Cold Beat’s Double Sided Mirror Remix EP is a collection of club tracks for a world stuck at home. This was one of the last projects Jonathan Galkin commissioned before he left DFA in July 2020. The band decided to release the remixes on the one year anniversary of Mother, which featured Double Sided Mirror as a single.
Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire creates a hypnotic, bass-heavy track, steadily building alongside fits and spurts of analog synths; it makes you feel as if you’re alone in a giant dance club. Cold Beat’s leader Hannah Lew’s haunting refrain (“Will it be over if there’s no sound?”) spins around a groove locked not only in rhythm but in a distant memory. While the music draws you to dance, it begs the question: When was the last time you danced with another person? When was the last time you saw live music? Mallinder said about the track: “I wanted to hold on to the atmosphere but go off on a bleepy, minimal, direction. It was a track that felt it should be listened to in a dark room over a big system ... let the subs dance!”
Featuring newly re-recorded vocals from Lew, the Hardway Brothers Meet Monkton Uptown remix flips the emotional core of the song. Transformed into an optimistic, swinging dance track, this remix evokes the sound of the late 80s/early 90s UK rave scene. The DJ tag team Hardway Bros Meet Monkton Uptown, Sean Johnston and Duncan Gray, were regular collaborators of the late, great Andrew Weatherall, who defined that sound as producer on Primal Scream’s Screamadelica. Sean is best known for his long-standing DJ partnership, A Love From Outer Space with Weatherall, and is an in-demand remixer as Hardway Bros. Duncan is a talented multi-instrumentalist and boss of the cult Tici Taci label and is a noted session guitar and bass player who played on many Weatherall productions.
Contemporary LA DJ and producer Cooper Saver’s track is a transcendental meditation that stretches the original track across a sprawling panorama – spacious, lo-fi, expansive. The synths and guitars become vast landscapes stitched together in three movements. “It was perfect timing as it gave me something to do without any pressure from the outside world, and that period also marked the beginning of a new chapter in so many ways for all of us. It was cool to get into a slightly different headspace,” Cooper Saver commented.
The EP closes out with a playful manipulation of the earliest demo, with Lew’s vocalizations appearing in place of unwritten lyrics. The sensual and ominous spoken vocal from band member Luciano Talpini Aita evokes intimate candle-lit spaces and film noir voice overs projected in a dusty cinema, balanced with a healthy dose of nostalgia for 90s Saint Etienne, Opus III, and smoky-voiced chanteurs Serge Gainsbourg and Leonard Cohen.
Compiling this Remix EP was an exercise in new creativity for the band, whose last show (and only performance of the songs from Mother) was one year ago on the eve of the first lockdown. As Lew states, “Double Sided Mirror encapsulated a feeling of distance, an unknown timeline, and a deep desire to reconnect, reconcile. A grief for the old world, and a torch to it. We’re all disappeared, we’re all a click away.”
released March 5, 2021
supported by 8 fans who also own “Double Sided Mirror Remixes EP”
My favorite artists are ones who aren't afraid to try something completely different. I hear Charles Stepney, David Axelrod's Earth Rot, Steve Reich, Penguin Cafe Orchestra and others in this, but it's undeniably Sault in the end. As usual, probably my favorite album of the year. mackro