An admission: this time last week I don’t think I’d ever heard – or at least paid enough attention to – the name Guy Sigsworth. For more astute music fans out there however – Gia Margaret included – he’s one of the more celebrated producers of the last 20 years, working with artists including Björk, Goldie, Madonna, Kate Havnevik, Alison Moyet, AURORA and so (so) many more. With a call sheet like that it’s perhaps unsurprising that his remix of Solid Heart sounds absolutely sublime, transforming the lo-fi, duskiness of the original into a slick, downtempo electronic cut complete with a little flurry of cascading synths as delicate and bewitching as you could possibly hope for.
I’ve been avoiding this for a few days now because a) I didn’t love SOPHIE’s album – or any of her work – as much as every single music site told me I should if I had any kind of taste at all and b) I don’t actually know as much about just how important Autechre are to electronic music in general. Consider this my public apology. Anyway, this is predictably amazing, opening with some of the punchiest drums I’ve ever heard and I guess this now means I should listen to everything Autechre have ever produced. Bet they haven’t made many albums though, so expect I’ll be up to speed before the end of the day.
Two of my favourite artists of the year coming together means I was pretty sold on this before I even listened to it. Jim-E Stack brings the melancholy vibes to the fore with his remix, further teasing out the already lovelorn qualities of the original and adding warm chords and a skittering breakbeat to create something that sits right in the happy/sad sweetspot. A beautiful, dejected banger.
Varsity Star is a Brooklyn-based electronic musician who grew up in the suburbs of Boston, but relocated to Berlin after a “biblical flea infestation” made his apartment uninhabitable. His remix of Coolgirl’s Gaussian Blur amplifies some of the more retro-leaning electronic elements of the original, upping the tempo and adding furious, Squarepusher-esque drums to run alongside the neon synth lines. By turns franticly glitchy and soothingly warm, it’s an assured reimagining of what was already a strong record.
The second joint production by pianist Sebastian Knauer and the composer Arash Safaian, This Is (Not) Beethoven is an album made up of variations on themes from Ludwig van Beethoven, aiming to modernise the work of the classical musician to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. More recently, the project was opened up to a number of remixers, among them Matthew Herbert, who provided this epic reworking of Adagietto. Patient, haunting and completely transfixing, it’s an incredible reimagining, and goes to show you really can remix anyone and anything, as long as you do it properly.
At time of writing it’s a steamy one billion degrees and London is slowly losing its mind, suffocating: pedestrians melting into pinkish-red puddles on searing hot tarmac or quietly expiring in dimly-lit rooms with the shades pulled low, fans on full blast doing precisely nothing to mitigate the searing heat. So thank fuck for Anderson .Paak who rolls through with an all-star lineup and a fresh take on last month’s Lockdown. It’s literally all I can handle listening to today, and even writing this is taking up way too much energy. Enough is enough.