This new EP of remixes from Interchill's company of downtempo talents is full of beauty, an enjoyable ride through ambient and rhythmic interpretations of the well-received original release. Every single track here is a keeper.
1. And Dream of Seals (Alucidnation Remix) - Lush piano intro calls softly to have a listen as more varied sounds are introduced. Bass line and soft percussion merge perfectly with piano, beginning a hint of a journey toward dub. As percussion and bass disappear, we are submerged into a bubbly dubbly soundscape, ever wending its way through like a droplet of water falling through leaves on a tree.
2. And Dream of Seals (Another Fine Day Chaos Theory Remix) - Forestlike sounds greet our ears before the piano, beautifully stuttered, begins its tale. Right on cue, the rhythm begins. By the time the tabla and mild glitch appear, a theme has been set and we are on a gentle, wandering tour through staccato percussiveness, all the while the thread of the xylophonic melody keeping us on track. The track slowly, very slowly, makes its way to silence, never losing its itinerary.
3. And Dream of Seals (Ishq remix) - A prayer in sonic form which allows our brains and ears a narrative while offering plenty of space for exploration. As with other remixes in this collection, the piano is an integral part of the story, introduced almost immediately and remaining present like a buoy in the sea. At just under 9 minutes, this remix has the time and space to define itself. While the progression toward the center - where the crux lives - rolls along slowly, it is also as sure as the sky is blue. When the bass appears, it wraps up the elements nicely. These sounds play well together. The latter third of the track withdraws most forms of rhythm from before, yet remains familiar to us; a natural completion to a beautiful journey.
4. Spanish Blues (Greg Hunter Remix) - The strings of a Greg Hunter track are a welcome signature, an announcement that the world is at our door, ready to tell a dubby tale. The structure is set up almost immediately, and so the framework allows us to move to the rhythm while still maintaining a spacious vibe in our brains. This kind of rhythm can be interpreted with movement of the body or simply in the mind, making it a versatile accompaniment for a wide spectrum of activities one might do while listening. Keep this one close at hand.
5. Spanish Blues (Hibernation) - Smoky jazzy orchestral sounds make the initial case for this interpretation, but when the dance begins, you might not want to remain seated (if you even were to begin with). I found some part of my body wanted to be moving with the rhythm of this the entire track, and yet the slightly jazzy psychill environment kept my brain occupied with the perfect blend that Seb Taylor (Hibernation) is known for. The center of the track glides gracefully into a film soundtrack feel, the jazz and trippy accents singing in harmony. There is a good reason why Seb's music is so central to my listening and DJing playlists - his expressions just simply resonate with my aesthetic so succinctly that it's like welcoming an old friend in for a cup of tea (and often a dance).