Various Artists – Alter

Hold your horses, people, Alter is not a new Knut album. Rather, it is a collection of remixes from experimental/noise/electronic artists hand-picked by the band. The remixed tracks span the four Hydra Head releases by Knut, and the collaborators include Dalek, JK Broadrick, Mick Harris, KK Null, and a ton more.

Of all the different types of compilations (label comps, tributes, etc.) remix compilations are absolutely the worst. Label comps aren’t too bad, especially if the label in question has a unique, diverse, and quality line up of artists. Tributes are, if nothing else, interesting to hear and occasionally have some really solid covers on them. But when it comes to remix compilations, especially comps loaded with experimental/noise artists, the listener is lucky not to have hearing damage once the experience is over.

Alter is no different. Results range from bad to horrible to unlistenable. Dalek, JK Broadrick, and Mick Harris momentarily provided hope for this compilation, but even their tracks are way off the mark. What the hell is a remix anyway? Most of these tracks are so cut-up and effects-laden that they aren’t even recognizable as Knut songs (and that’s coming from someone who has two albums and an EP worth of Knut sitting around his house).

It is understood that there is obviously a market for this sort of thing, but unless you are a super-huge fan of one of the collaborators on this album or of experimental noise in general, there can’t be much reason for you to spend money on this. Fans of Knut, unless you feel you need everything Knut is ever involved in, be wary of this release.