Mikkeller with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
SINGLE HOP REMIX [6.9%] by MIKKELLER
EXPERIMENTAL REMIXES by THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION
Ah! Mikkeller, the finest brewer this side of Mos Eisley Space Port. Arguably, Mikkeller is my favourite brewery: see bottles of Mikkeller in a shop and I’ve got to buy them; see Mikkeller on draught in pub and I’ve got to drink it until all my money is gone or I get asked to leave – politely or otherwise. In 2010 Mikkeller realised more unique beers than any other brewer on the planet – probably even the whole solar system – and although I was only lucky enough to sample a few of them I’m sure they all tasted absolutely [insert your favourite descriptive swear word here] delicious.
ATTENTION SCUM: Single Hop Remix isn’t actually brewed my Mikkeller – it is merely me being a bit of a nob/dude [delete as applicable] and mixing together some Centennail, Citra, Simcoe and Amarillo… but you’d already worked that out.
The Single Hop series is a collection of IPAs all brewed to the same ABV of 6.9% and, as the name suggest, they are all brewed using only one hop. I believe there are currently 15 Single Hops in the series but sadly Fuggles has yet to make an appearance – I guess even the brewing prowess of Mikkel Borg Bjergsø has limitations.
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Single Hop Remix pours a pleasant yellow to orange colour – much like the colour a glass of Irn Bru has turned when you’ve lost it behind the curtains for a long weekend and the sun has given it a bit of a battering.
The nose is a crazy and hypnotic blend of fresh fruit. It’s after hours at the Fragagogo Bierkeller & Juice Bar and the staff are mixing it up big time: lemons and limes and lychees, granny smith and golden delicious apples, pineapple and pau pau, mango and mandarin pulp and it’s all been whizzed up with a teaspoon or two of manuka honey and a sprinkling of freshly fallen pine needles.
The initial burst of flavour is a seductive fruit det kolde bord that naughtily tricks your taste buds into thinking your five-a-day quota has been fulfilled with just a couple of sumptuous gulps. Behind the fruit blast is an oily bitterness that brings to mind warmed-up cannabis oil (not that I’ve ever indulged in such killer mind bending pursuits). Give the beer a good slosh around and you a joyful rush of lemonade laced with sherbet but the sweetness has been tempered with a bit of tree sap and conifer trimmings. The finish is a very strong and substantial bitterness – much like you’d expect from the first super-strength espresso of the morning.
I regret to report that I’m not experienced enough in the ways of the hop to say which of the 4 I blended together was the prominent but I do believe that it was a definite case of the sum being greater than the parts. A very tasty and worthwhile remix.
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I’ve never really managed to get into Jon Spencer and his Blues Explosion buddies. Yeah, I sort of admire his crazy art-blues psuedo-psychobilly trip but after listening to him freaking out for a few minutes I always find myself thinking: “Jeez, dude, just chill out a bit. Stop trying way too hard to appear all whacky and zany – you don’t always have to come across like you are channelling a space-age-delta-blues-hipster-priest-Elvis-impersonator … or do ya?”
So… what the hell am I doing pairing a JSBX LP with the mighty Mikkeller and why did I even buy the album? I bought it cos it was cheap. And the artwork looked cheap. And it had ‘lo-fi’ proudly written on the front cover. All justifiable reasons on their own. But I think the clincher was the fact that a one of the tracks had been remixed by GZA The Genius of the Wu-Tang Clan. Round about that time I came across Experimental Remixes (circa 1997) I was being heavily seduced by GZA’s Liquid Swords, and, to a certain extent, various other outpourings by the assembled cast of the Wu-Tang Clan. I’m still not a huge fan of Hip Hop but like all genres of music if it is handled by people who understand the true power and source of music then it can give birth to some outstanding creations – Liquid Swords by GZA is one such creation. The other remixers involved in the project – Unkle, Mike D & Beck, Dub Narcotic and Moby – were all interesting enough that I considered it was worth probably worth a punt…
It is an out and out lager-cold classic! Considering it made up of tracks remixed by several different dudes who all bring their own brand of insanity to the mix it does hang together perfectly. It’s one of those albums that if you stick it on repeat for half a dozen plays you’ll have announced “no, actually, this is my favourite track” 36 times. BUT if I have to choose an absolute favourite then I’d probably opt for Dub Narcotic’s Soul Typecast – it’s almost the greatest dance song of all time but it’s bonkers slightly off-kilter rhythm means despite your best intentions you just can’t get into the groove that’ll see you busting your finest moves and that’s what makes the song so freaking specila. Yup, that’s my absolute fav… oh! hold on the Moby track has just started… All 6 tracks are fantastic and perfect bedfellows for each other
Meester Spencer, to my ears, your music might be very much on the annoying side but it lends itself very well to being bastardised by other people – cheers for that.
I believe that there is newer version of this LP that contains quite a few extra tracks but I’ve never bothered investing in it: you can’t surpass perfection.
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all photography by landells except Experimental Remixes