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  Spiegel im Spiegel  
  My Education vs. Dälek  
  Thirty Ghosts  
Release Date:


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Back in 2005, i saw Dälek play a great show at The EARL, and between the opening act and their set, i had the chance to talk to Still and Oktopus, the two DJs in the band. They had a whole ton of CDs for sale, including a wide range of collaborations that Dälek had been working on. At the time, they talked to me about a recent collaboration they had done with post rockers My Education, which was very interesting to me, because i really enjoy that band as well. So i have been looking for a copy of this record ever since. It was not exactly easy to find, but i picked up a copy from My Education when i saw them at SxSW 08.

There are two songs on this 12" record. Nowhere on the disc does it tell you the speed that it should be played at. However, the vocals on the B-side only work at 45 RPM, so i guess that is the speed for both sides.

Spiegel im Spiegel on side A is My Education's interpretation of a piece composed by Arvo Pärt. I have only heard the name Arvo Pärt , and am not familiar with this person's (?) work. But that is what the Internet is for, and Wikipedia shows that Arvo Pärt is a twentieth century minimalist composer from Estonia. Apparently Spiegel im Spiegel is one of his more famous works, written for piano and violin.

I am not familiar with the original piece, but My Education's take on it is lovely. The centerpiece of their performance is, logically, the electric piano of Kirk Laktas and the viola of James Alexander. They both play nicely, but i think the rhythm section really helps make this song special. Scott Telles turns in a lovely yet subtle bass performance here. Also of special note is pedal steeliest (pedal steeler?) Chris Hackstie. I normally hate this instrument, but the subtle drone that he adds to the song is lovely.

Overall, it’s a really pretty tune. A little more purely classical and less post-rock that My Education normally do, but they pull it off remarkably well.

The b-side is the Deadverse Remix of Spiegel im Spiegel and it is an entirely different song, and by that i mean, it is a song like no other. It starts with some My Education style drone, and then a mangled beat comes in, driving the tune forward. After a several minutes of drone and intense rhythm, Dälek starts rapping his apocalyptic verses alongside it. His voice is never in the forefront, nor is it ever lost in the mix. His voice is just one instrument of many, a loping rhythm that comes out of his rhyming verse. After a few minutes, he stops, then a few minutes after that, the beat stops, and the song has a long slow fade out with what sounds like viola and piano delicately playing off one another. I listen to this, and all i can think is, "Wow". What a fascinating tune. It grows in fully strange and unique ways, and yet however unfamiliar those ways are, however surprising, they are not unnatural. It is simply a different type of organic growth. Magnificent.

So it may have taken me a long time to track this down, but i am very glad that i did. I cannot imagine that this will appeal to everyone, but i highly recommend it.

Related Links:

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Dälek website:
My Education MySpace:


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