Today, October 12, Norwegian pianist/composer Lars Jakob Rudjord releases a new single. Previously featured in these pages for the track “Pharos”, today’s release sees him return to his “Indiepiano” album and the track “Horizont” which has been remixed by the Ninja Tune signed Turntablist/Musician Kid Koala aka Eric San. It has an interesting back story.
“It all started when my producer Joel Hamilton invited me to see his friend’s show in Brooklyn. His friend was Eric San, aka Kid Koala, and the show was “Nufonia Must Fall”, truly one of the most inspiring shows I’ve ever seen. The day after, Eric and his friend Ryan Lott (aka Son Lux) visited the studio while I was recording the piano part for “Horizont”. The core part of the track is a whirly pattern looped on Joel’s Studer tape machine, and Eric couldn’t help himself and fiddled a bit with the running tape. The resulting small pitch changes was just what we needed for the track to bloom, and we actually credited Kid Koala for “accidentally touching the tape loop” in the album credits.”
The two artists kept in contact and the result is San’s re-imagining of Rudjord’s original piece.
The original track (which you can hear below) combines both sweeping and soaring musicality infused with minimalist contemplative piano and mournful strings. The track is rich in tone, but with a sense of fragility to it. Kid Koala’s remix takes the track in a direction that incorporates the main elements, but twists, warps and reconfigures them. The piano sections remain, but sound like they are from an old reel to reel tape where the oxide is falling off and sound of the instrument is degraded and feels like a memory. San keeps the strings still vibrant which provides a nice separation in sound and contrast between crystal clear and cloaked over. You could expect when a Turntablist is remixing for the track to have a certain hip hop flavor, but San’s warped micro scratches add to the feel of the piano and its decay.
Flickering sounds give a shuffling rhythm of sorts, while sounds jostle in the background which add to the shimmering feel as well. Chunky beats rear their head around the time of the soaring strings, sounding composed out of small scratching sections. There is a certain balance at play in the remix which is noticeable and that is the integration and separation of the crisp clear sounds, with the detritus laden woozy sounds and how San navigates these, which allows for a remix of depth and one which highlights the main qualities of the original and then shines a light on them from a different angle.
I recommend you check out both versions, both for comparison and for sheer pleasure.
“Horizont (Kid Koala Remix) is available through Fyrlyd Records.