much of a grip it will truly put on you.  Like I was saying earlier in talking about “State Of Consciousness (Redux)” – “Seize The Day (Redux)” gives it a solid run for its money for the top-spot honors of what could be my favorite cut from this record.  I love the drama and uniqueness you’ll find on “Seize The Day (Redux)” – even if there’s a comparable vibe to something like Mogwai or The Cure within a sound like this, the presentation here is all-Glenn, all-day…he’s owning this track with controlled confidence, and he sounds remarkable as a result.  Which you see, dear readers, dear friends…that’s why it’s so hard to choose between the two songs I’ve pinned-down to my top-contenders here, because by the time I get to this point & I’m half into listening to “Seize The Day (Redux),” I’m convinced it IS my favorite, all over again.  Like, c’mon people…the punch of the drums coming back in from the break around the 2:30 mark is the kind of moment you should be waiting & hoping to hear come through your speakers – that’s awesome.

Adding some edge to his melodic & atmospheric ways, “Lament” chops itself to a decisively engaging finale for Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2.  The violins that start this song up are absolutely STUNNING…hearing that moment for the first time sent chills right down my spine; to hear “Lament” liven-up in such a colorful & different direction than where I would have originally thought Glenn might go with this track makes for one of the best surprises you’ll find on the record.  Smart electro-elements in the atmosphere, essential saxophone moments yet again…all-in-all, a highly effective & engaging song that works the hypnotic-element in a way that comes out better suited to this particular idea & vibe than what he’d previously gone for with “Abject Sentience (Redux)” earlier on.  It’s another cut with such vibrant sound & hooks to it, that I’d be willing to bet that it’s got the power to pull anyone in to have a listen…ain’t no doubt about the amount of crunchy & catchy groove you’ll find on this final tune.  Dig the way “Lament” shifts itself from such an eerie & beautiful opening and transforms so fluidly to include the bright & crunchy guitar hooks to follow.  Again, you probably won’t see this one coming at first – but you’ll be stoked on what you find…”Lament” puts an energetic & enchanting final spin into Revisions And Remasters:  Volume 2 and delivers on a vibe that’ll have you wanting to repeat the record.

Stoked to hear what the future holds for this guy…he’s capable of a great many things and I have the feeling we’re still in for the best yet to come from Glenn Murawski…which in itself is pretty remarkable considering how awesome this dude is already.  Keep this artist on your radar – and on your playlists.

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