When Dummy asked them for a list of influences way back in ’09, Everything Everything put it in one heck of a list, ranging from works by Arvo Part, Mike Patton’s Mr Bungle project, through to R Kelly. A few years the down line, such diverse and eccentric listening seems to have stood them in good stead, having released second album ‘Arc’ to warm responses last month.
Taking a bold and unconventional approach to the inescapable remix model, producer James Rutledge has grabbed the pop explosives of ‘Arc’ by two hands, and whittled the entire album down into a single, shape-shifting rework. The results are busied and bustling, but are gelled by its air of organic warmth and emotion – calling to mind the work of Dam Mantle and Throwing Snow. It culminates with the lyrics of The House Is Dust chopped up and reproduced by an automated voice over gently fading backward loops. Lines like “I wish I could be living, at the end of all living” came across a tad twee over the original’s plaintive piano, but contrasted against the faceless, robotic delivery it here becomes strangely moving.
James shared some detailed notes on how the remix was assembled, including this passage on where he found some sparks of inspiration:
“Whilst I was working on it, I had a day where I had to travel on the Overground to the other side of London. Steve Reich’s ‘Different Trains’ was in my earphones and I couldn’t hear it too well because the tannoy announcements during my journey were so loud. As I flipped backwards between my rough version of the remix, the Everything Everything album and the Reich track I realised that I wanted the remix to sound like a serene and abstracted train journey where you glimpse bits of the album through the window and fragments of the tracks blow around in the dust.”