Remixing a classic is always risky business, but when done right, the results can often be spectacular. Astral Plane interviewee Monolithium recently took on Jacko’s megahit “Billie Jean” and essentially abstracted the fuck out of it. The result is a syrupy slow jam worthy of only the dirtiest of dirty late night escapades. Think a zip and a double cup but with more Quincy Jones. The Victoria resident is giving away the retwerk for free.99 so hop on the vibe train below.
Over the past few yeas, the prevailing trend in the electronic music realm has been to laugh at traditional genre barriers, embrace internet culture and engage in constant, often impersonal collaboration. The positive results of this trend are obvious, namely new sounds popping up on a daily basis and collaborations that could never have existed only 10 years ago. The truth is that the internet’s self-congratulatory nature has lent a lazy edge to this trend though, allowing artists and labels to gloat in the most minimal progressions, effectively stunting real, meaningful sonic experimentation. Victoria, British Columbia’s own Chris Long, who produces under the Monolithium moniker, has touched on several ephemeral sounds across his first two EPs, but one would be remiss to toss him onto the ever-expanding heap of musical voyeurs. We spoke with Chris a few weeks ago via a shaky Skype connection and dished on his sophomore Bounce 4 Life EP, his sub|division club night, mutually exclusive listening practices and his favorite New York MCs. Unlike most of the internet production mob, Long exhibits the qualities of an actual music fan, expressing an adoration for everything from gully New York hip hop to Swedish math rock. This is clear in Long’s intricate productions, which draw feelings and colors from his divergent influences rather than borrowing actual sonic signifiers. Read on to get the full scoop and cop Bounce 4 Life here
Let’s get the silly stuff out of the way. Who are you? Where are you from?
My name is Chris Long. I was born in the North of England, close to Manchester, and lived there until I was 11, then moved to Canada, lived in Winnipeg, which is where I really grew up. That’s kind of where I cut my teeth in terms of “who I am.” When I was 19, I basically started moving across Canada and I’ve spent the last decade in Victoria BC, which I love to bits. I’m a music junky, I’ve been hugely into music my entire life, especially urban sounds like rap music and techno. Although I’m into hella other shit as well.
Hit the jump for the full interview…
In which Ryan Hemsworth keeps it in the ‘Nuck family, contributing an official remix to Monolithium’s Bounce 4 Life EP. Initially, Hemsworth dulls the raucous nature of the original, maintaining its large-scale sound, but instilling a more pensive attitude. By 1:45 though, Hemsworth’s remix work slows down and gets even bigger, percolating synths offset by a massive low-end. Add another notch in the Hemsworth remix belt folks, this dude still holds the heavyweight title. Stream below and cop the Bounce 4 Life EP here.
Monolithium has never been one to stick with one sound for too long and his latest project sees the Victoria, BC resident at his genre-hopping best. Due on December 10 via Error Broadcast, the Bounce 4 Life EP features a set of hip hop indebted tunes that borrow from just about every corner of contemporary electronic music. Earlier today, XLR8R debuted the EP’s title track, which borrows equally from Jacques Greene-esque house and classic Chicago juke. Stream previews from the EP, which features a collaboration with PrisonGarde and a remix from Ryan Hemsworth, here and stream/download “Bounce 4 Life” below.