I didn’t expect to wake up yesterday to find a 12-hour journey into the aural history of one of my favorite musical minds humbly sitting in my SoundCloud feed among label promos and home recorded demos — but whoa, here I am, and I’ve heard (almost) all of it. Keith Fullerton Whitman has been working sporadically on his “Greatest Hits” mix for almost 10 years; the result, presented here in a single jagged waveform across your screen, is one hundred “remixes” of “the most salient points of the pop music of [the artist’s] youth” slowed, processed, and abstracted into the sweetest droned-out disfigurements. Take a moment here and erase all the preconceptions planted by the “omg ‘Justin Bieber 800% Slower’ sounds like Sigur Ros or smthng lol” YouTube pop slowdowns of yesteryear. “Greatest Hits” treats us to a much more sonically hi-fi, conceptually ambitious half-day of pop deconstruction — deliberate in its pacing, diverse in its source material, wide in its tonal palette. Also, yeah, given the 10-year timeline of this project, I think we can safely say that KFW got there first, probably before anyone.
Is it worth sinking 12 hours of your short little life into? If you’re asking yourself this, I remind you that we’re dealing with Keith Fullerton fucking Whitman here. The man has the gear and the technical knowledge to process any sound into virtually any form he can imagine; he has a well-articulated personal/artistic motivation for this and all of his projects; he has a sense of quality control as strict and discerning as anyone else in his field; his taste, perhaps best exemplified by the music he chooses to stock in his Mimaroglu Music Sales distro, is better than yours. He will not steer you wrong.