Royal Trux and Ariel Pink: Pink Stuff

Given the eclecticism of White Stuff, Royal Trux’s first full-length album of new material in nearly two decades, the remixing of a handful of the album’s songs by none other than the progenitor of hypnagogic pop himself, Ariel Pink, makes perfect sense, and the timing couldn’t be better. The obviously-titled Pink Stuff arrives while Ariel kills time between 2017’s excellent Dedicated to Bobby Jameson and his next studio album, and while Royal Trux find themselves doing only God knows what after having canceled their North American tour.

Pink Stuff opens with a dreamy take on “Suburban Junky Lady”. Utilizing sustained synths and plodding percussion, Pink’s version makes for an awkward opener. The already short “Year of the Dog” is cut in half and served up at an ultra-frenetic pace that, at just over one minute in length, feels cartoonish. “Get Used to This”, one of White Stuff’s standout moments, turns out to be Pink Stuff’s finest track. Here, Pink puts Kool Keith’s vocals front and center as he raps over a stuttering groove, a thumping bass drum, and Neil Michael Haggerty’s wailing guitar. Pink’s “White Stuff” remix doesn’t stray far from the original and is perhaps the song least altered. The ephemeral remix EP is concluded with “Whopper Dave”, a track that wasn’t all that exciting initially, and alas, Pink’s treatment does little to improve it.

Ariel Pink fans can’t be blamed for sitting this one out as the remixed content herein offers no hints as to what he may have up his sleeve for any forthcoming project(s). On the other hand, Royal Trux completists, who may not have been familiar with Pink’s work up to this point, will at least benefit from the introduction and would be wise to utilize the time between Hagerty and Herrema’s next move to explore Ariel Pink’s vast and varied discography of the last twenty-plus years.

Rating: 5.0/10

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