Shades of post-punk surrealism are met with hypnotic, somewhat ambient textures as the bassline in “The Noise” remix of “Call My Name” thrusts back and forth, pulverizing the distant percussion with its unimaginable weight. Regardless of where the volume knob sits on your stereo, you aren’t going to stop the physicality of the bass that draws up a foundation for this mix of ooberfuse’s latest composition. Singer Cherrie Anderson’s voice is the only light in this dark, gloomy environment where tonality plays a villainous role in creating as much tension as would be possible within a three minute club song. As intimidating a listen as it can be, it’s got a magnetizing quality that seems to be a bit of a theme among all of the Call My Name remixes that I’ve heard, from the chiming “Hal St John Radio Edit” to the rather muted “Paul Kennedy Radio Edit” and its fiercely indie music video. Ooberfuse have made one heck of a summer melody here, and in these different versions of it we get to see just how talented the British twosome of Anderson and St John really are.
There’s more of an alternative/punk influence in the construction of the “Hal St John Radio Edit,” “Patrik Kambo Radio Edit” and “Push The Frequency Festival Mix” than there is in “The Noise” and “Paul Kennedy Radio Edit,” which lean more exclusively on the electronic tones in ooberfuse’s sound. The mashup of styles doesn’t create any sort of disfluency in the harmonies as we go from one track to the next, but instead makes the entire record feel like a picture window into the band’s history, and more explicitly, the roots of their music.
There’s a little bit of The Cure in the St John remix, perhaps a touch of Kraftwerk in “The Noise,” a dash of strange, Massive Attack-like eccentrics in the “Push The Frequency Festival Mix,” and even a brutish, Ministry-esque industrialism to Kambo’s radio edit (spare the vocal track, that is). I listen to Call My Name and I can’t help but hear bits and pieces of the European underground spanning well over the last four decades, and that’s not something that I see very often as a critic, if ever at all.
Aside from a few minor speedbumps on the soundboard side of the glass, Call My Name is an excellent collection of masterfully made remixes from ooberfuse and their collaborators, Paul Kennedy and Patrik Kambo. These tracks are more than experimental enough to keep the eclectic electropop and ambient fans happy over the summer season while still boasting a streamlined production quality that, I believe, will get a few of them some time on the radio in both the UK and the United States this year. Call My Name is full of richly evocative, heterogeneous harmonies that are anything but easy to come by in 2019, and even if it doesn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know about ooberfuse, it essentially confirms everything that their biggest fans in the media were already well aware of.