ALBUM: ‘Desire (願う) – R E M I X E S’ – Spazzkid

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We all know how it goes: A good remix is when you take a part or parts of a song, splice them, and make something entirely new out of them. As Tim Chester of NME puts it, “Few techniques yield as wide a range of results as remixing.” Sometimes they sound only vaguely similar to the original, sometimes they’re unrecognizable. One bad (although seldom true or often refuted) logic is that remixes are products of sloth, which we can leave to the audiences to dispute or prove. Intriguingly, accolades have been created specifically for the distinct ‘art’ of remixing. And while recognitions aren’t always tantamount to greatness (say, David Guetta already won two Grammys), it’s still worthy to note exceptional renditions that trump the lousy ones.

But maybe all of that are neither here nor there, because we are in the SoundCloud era where talent lies in the unlikeliest of places. Who really cares if one is a remix of another, when it sounds so gorgeously put-together, even sometimes, far better than the original? Daft Punk remixed their own song, “Get Lucky”, for reasons that are maybe beyond self-gratification, to put it simply. And while it’s not exactly exclusive or an observed practice for a lot of electronic artists, there’s a vast and growing library of reinterpretations and re-recordings, both of past and present music. And as said, not all are great or justify their originals, but nevertheless, they hold a certain level of interest.

All of these are certainly nothing new to Spazzkid, as he himself already made two remix albums before in his Bandcamp, one in 2009, and another in 2012 – all songs from local artists. Only two months ago, his summer outing, Desire, was released both in analog and digital formats. While we are still hung up from his best sounding album to date (we can all agree on that), Desire (願う) – R E M I X E S was released. The result of course, needless to say, was exquisite. It’s as if the record’s stems were scattered like seeds around the world and were waiting to be picked, grown, tendered, until it blooms into aesthetically effectual beings of their own. There is no lazing around, but more like, a flawless glide around the elements that are already there and then combining the seams.

As vibrant and colorful as the album cover is, so does each story of every reworked song that ultimately made this collection euphoric and thoughtful at its best.

“Candy Flavored Lips” goes from bo en’s tropical lounge dance treatment to SimilarObjects’ tantric rework, with Skymarines’ hypnotic vocals made more liquefied and druggy. “Loving Free” surprisingly makes a revelation as a fancy house track from electronic producer TELEPHOBIA, tinged with daydream synths (abundantly displayed in Saint Pepsi’s closing track) and filtered in nostalgic retro daze in the hands of WASTED NIGHTS. House music gets another second life from Justin De Guzman’s remix of ”40 Winks,” while Tyord gives his own sobering equivalent of the track. “Getting To Know You” is of course, meant to be a peppy opener, just resonated twice as eager in two of its interpretations (sun a’s and PARKGOLF’s)

The most polarizing rework belongs to “If Not You Then Who”: there’s the escapist remix from Hotwax, minimalist sonic punch from SVNDAZE, and clacking urban take from Touurs. “Marquez” and “Forgiveness”, engaging and enigmatic enough as they already are, get favorable lush remixes from KEV//BOT and Thompost, respectively. The able hands of Tarsius’ Diego Mapa, KEATS//COLLECTIVE’s DINOSAURUS REX, and mus.hiba dress “Kokeshi Doll’ with such subtlety, thus bringing it to its prime and most oriental form.

Suffice to say, this remix album is indeed a “clear aesthetic reflection of both its origin and contributors”. Not only were the interpretations sound equally crafted, they also expand each song into a wider and different horizon than its initial course, bearing more promise yet resembling the same synergy when it was first created.

Rating: A-

As cross-published in Vandals on the Wall

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