Artist: The Remote
Title: Too Low To Miss
Label: GU Music
By: Nick Bower | 27 July 2006
  1. Pretty Girls Make Mothers
  2. She's Going Out Tonight
  3. Big Design
  4. Play It Rosa
  5. In Economy
  6. Creeps
  7. Right Meat
  8. Like You
  9. The Greatness Of Nothing
  10. Bream
  11. Lemonade
  12. Please Change Your Mind

The Remote "Too Low To Miss"The Remote "Too Low To Miss"

Out Now on GU Music

Following in the footsteps of Freeland and Hyper, Ashtrax's Ashley Casselle's latest musical project is a mutant dance/rock band - The Remote. With the help of his Ashtrax recording partner, James Christopher, Ashley has gathered together the collective talents of fellow dj/producer Azad Rizvi, vocalist/frontman character Ben Lost (previously featured on Ashtrax's -'Digital Reason') and musicians Cobra and Marcello.

'Too Low To Miss' offers a seamlessly programmed mix, taking you on a roadtrip through a multitude of musical genres. Serving up progressive house, breaks and electro with a good smattering of dark 80's influences (Visage, Japan, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode and New Order spring to mind). The album also crowbars into the mix obscure samples (courtesy of Ashley's second-hand dictaphone) alongside trashy guitar riffs and catchy vocals - some of which you find yourself humming even only after the first listen. Give the album a couple of spins and it sounds pretty comfortable, at times maybe a little too much so, like an album you've had for years. However, 'Too Low To Miss' still manages to pull off a fairly edgy and interesting sound. I still hear new things bubbling up out of this musical soup on each listen.

The glitchy, twitchy electro of 'Pretty Girls Make Mothers' opens 'Too Low To Miss'. Its dark spoken-word vocal, eerie synths and guitar make for a ominous introduction to the album. Cleverly, it leaves you slightly uncertain of what to expect next.

No need to worry. Effortlessly gathering tempo from the previous track and delivering swirling guitars and Hooky-esque basslines, the sing-along indie/dance hybrid of 'She's Going Out Tonight' counter-balances the moodiness of the opening track to good effect. This feeling is carried through to 'Big Design', which drops a pounding 4/4 beat, punchy electro stabs and once more a nod towards the sound of New Order's legendary bassist. However, we now also get to hear a very Steve Strange/Gary Numan style vocal from Ben Lost on this tune. Overall the combination of electronic and acoustic sounds compliment eachother well.

Dropping down into a shuffling Polefolder style break, 'Play It Rosa' skips into the mix with its squelchly bassline and Lost's vocals. To me this has some strong tinges of Underworld. Well, Underworld as they may have sounded if they were an electronic '80s New Romantic band. On the back of this 'In Economy' is probably one of the most indie-influenced tracks on 'Too Low To Miss'. A strong bass guitar riff runs throughout this heady, fast paced track backed by a prominent vocal from Lost. At times this has very strong undertones of Joy Division.

Bringing the tempo down a number of notches around the middle of 'Too Low To Miss' are 'Creeps' and 'Right Meat'. The former is the weaker of the two, a slow, swaggering track which at times shows some promising attitude but ultimately falls short of really making a proper impression. 'Right Meat' is a more unsettling, twisted affair. Ashley's samples of random sounds and an ascending/decending melody creating a giddy, almost sneeringly nightmarish quality.

Thanks to some clever programming (the previous two tracks being more downtempo in nature), 'Like You' assaults your senses like a mallet to the face. Sounding like the bastard offspring of David Bowie and Suede's Brett Anderson, Ben Lost delivers the most punky, sing-along track on the album with some gusto. Once the chorus and trashy guitar riff kick in it's hard not to get swept away by the sheer power of the tune.

'The Greatness of Nothing' is, for me, one of the best tunes on the album. Tight, pacey and punchy soundscape breaks, which wouldn't be out of place featured in a film soundtrack. The superb synth chime melody featured throughout the track has a beautifully organic feel to it - shifting and changing throughout the tune. This simply hangs together with a wailing lead guitar riff threading through it.

Opening with what sounds like a sample of a tube train, cleverly morphing into percussion, 'Bream' is a short cinematic segway from the epic sound of 'The Greatness Of Nothing' into the following track 'Lemonade. It works well too. On the first few listens I didn't like 'Lemonade' much - coming across more flat rather than sparkling. But actually it's really a bit of a grower. It's a slow, sultry track which conjures up images of a hot dusk in the city. All wrapped up in the bundle are some lovely spacial FX, warm synths and whispered vocal.

'Please Change your Mind' ends on a fitting note - summing up The Remote's soundclash of acoustic/electronic and 80's/present musical styles. Once more, Ben Lost's vocals paint an imaginative story which is interesting to follow and equally as catchy.

To sum up, 'Too Low To Miss' is a strange, but curious beast. Overall it gets the balance between showing off its blend of 80's electro and indie influences and new fresh electronic sounds just about right.

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