By Kavit Sumud | January 8th, 2013
Like many critics, S O H N‘s “The Wheel“ landed right near the top of my favorite singles list. The minimalist production of circular looping of the vocals into haunting moans, handclaps, and light snare gave the song an ethereal feeling. It’s like you were listening to the regrets of a ghost stuck in purgatory while floating over his body.
“The Wheel” exasperatedly seethed about the futility of worry — and in such a gentle manner as to almost be defeatist. But in the spaces of that soft frustration was a sinister side just waiting to be exploited in a remix. Which is why I’m so happy that Portuguese electro remix extraordinaires M.A.U. capitalized on it.
Their version of “The Wheel” feels less like languishing in perdition and instead is a wrathful, spiteful rant in the moments before the loss/ascension of the soul is fully realized. The production sputters, slams the ear with heavy synth, and uses the circular looping of vocals from the original to simulate an almost chillstep-like drop. And interspersed within all that that are these angelic sirens healing the singer from delving too deep into bitterness.
The closest comparison I can think of this kind of relationship between original track to remix would be Santigold‘s “You’ll Find A Way” vs the Switch and Sinden Remix of the same track. Like Switch and Sinden, who exploited a darker angle found but not fully explored in Santigold’s version, M.A.U use their remix to broaden the emotional world created S O H N.
I love the original, but M.A.U’s re-imagining has just as much life as S O H N’s vision, and it reminds me why I love remixes so much. Check out the track on M.A.U’s SoundCloud and grab a free download.