- Considering the slice of perfection that was DJ Koze's remix of Matthew Herbert's "It's Only," any record sleeve with both of their names on it should grab your attention. Sweetening the deal, the source material for this remix EP is Koze's Amygdala, one of 2013's most sublime long-players, and "Magical Boy," the cut with Matthew Dear that Herbert tackles here, was among its strongest moments.
But at first, in the face of that anticipation, Herbert's remix is a bit underwhelming. On the bones of Koze's original he drapes sumptuous strings and percussive flourishes, and swaps out Dear's vocal for a new take from the singer Rahel. Though it's charming and beautifully realised, it doesn't exactly thrum with emotion. But it's through the build and shift in the second half, as elements wind into each other and thicken like rope, that things gradually take on more weight. The tone darkens from the opening's pastoral lilt, the subs start to collapse, and before you realise it you're ten minutes in, fists pumping, and Rahel's song has turned into a freaky chant: "It's magical!" she cries.
Efdemin's version of the loping "La Duquesa" was never going to be the headline event, but as he winds Koze's original in all manner of buzzing and beeps, there's a similar trick at work. Those who've spun the album frequently will notice the faintest glimmers of the original in subs that creep and growl. Efdemin unfurls them through his whirring machines, gradually infusing something cold and mechanical with human warmth. This is three masters of emotional manipulation performing at the top of their game.
A Magical Boy (Matthew Herbert's Not 'til It Stops Mix feat. Rahel)
B La Duquesa (Efdemin's Cose Cosi Mix)