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Album Review

Having released two CDs of his low-key, charming electronic/experimental work, Fingernail invited in some friends on a remix project, resulting in the aptly titled Remixes. The originals themselves, taken mostly from So, Backwards, aren't identified, but simply described as "a song by Fingernail" remixed by the artist in question. Participants range from cult names like Accelera Deck (here called Exhalera Deck for whatever reason) and Flowchart to lesser-known friends and fellow travelers like Tleilaxu. Adam DiAngelo's musical hero Kurt Ralske makes an appearance as well in his Cathars guise, a nice tip of the hat back. The end results certainly don't hurt if the original material is known to the listener, but as a stand-alone experience Remixes is a success, in ways acting as a sampler for a variety of folks working around the same core material. Some end results emphasize the crunching, distorted beats derived from the likes of Aphex Twin, while others pursue their own mysterious, drony path. More than a few cuts sound like people have been listening to Bowery Electric, if not earlier groups like Seefeel. That Fingernail as a project fits so easily into both perceived scenes gives a sense as to DiAngelo's own creativity, but the focus here is just as much on the mixers, who introduce often subtle changes to the original pieces. Among the highlights, Junior Varsity KM, easily a soulmate of Fingernail in general, peps up his contribution to make a delightful, fast-paced little groover that retains the shady, gently dark sense of Fingernail's own work. Quasimojo's effort starts off calmly enough before introducing a wonderfully dirty and distorted series of rhythms, the merry central melody of the piece still floating along through it all. Fingernail himself adds the final touch on a self-remix, making for a quiet conclusion to a fine collection.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s

Born Adam DiAngelo, Fingernail is one of the many defiantly independent artists around the turn of the century taking full advantage of technological advances and a suitably less clannish underground music scene to make his own fine, hard to categorize efforts. Philadelphia-based, he steers his own particular way, working alone at home with additional instruments to flesh out his modern electronic compositions. In both sound and approach, he's won comparisons to many Warp Records stalwarts such as...
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Versions, Fingernail
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