By Kavit Sumud | January 27th, 2013
Swaying with a Sound of Arrows-esque swagger in the intro notes is always a way to hook me right into your track, and Noah Hyde’s new remix for M.A.U.’s “Cheetah” does that in spades. This was a smart choice for Hyde, though, in another way: by being evocative of the soaring in optimism in “There is Still Hope“ he gets to play up and accentuate the internal tensions of the original track.
Hyde’s rework of the synths makes the song feel like a dreamy argument with yourself after you’ve awakened from a near mortal wound. You’re bleeding out, “licking your own wounds,” and feel like nothing but a bag of bones; but still, you both try and cajole yourself out of doom and chastise yourself for believing there was anything outside of it.
A lot of this fascinating tension comes from Hyde’s choice to play up the 80s-like synths and “ooh ooh” bridge vocals throughout the whole song. Whereas the “ooh ooh” was found at the end of M.A.U.’s original track, by placing it at the beginning it acts like a self-soothing chant, like humming to yourself and rubbing your thumb on your inner palm as chaos spins around you.
Both of these methods allow the future/past struggle inherent in the song simmer at once forebodingly and nostalgic. The bridge vocals and synths recall the heady (but unsustainable) economic days of the Reagan era, while the vocals ground us in the quagmire of the present. How will the hero of the track survive? How will we survive? Even if we don’t, this song can at least soundtrack our epic journey to stay hopeful in the current economic depression.
Check out M.A.U.’s SoundCloud to see why they are quickly becoming one of my favorite electro-pop acts. And give Noah Hyde some love as well while you’re at it for taking this track to a whole new level.