Review: The Sm Corporation – Hammer ’86


Good music cares little for time or place and nor should it’s admirers. So when ‘Hammer’ by The SM Corporation re-emerged via Shock World Service last year it hardly mattered that the original recording was made in 1986. The music easily withstood the test of time and with remix duties shouldered by JD Twitch (Optimo) and Great Lakes Mystery it even found new avenues and ambitions. A dystopian electronic love song, ‘Hammer’ remains poignant in its original state but with a new digital remix package having surfaced just last week, its worth appraising the new ground it is covering and the potential for enjoyment its new listeners stand to procure.

The package comprises of seven distinctive electronic adventures. Five of which take onus from the aforementioned ‘Hammer’ leaving room for Sawbones (one half of Padded Cell) to reimagine ‘Don’t Tell Me Lies’ twice. There really is something for every taste on this collection, which is a genuine testament to the quality of the original versions. The JD Twitch and Great Lakes Mystery remixes are present again, as is the ‘1986 Vocal’ version. Bountifully added is the ‘1986 Dub’, which has already received plaudits and plays from Trevor Jackson, Veronica Vasicka and Philip Sherburne of Pitchfork. The dub version hones in on the instrumental parts making it sublime provender for early morning gratuity. Dark and brimming with expectation, it salutes the night and calls for instant undertaking. In contrast ‘The Person Mix’ requires more attention to appreciate its finer points. A broken rhythm causes for a new viewpoint to be considered and colours the original parts in a whole new light. Rounding things off, Sawbones fork in the road approach to ‘Don’t Tell Me Lies’ presents contrasting conclusions to a near similar theme. 

As remix packages go, one would be hard pressed to find something as well considered as this reissue. A fine tribute to The SM Corporation, their music is given fresh means to excite another generation of appreciators. Available now as a digital release, there is something on this EP to suit every mood and disposition.