The original On The Edge EP – four tracks of hyperactive bass-heavy dubstep – came out in September last year, and after a decent sized gap, here come the remixes which, as much as anything, serve as an introduction to the other artists on the Invisible Agent label. Given that the remixing duties is kept in house, as it were, the presumption might have been that the tracks wouldn’t differ much from the original but, thankfully, there is plenty of variety within to chew upon.
The title track has the lion’s share, with four versions doing battle for supremacy; the opening 2Bit remix is arguably the best, stripping away the excess bombast, pitching down the tempo and letting the rolling bass line take centre-stage. There’s a drop of epic length midway through, just to ratchet up the tension. By way of contrast, John Dalton’s remix opts for a heads down, relentless techno kick drum to drive the track along; little hints of italo-disco piano trouble the ears at the extreme outskirts of the stereo pan before a lurching synth line kicks in like a bulldozer knocking down an animal shelter; impressively powerful but not entirely pleasant.
On the whole, though, it’s not a bad collection – the remixes are far enough away from the original to make this worth investigating even if you weren’t particularly impressed by Swarm Intelligence‘s initial efforts. If you’re of the opinion that remix packages are a fairly pointless exercise then this won’t change your mind. Indeed the thought remains; why have four remixes of one track when you could have four new tracks as a label sampler? But those looking for something a little different to lob into a DJ set could do a lot worse than picking up this collection. (Jeremy Bye)