If you've followed TWD regularly, you will know I am a big fan of the Arts & Crafts record label (I wrote about everything they released in 2011 here), which currently includes the band Eight and Half and formerly included the band Stars. Those two great acts have come together for a remix of the song "Backlines" from Stars 2012 album The North.
As is fitting to the spirit of A&C, this is an exciting collaboration. I am a little biased since I like each band a lot already, but I don't think you need to be all that familiar with each to enjoy this. The original track is a soaring one that mixes crunching guitars and pounding drums with elegant strings and stately melodies. It's a sweet, brisk rush that's over all too soon.
The men in Eight and a Half have drawn the track out a bit and taken it in an exciting electronic direction. It's all about drum machine and synth bass. Instead of taking flight on the chorus, it's more about getting down. It fits in with the sensibility Eight and a Half established throughout their debut album, yet by emphasizing the distinct voice of Amy Millan (one of my favorites), it still feels like a Stars song. It gets recontextualized here to a more commanding almost rap, which works, I think. I like how the original version seems to sneak in around two minutes, before the dance-y groove roars back. Cool stuff.
You should definitely check out The North and Eight and a Half if you haven't already. Two great releases this year.