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Banco de Gaia – Ollopa: Apollo Remixed

Disco Gecko

Banco de Gaia - OllopaThe moon is a strange mistress. She is the one object in the universe that controls more of what happens here on Earth than any other celestial body. She controls the tides on our planet and has been worshipped by many in the past and even still today. The remix of Toby Marks’ last album sings hymns to the lunar where the original album joyously chanted to Sol.

Tripswitch’s remix of the original album’s closing tune “Acquiescence” is quite sublime. It is a night time chill out; it is the soundtrack to watching the moon rise above the Parthenon. Warm synth pads ooze over hand drums and soft vocals call out into the warm night air. Tripswitch has made the track seem even dreamier by stripping back the sound at points. Deep Fried Dub up the ante of the rhythm for their remix of “Oreia” – here the dub beat takes over as instruments soar plane-like over the top, while the track still retains an element of its Middle Eastern feel at points and at other times it floats cosmically with its bleeping synths. “All Sleeping,” a remix by Desert Dwellers, takes us on a more ambient trip. Sounds emerge as if from a jungle; in fact you can almost feel the sticky heat in this track as the drums clatter away and strange noises surround you over the track’s light riff.

“Hu!” is all tribal drums and whistling synths until the big beat cracks in with the Unusual Cosmic Process remix. This focuses more on the original track’s Kraftwerk-sounding melody line, but ups the rhythm content to the max to produce a dancefloor classic. The Kaya Project’s remix of “Apollon” gives it a more world music vibe and a feel of wandering the markets of Marrakech or an Arabian beach party at sunset. The added vocals really make this track sound spectacular and take it towards a different dimension, but also giving it extra depth and feeling; quite beautiful. System 7’s remix of “For Such a Time” almost makes you feel you can smell the incense burning as twirling synths and sequences fill the air until the beat hits in and the ghostly tune hovers around above this. They work their magic over this track as notes drift and a feeling of being suspended in the sky takes over.

Huff and Puff overhaul “Eternal Sunshine” for their remix. They make the track seem sedate and take it on a trip to some grandiose dimensions that give it a film soundtrack feel. The lush chords swell up and down until the beat hits in about half way through. This, however, does not take away from its filmic quality but somehow adds to it. Merv Pepler’s Eat Static take on “Wimble Toot” by exploring more of a upbeat trance essence and giving us an early evening raga that makes you think you can feel the sand beneath your feet. This is a hands raised to the moon-maid type of vibe of a tune that becomes instantly catchy and travels around your head. Finally we end with Gaudi’s remix of “Lamentations,” which takes the original’s Dead Can Dance-type majestic tune and pulls in the beat and bass to give the track a very different energy. Here the main elements of the song disintegrate against the squelching synth line into a more danceable direction.

As remix albums go every track on here is surprisingly strong. This is in part down to the original material, but also due to the fact that each of the artists brings their own distinctive take on the tracks. This is a pagan dance of worship to our closest and brightest shining orb, and long may it continue.

-Gary Parsons-

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