Song of the Day 6/11/08: The Chap - They Have A Name (Atlas Sound Remix)
Reader, you're going to have to forgive me if this one runs longer than the usual paragraph most other featured songs receive. Today's article is half review, half inspired editorial. Stick with me.
A few weeks ago we featured The Chap's "They Have A Name" as our song of the day. Today, we feature a song masquerading as a remix of that track. It comes courtesy of Atlas Sound, and yes, he is literally masquerading – the music world is one large soiree, and Atlas Sound has just arrived in full costume, head to toe.
His mask doesn't come close to resembling the person he's imitating, but it isn't really supposed to. After all, it's a costume party – guests are encouraged to run wild with their imaginations. His mask is adorned with feathers and excess superglue and haphazard sequins. There are crude ridges in the mold and a few cuts near the chin. It's kind of ugly but also elegant, in an asymmetric way, and you (gracious party attendee) most definitely like it because it fits the theme of the night. If it's the kind of thing where the host hands out awards, maybe later he'll win one in the category of "Best Interpretation on a Theme."
Just as that mask shares only the most basic recognizable elements of human form – eyes, a nose, a mouth, ears – this remix uses a skeletal copy of the original drumline as a launching pad for something tangential, exotic, and overwhelmingly unexpected. At some point a second or two of the vocals jut their way in, before swirling away into the mist, never to return. Other than that, you're not going to recognize much. And I've got to tell you – it doesn't really matter. It's goddamn brilliant. Atlas Sound does what more producers should do with their remixes – chop, hack, and follow with gusto the intricate asides that stem from the narrative of the original. Embrace the butterfly effect – if this riff begets that percussive oddity begets this bell solo begets that haze of warm distortion, follow it. If necessary, follow it to the point where it becomes unrecognizable, and then follow it past that point, and then keep going. Whatever comes from the source material, familiar or no, is bound to be a fitting homage if you're really invested in the original.
When this track was sent to me, the publicist described it as "the sound of inspiration in action." That is 100% accurate, and the result is golden. Don't miss this one.
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