EVDEP029 – iamforest – iamforest Remixes
A joint venture between Groundwerk Vancouver and East Van Digital, this EP was forged in the unpredictable fire that is the open call remix contest. Two tracks from the self-titled album of iamforest, a lo-fi chillwave project helmed by Vancouver’s Luke Hartle were offered up to the universe in August of 2015. The response was, to put it bluntly, amazeballs.
The album version of “Wasted Time” has a rolling, uplifting synth-pop sound. On this EP, it gets thoroughly reimagined by five local up-and-comers, each with a distinct perspective.
Originally from Slave Lake, Alberta, but now residing in VanCity, Ivan Snedden (a.k.a. Dronus) takes “Wasted Time” to a house realm so deep, you could put a swimming pool in there. Yet, there is a sense of simmering propulsion not found in the laidback original. Hartle’s vocals are rendered loftier, tripping out in the sense of space afforded them over a subtly impetuous groove, accented with guitar, which sounds positively tickled as it’s sped up.
The combined efforts of Berklee College of Music alum Sam Steele and Pacific Audio Visual Institute grad Josh McRae, Diana Boss maintains the deep vibe, but spices it up with a slightly more upbeat beat and delicate disco flavor. Claps and organic percussion get the intro snapping, but as the vocals emerge from a high-pass filter, an old school garage organ and woozy pad give it a ride. The guitar is made ever so funky in its breakdown, leading to a delicious dicing of the vocal refrain in its second half, helping pave the path to an unknown Studio 54 dream.
Produced under the stylized name of Nafasi, Taylor Jordan draws inspiration from childlike nostalgia, serial killer docs and the search for valued if impossible knowledge, and all of these inform his intense, cerebral drum & bass take on “Wasted Time.” It begins with an ambient guitar-like warble and drum loop teases, but quickly gets down to business with a lowered vocal tweak, moaning subbase, and synthetic pan flute-esque lead. After it breaks down, it takes a dark turn with a dubby hardcore breakbeat, breathy vocal snippets, ominous atmosphere, techy stabs, and crisp percussion, fading out in optimistic ambiance, like DJ Hidden remixing Underworld.
Hailing from the North side of Vancouver, Nathan Salloum channels “Wasted Time” through his genre-bending BeardFight lense. This mix starts with skittering percussion and sleigh bells supporting the first vocal refrain, landing off-kilter on a heavy hip-hop beat, which resolves to lofty guitar strums and a modulated vocal sample before launching into a dubstep lurch with a delectably warped bassline.
Finally, Monologue (a.k.a. Brent Restivo) gives “Wasted Time” a downtempo rework with a delayed melody and spacey percussion, driven by a clean breakbeat and lowered vocal hook. It’s one to drift to.
The other track in competition was “Structures.” The original has a compelling, pastoral kind of vibe, evoking the blissful work of Tycho, but singer-songwriter, DJ and sound designer, Iain Howie solidified the beat to a house structure. He ups the BPM, yet maintains its chill feel, keeping it deep with shuffling percussion, twisting the vocal samples to an alien timbre, and melding an ambient garble to a rising crescendo that puts it over the top at the perfect time.
Of course, kicking off the whole EP is a lush retooling from iamforest himself. Hartle gives it a much more drawn out approach this time. Reversed guitars and vocal sighs build to a mere taste of its downtempo beat, retreating briefly before reasserting itself with a lightly warped yet focused melody, the vocals painstakingly reduced to a melodic counterpoint with only a handful of legible lyrics to be heard, its power reflected in pure sound. Clearly, there is much depth to Hartle’s vision, the nature of which is proven by its inspiring a collection of such profound interpretations.
October 30th, 2015.
Direct Purchase Links:
iamforest – Structures (iamforest Remix)
iamforest – Wasted Time (Dronus Remix)
iamforest – Wasted Time (Diana Boss Remix)
iamforest – Structures (Iain Howie Remix)
iamforest – Wasted Time (Nafasi Remix)
iamforest – Wasted Time (BeardFight Remix)
iamforest – Wasted Time (Monologue Remix)
All tracks CanCon.
All tracks clean.