DoublePlusGood are a pop group from Portland, Oregon, and last month they released their first album in three years, You Can Master Life, on SoHiTek Records. Now, the group has collected some of their best Portland music pals to remix four tracks from the album for an EP titled – perhaps cleverly, certainly playfully, and maybe even a little bit obviously – You Can Remaster Life. You can listen to the exclusive stream of the EP after the jump.
The four track EP, which has remixes from The Ocean Floor, Purse Candy, Daniel Rafn, and Apache Jackson, serves well as both an appetite whetter for DoublePlusGood (have you ever knowingly listened to a remix and not wondered what the original song sounded like?) and an excellent parting gift for anyone who’s already spent some time with the original album. Perhaps most importantly, however, You Can Remaster Life is a pretty solid showcase of Portland's sonically diverse underground pop talent.
The Ocean Floor has turned “Words Fall Asleep” into a summer shower of electronic resonance. Singer Eric Carlson’s voice is like the doomed ghost wandering tepidly through the mist that springs up from the ground
And then something drops, the bass starts a riccochetting attack. Purse Candy’s remix of “Never The Same” is the highlight of the EP. A sensual, mid-80s 'come back to me track' that combines glistening 1999 era Prince-style synths with a sweat drenched nod to something like Blood Orange’s signature smooth-wave. Apache Jackson’s “K$ing 4 A Dxy” remix fades a repeating vocal part in and out, mounted on the back of some ancient emperor's bass-heavy funeral march. The mostly instrumental track plays off of a Spirit of Eden style horn motif and endearingly clumsy electric keyboard. The effect is that the song is warped into a piece of self-referential nostalgia; a forlorn recapitulation of its earlier incarnation.
DoublePlusGood bassist and singer Eric Carlson emailed me earlier this week to share his thoughts on the remix EP:
“We wanted to get a remix project together for a while, since we have so many insanely talented friends from a variety of production styles. I'm always a fan of handing over complete creative control to someone, so its been really fun to hear what direction they took these songs. Remixes can run the risk of straying too far from source material, or sticking too close and I think our friends have done us good!I love how Daniel Rafn takes mainly the chorus and sorta rewrites his own song with "Are You Listening", Ocean Floor recasts the baseline from "Words Fall Asleep" as a twinkling melodic embellishment. Also Purse Candy adds the biggest breakdown we've ever had in our music! These are the kind of alterations that make a remix record so fun, and we're totally thrilled with what everyone has done.”
The best (anddefinitely most surprising) thing about this remix EP is its coherence. The artists who are remixing these songs have each molded their assigned tracks into their own musical offspring. Each artist feels suited to the track they’ve remixed, and the flow of the original album is not lost in the haze of four competing voices.
You can stream the entire EP right here: