I’ve got a second post for the evening, since I’m in the mood to get some music off my chest and onto a playlist, while perhaps recommending it to anyone who’s listening, as well as just offering a meditation onto myself. So this one might ramble a bit. But it should be worth the literary meander, since this is all music that just feels right and good.
This one comes from legendary and long-running DJ-producer-electronic music pioneer Sasha, who’s one of the earliest artists I took an interest in back during his “Northern Exposure” days with collaborator John Digweed. That era was quite glorious, full of progressive promise in the house and trance genres, providing a subtlety and nuance to a dance movement that was choking on clichés and gimmicks. At least, that’s how I remember it.
This track’s called “Vapour Trails,” and it’s remixed by Faroese-Icelandic duo Kiasmos, an experimental minimal techno outfit comprised of Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen.
“Vapour Trails (Kiasmos Remix)” from the 2017 album “Scene Delete: The Remixes.”
The original track comes from Sasha’s 2016 mainly ambient album “Scene Delete,” a.k.a “Late Night Tales presents Sasha: Scene Delete.” And as one might guess, it’s also instrumentally beatless, for the most part, as well as symphonically moving, full of spatial atmosphere and exotic texture.
“Vapour Trails” from the 2016 album “Scene Delete,” a.k.a. “Late Night Tales presents Sasha: Scene Delete.”
I chose the remix version because it rightly caught my ear, the other day, while I was stuck in traffic trying to make my way back to L.A. from Northern California. The main passage to Los Angeles, I-5’s Grapevine was snowed over, so I had to use an alternate route, one which transformed a six hour drive into nearly double the time. Not my favorite moment, for sure. But it did offer me the opportunity to listen to a lot of un-listened to music. Hence, the Kiasmos remix of Sasha’s “Vapour Trail.”
I guess this track also reminds me of British electronic act Bonobo, who’s one of my favorites for ambient world beats and downtempo dance grooves. Although Sasha’s got that in spades, the credit here goes to Kiasmos, who restructured this chill-out track into a lush, laid-back, downtempo progressively rhythmic excursion.
Plus, it really calmed my nerves when the imminent frustrations and fantasy road rage, due to the miles and miles and miles of endless post-Xmas bumper-to-bumper traffic, started to intrude upon my normally mellow demeanor. So that’s a good thing.
And since I mentioned Bonobo, I stumbled upon a Bonobo remix of a Kiasmos track titled “Blurred.” The original version provides some solid context to the duo’s remix of Sasha’s “Vapour Trail.” Bonobo’s remix actually injects a bit more tempo, crafting a soothing bit of energetic house that’s a bit more vertically minded than the lounge-minded grooves of the original.
Here’s both the original and the Bonobo remix.
“Blurred” from the 2017 EP “Blurred.”
“Blurred (Bonobo Remix)” from the 2017 EP “Blurred.”
I’m going to wrap this up with another Kiasmos remix, “Notte senza fine,” from Italian-based DJ-production duo Tale of Us. Again, Kiasmos adds a minimal techno rhythm to a primarily ambient track. In this case, though, I think the original’s beatless rendition tends to be the alpha, in terms of aural levity, while the remix softens it a bit, crafting a more subdued groove with reflective layers of textural warmth. All in all, great stuff all around.
Here’s both the Kiamos remix and the original of Tale of Us’ “Notte sense fine.”
“Notte senza fine (Kiasmos Remix)” from the 2017 album “Endless (Remixes).”
“Notte senza fine” from the 2017 album “Endless.”
Tale of Us: