Posted on Aug 27th 2009 01:05 am
DARK CAPTAIN LIGHT CAPTAIN
LOAF/Lo Recordings 2009
05 Tracks. 27mins19secs
One of the revelations of last year, on the back of a beautifully crafted album, Miracle Kicker, a couple of EPs and a pretty extensive tour which has taken them on both sides of the Atlantic, London-based Dark Captain Light Captain have handed some of their most emblematic tracks to a handful of well-wishers, giving them free reigns to do whatever they pleased with them. Achieving the impossible, the resulting remixes manage to radically interpret the chosen songs while retaining the essence of both the band and the album.
In the hands of San Francisco’s Hatchback, Questions, which bookends this EP in vocal and dub forms respectively, becomes a sprawling pop masterpiece, its wonderfully crisp beauty growing through its five minute course from a lullaby-esque beginning to a supremely confident electronically-tinged coda, the first version emphasising on the slightly ethereal aspect of the vocals by pushing them further down the mix, leaving just enough floating about the surface to retain the pop edge of the piece, while, when stripped down of its vocals, the piece becomes a rich cinematic miniature epic journey. Chicken Feed’s reworking of Remote View give the piece an interesting new outlook, replacing the smooth acoustic drapes of the original with tingling electro pulses and a sturdy bass line, but still incorporates warm flugelhorn motifs, as if to remind of the melancholic brushes that radiate through DCLC’s entire work.
Summer is, by contrast, much closer to the band’s natural folk sound as Vernal Equinox keep much of the band’s acoustic elements for their version, but stripping it of its vocals entirely. As the track progresses though, more and more disrupting spanners are thrown in the works, relentlessly driving the track down into dark distorted territories. Last is Neil Kleiner’s dense and epic droney Here Be Monsters remodelling of the album’s title track. It is here as if he had thrown the entire polished acoustic features of DCLC into a black hole, with only occasional sparks of life still occasionally echoing in some distant corner of the universe.
This remix EP, while extremely varied in sound and ambience, is bound by DCLC’s impressive and dreamy touch, giving it great consistency all the way through, even in its darkest moments, and strongly contributing to making this a strong companion to the album.