I’ve been a big fan of Jo Quail’s music since I heard her playing live some years ago. Jo uses an electric cello and live looping to build up intricate, spell-binding music. A little while ago I approached her after one of her shows and asked her if she’d be willing to let me remix one of her tracks. I figured she might be a bit wary of letting some random guy have a go at remixing her beautiful music, so I’d prepared a bit of a spiel about what I’d done previously so that I could reassure her that her music would be in safe hands. But before I’d even got started she said, “yeah, go for it!” So that was that.
I’ve remixed two tracks from Caldera, her second album: Laurus and Jhanoem the Witch. I’m honoured that she has allowed me to remix them, and thrilled to see them released today.
Caroline Jago is the composer and multi-instrumentalist behind Seventh Harmonic and Shadow Biosphere. We hadn’t met before, but a few weeks ago she sent me a nice message on SoundCloud. She mentioned that she’d be open to collaborations, and since I’ve done a couple of remixes and enjoyed the process I suggested that I might remix one of the tracks from Garden of Dilmun.
As it happens, that was something that I had been thinking about even before Caroline got in touch. I’ve been familiar with Seventh Harmonic for some time, having seen them playing live at shows in London on a couple of occasions, and one of the things that has always struck me about their music is how dense the sound is. I’m someone who leaves a lot more space in my music, so I’d wondered what they might sound like with a more open mix. So that’s part of what I’ve attempted to achieve with my remix of Mneme.
I love doing remixes because it’s an opportunity to learn deeply about how other people write music. I’ve always worked on my own, so I only know my own way of making music. But when I do a remix I’m always struck by how differently other people approach melody and the structure of their tracks. Like many electronic musicians, I’m perpetually afflicted by loopitis, and remixing has shown me how musicians that I admire avoid that trap.
This month marks Garden of Dilmun’s fifth anniversary, so I was very pleased that this remix could be part of that celebration.
In addition to my obvious love for the genres of martial industrial and dark ambient, I’m also rather partial to a bit of EBM and futurepop. One of the finest musicians in those genres is Stefan Poiss of mind.in.a.box and THYX. So when he offered remix kits to anyone who wanted to make a remix, I jumped at the chance and made a rather Hands of Ruin-ish mix of Black Hole.
I was hoping (and I think he was too) that the remix album would come out sooner. When it does, I’m optimistic that my mix will be on it. But in the meantime, I want to share something of what I did. This is the instrumental mix of Black Hole. When the remix album is released you’ll hear the mix complete with vocals (and if my mix doesn’t make the cut then I’ll put it here on the blog).