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After the underground success and acclaim for The Silence Between Phrases, it was perhaps inevitable that Afternoons In Stereo might follow up the album with a remix project. A half-year in the making, the project is finally here!
Rephrased: The Silence Between Phrases Remixed And Reimagined is an album-length collection of remixes and reworks of every individual track from the original studio album. Sequenced in the same playing order, the collection plays as a unique alternate version of the original album. Featuring a host of artists from within the ranks of Timewarp, Royal Soul, and Kraak Records as well as a discerning selection of new talent, this is an exciting an innovative exploration of Afternoons In Stereo’s latest work by some of today’s most creative producers.
Things begin with an extended edit of the lead track, Cloud Forest. Produced by Afternoons In Stereo himself, the 2-minute intro is expanded to full length -- taking it from the original’s Polynesian funk and island-friendly percussion through a new middle breakdown of spacey trombone and guitar. We have a feeling that many listeners will be saying, “Wow – didn’t see that coming!”.
Promise, released as an advance single to the original album complete with it’s own set of remixes, gets the rework treatment once again courtesy of TWM. The side endeavor of producer and engineer Ron Elliott, who mixed and mastered the original ‘Phrases’ album, takes the original’s nujazz coloring into chilled-out downtempo territory, placing the vocal at the fore while retaining much of the original’s slinky sensuality and club-friendly vibe.
Brazil’s Phunk Dub & Zel bring their distinct production techniques to the challenge of reworking Hymn For Tunisia, the 9+ minute jazz magnum opus that is the centerpiece of the original ‘Phrases’ album. Boiled down and compacted, the duo bend and twist the instruments to their will while forging a version that maintains the original’s cinematic character and emphasis on soloing but also manages to introduce a dynamic, electro-infused element that pushes things in a whole new direction.
Athens-based DJ and producer George Bitsikas knew he wanted to remix The Mumakil the first time he heard it and there was never any doubt he was the man for the job, as evidenced here. Keeping the eerie tribal spirit and stomping thump of the original as the backbone, the reworking presses the track into a distinct dub-friendly palette before bursting forth in a kinetic fury of drum-&-bass during the breakdown.
Label honcho Timewarp Inc takes the reigns on remixing West End Satori, sidelining the original’s blaxploitation grooves in favor of a more contemporary nu-disco treatment. Re-contextualized, the flute flutters and the harpsichord hops in a whole new way, and an extended new keyboard solo grooves like nobody’s business! A perfect simmer for lounges and patios, this one has all the hallmarks of a classic Timewarp production.
The collection’s momentum reaches it’s ass-shaking apex with Funky Destination’s thundering take on El Puma, aimed squarely at the dancefloor! A booming 4/4 house beat and an infectious bassline anchor an extensive 7-minute club workout. The original track’s funky El Barrio flavor weaves it’s way in and out like a familiar memory while the new version pushes more and more, harder and harder. The intensity of this track will have dancefloors on fire!
Trotter is well known in his native Brazil for his uplifting poolside funk. Afternoons In Stereo remixed his track ’77 Game’ for his Feeling EP on Royal Soul), and here he returns the favor as he takes the penthouse groove of Party At Mimi And Dick’s and weaves it into a contemporary pastiche of funked-up breakbeat. The original’s solos linger in the background until called to the fore, while the whole affair is given a lounge-friendly polish that is irresistible.
As much a cover-version as it is a remix, newcomer Johavi takes The Art Of Dolby to new heights. Re-recording almost all of the original instruments, he deftly maintains the original’s homage to the titular electro pioneers while bringing his own unique instrumentation into the mix. A more electro-based character emerges as synths and arpeggiators give way to glorious piano and heavenly choirs. Intense, sensual, and haunting!
Kraak Records has just released the debut album by Kanada, ‘Morphology’. Steeped in layers of soft ambient textures and cinematic underpinnings, the artist perhaps seems an unlikely match to remix Amalfi Coast. The end result testifies to otherwise, however, as the original’s warm lounge groove is turned on it’s ear and given a lonely, late-night reworking that is both quiet and evocative. A poignant and unique alternate version.
Things conclude with the Juniper Grid and his remix of Outro. Encouraged to let his creativity literally run free, the producer rises to the challenge. The result is a gorgeous reinvention of the closing track that recasts it as a downtempo exercise in fractured electronica. Check the halfway mark where the track gloriously rises into the clouds in a final burst of ephemeral beauty.
released 18 February 2011
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