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Mixed Signals

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Album Review

As a general rule of thumb, remix collections revisit the efforts of electronic musicians, a label which does not fit instrumental moodscape unit Tristeza at all — even their very name suggests a melancholy and haunting beauty which does not adhere to the conventional high-energy principles of electronic sound. Such contradictions make Mixed Signals as fascinating as it is frustrating: the opportunity to truly reinvent selections from 2000's Dream Signals in Full Circles is far greater than in most remix contexts, because the songs were never specifically written for electronic treatment. The Teutonic blips and breakbeats that now underscore tracks like Diagram of Suburban Chaos' take on "I Am a Cheetah" steer Tristeza's original performances in unexpected new directions. The problem is the same underscoring many remix collections: Even the most unique interpretations lack legitimate reasons for existence. It's undeniably intriguing in concept to imagine Windy & Carl taking a shot at "Opiate Slopes," and the resulting ambient drift is arguably Mixed Signals' most beautiful moment, but it all seems somehow quite unnecessary.


Formed: 1997 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Known as much for their consistent touring as their prolific output, San Diego's instrumental rock quintet Tristeza formed in 1997. Guitarists Jimmy LaValle and Christopher Sprague, keyboardist Stephen Swesey, bassist Luis Hermosillo, and drummer Jimmy Lehner came together after playing in bands like the Locust, Crimson Curse, Swing Kids, and Gogogo Airheart, among others, and recorded their debut 7", Foreshadow/Smoke Through Glass, soon after. In promotion of the single, Tristeza toured three times,...
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Mixed Signals, Tristeza
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