Minus The Bear's records are frequently steeped in atmospherics and peppered with some serious prog-rock tendencies. Their most recent full-length, "Menos El Oso", was heavy on samples and their live set finds guitarist David Knudson playing his pedals more frequently than his guitar, hunkered over the side of the stage, syncopated and spastic. As the band transforms, this record achieves that rare remix goal of presenting an already esteemed record in an entirely new light.
The Seattle-based band Minus the Bear already mixes electronics and edgy rock-based sounds, so it makes sense that they'd get the reissue treatment; Interpretaciones
finds their 2005 album Menos el Oso
chopped and re-grooved. Most of the remixers choose to highlight the atmospheric ambient side of the band that usually percolates in the background, and it works surprisingly well. Of course, the most successful remixes often have only a tangential relationship to the original, and often seem like excuses for someone to make a bunch of fun noise on top of something else (and then get paid for it). Aphex Twin and Kevin Shields mastered the art of this in the '90s (and presumably were too expensive/ not available for this project) and Dark Baby's Nintendo-64-cut-and-paste-funk remix of "Hooray" and Morgan from the Blood Brothers' lovely, minimalist Robert-Wyatt-meets-Takemura take on "Pig War" likewise fit that mold. They use MTB's moody post-rock as the basis for something totally different and new. --Mike McGonigal