A remix companion record should be a mandatory requirement for all releases. As a further perspective on the artist’s tastes / state of mind and as an introduction to new artists, the remix collection can be a noteworthy take-off point from an artist’s original statement. This remix EP is the result of several hand-picked, restrictionless invitations to four of Me Lost Me’s (Jayne Dent) electronic music producing peers.
Jen Mac’s recent move from traditional genres into electronics has given her solo work a joyfully ‘up’ sense of experimentation, and that’s continued here in her mix of “Sing To The Sun”. Starting with a rhythmic pound and clatter that runs alongside Dent’s vocals, the remix quickly opens a portal to a neon-splashed hyperpop take on the original. Sticking with the song’s original melodic structure, Mac twists and turns the musical ideas as she glitches in and out of dayglo while keeping the song on the rails.
The AJA remix of “The Circle Dance” starts with the song already deconstructed, this version’s apocalyptic digital boom shaking the components as they lie on the soldering board. The song’s original woodwind parts are smeared across the record as an undertow of synthetic recurring drone waves. AJA voltrons the original piece into a shifting mercury form, a liquid metallic sound where it’s simultaneously a rolling ball of scrap and a shining Decepticon.
The sleekest mix here, Jennifer Walton’s take on “Binoculars”, also comes with the clearest ‘club’ mindset. With an early push of forward momentum, Walton weaves Dent’s vocals around layers that are building to the beat drop. Even before it really kicks in, there’s palpable energy and hands in the air-ness as the track widens and engulfs instead of exploding. At just over 5 minutes long, and with the beat not really appearing till 3 minutes in, it’s both an outstanding take and criminally short.
With an initial atmospheric bed of disembodied vocals, Mariam Rezai takes “Sing To The Sun” to the hitherto undiscovered space between Tim Hecker and Vangelis. The combination of Dent’s vocals stretched and manipulated into synth like tones under her own unadorned main vocal line is an uneasy juxtaposition. Drawing existential dread up and around the original song’s panoramic hope while retaining the vocal and lyrics is an achievement. It’s a lot more restrained than just turning the spook factor up too, Rezai’s sounds becoming a dark cradling. Rounding the remix off in overload and buzz, Rezai froths the rest of the time left into a Merzy mess of flagellating switches of static.
A remix record that leaves the listener both with a couple of artists to check out further and an interest in seeing further collaboration shows how on point Me Lost Me’s selections were; this is a perfectly handled collaborative compilation.