Released digitally at the start of the summer, the vinyl for this has finally arrived. Khruangbin`s 2020 long-player, Mordechai, gets completely remixed and dance-floor overhauled. The originals nimbly, and neatly, navigated by a number of highly respected names – Kadhja Bonet, Natasha Diggs, Ginger Root, Knxwledge, Quantic, Soul Clap, and Harvey Sutherland. The standouts for me, though, are the trio of tunes that arrive toward the collection`s close. First up, Felix Dickinson takes Time (You & I) and revisits the heavily-conga`d heyday of The Idjut Boys` homages to François Kevorkian`s `70s and `80s disco dubs. Trapping you from the off with trebly wah-wah guitar to get lost in, and then supplementing that with swooning Philly orchestration. Initially coming on like a mirror-balled balearic crossover – shimmying up to Celi Bee`s Buzzy Bunch – before spotlighting a vast array of keys. Clavinet, a la Stevie`s Superstition, and synths like an ecstatic Larry Levan jamming, going into one for Salsoul – cosmic, kosmische, flanged, effects – lending the track the feel of some sought-after library music space oddity.
Sticking with The Idjuts as a musical point of reference Ron Trent`s beautiful re-boot of Shida could be mentioned in the same breath as Joe Claussell`s makeover of their much-loved end-of-the-millennium collaboration with Sally Rodgers and Simon Lee, Dust Of Life. Both blur the boundaries between house and sunset balearic. Perfect as either a post-chocolate milk and brandy twilight party-starter, or a peak-time deep breath after the rush. Once again, hypnotizing with a seemingly infinite loop of Mark Speer`s gorgeous guitar, with shades of Kevin Yost`s One Starry Night and Santana`s Tales Of Kilimanjaro, it`s an ultra warm, uptempo samba. Where seductive whispers are carried in on a tropical, Caribbean breeze, and it stops in a short timbale finale.
Bill Brewster and Ray Mang revive their Mang Dynasty moniker for a sensitive mid-tempo manhandling of So We Won’t Forget. The duo stomping, and stamping, balearic-militant-ly marching, through a sunshine-filled aural landscape. Making Speer`s West African highlife influences clear, and bringing the track`s pop to the fore. Destined to be huge, an anthem, in certain circles, – like Broken Bells` Holding On For Life – its melody, care of choirboy harmonies, walks that fine line between euphoria and introspective melancholy. Seemingly simple, but actually subtle and haunting, you’ll find yourself humming it long after the song / dance is over, and all you have to show for it is a spent balloon.
Khruangbin`s lavishly packaged Mordechai Remixes is out now on Dead Oceans.