Sunday, October 4, 2015

Björk Marathon: The Remixes - Volta & Biophilia (Bastards)

I'll be straight up honest: I didn't like the Volta remixes. The remixed versions didn't sound too different from the studio versions. That or they were too annoyingly "busy" to be enjoyable. The only standout remixed song from Volta for me was "Wanderlust" (I loved it so much that I bought the "very very limited edition" LP package that includes 2 vinyls, stickers, 3D glasses, CD, and the music video!). Seriously, you can't beat the gorgeousness of the cover art for this one.

My favorite "Wanderlust" remixes are:

Wanderlust (Matthew Herbert Remix)

This is easily and instantly a very cool remix. I like the "stomping" sound of it, gives "Wanderlust" even more urgency.

Wanderlust (Ratatat Remix)

Now this one is amazing! It sounds darkly extraterrestrial in the beginning and then it's otherworldly optimistic with those skittering beats and this rift that sounds guitar-like. This remix has so much creativity, color, and character that it's pretty crazy and absolutely impressive.

Wanderlust (Mark Stent Instrumental)

Remixed by: Mark 'Spike' Stent 

I love this. Sweeping, gorgeous, and somehow even more powerful with just the instrumental.

Biophila was one beast of a project. Its remixes are no different. They're so beastly in fact that Björk did a remixed version of the album called Bastards. This makes it her only 2nd remixed album (the first one she did was Telegram, a remixed album for Post).

Many fans found Biophilia hard to get into. Bastards is more immediate, easier to connect with, catchier, and more upbeat. I love Bastards so much that honestly, I think it's better than the original! I love just about every remixed song on Bastards, but here are my most favorite:

Virus (Hudson Mohawke “Peaches and Guacamol” Rework)

This song's about love and you can just feel it in this remix. Absolutely beautiful!

Sacrifice (Death Grips Remix)

This is one of those remixes that makes you go "damn!" or "holy shit!" It's that good.

Mutual Core (These New Puritans Remix featuring Soloman Is. Song)

This remix is so rich in sound that it creates a universe and a story in your mind. And as the song progresses, it takes you even deeper into that universe and story that your mind created. Of all the Biophilia remixes, this one is the best. I just can't love it enough. It's so stunning.

 Mutual Core (Matthew Herbert’s “Teutonic Plates” Mix) 


As if this song isn't already awesome, this "Mutual Core" kicks ass.

Thunderbolt (Death Grips Remix)

This remix has character. It's crazy, mad, and very sexy.

Thunderbolt (Omar Souleyman Remix)

"Thunderbolt" with a Middle-Eastern/distinctively Arabic flavor. What's not to love about this?

Solstice (Current Value Remix) 

While the original "Solstice" is slower, this one takes off as something else entirely different, and it's extraordinary.

Moon (The Slips Remix)

While the original "Moon" might be too slow and dare I say boring, this "Moon" sounds like it came from the heavens! So stunning, ethereal, beautiful, and it just almost makes you want to dance!

Crystalline (Matthew Herbert Remix)

"Crystalline" is my least favorite song from Biophilia, but this "Crystalline" on Bastards is so good! It sounds aggressive and urgent but is softened by these beats that are crystal-like. Especially at the song's finish. It sounds like sparkling crystals are actually falling from the sky. What a nice touch!

Other Biophilia remixes that I love that were released separately are:

Hollow (Current Value Remix)

"Hollow" (next to "Dark Matter") is the most inaccessible track on Biophilia. This version is not only immediate, but even spookier-sounding than the original.

Cosmogony (Matthew Herbert Mix 1)

I felt that "Cosmogony" didn't need to be remixed because it's fine as is, but this is breathtaking. It sounds so "airy" as if "Cosmogony" is being sung in outer space and slowly landing on planet Earth.

 Cosmogony (Matthew Herbert Mix 2)

This "Cosmogony" is marching to its own beat and sounds electrifying while doing it. 

Thunderbolt (King Cannibal Remix)

This is 11-minutes of one fascinating remix of my favorite song from Biophilia.

Virus (Matthew Herbert's 'fever' Mix)

Another 11-minutes of divinity.  This "Virus" sounds eerie and more sensual. 

And lastly, Sacrifice (Matthew Herbert's Pins and Needles Remix)

* Only one section of this remix was included in Bastards. This is Matthew's remix in its entirety.

This is the most powerful song on Biophilia. Matthew Herbert's remixes are always the best, usually so ethereal and sensual. Something about this one is extra special. It's layered with glitchy, sparkly, and cinematic beats that somehow makes "Sacrifice" even more powerful and moving. 

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