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Whitelands follow their acclaimed single ‘Setting Sun’ with their first ever vinyl release, an EP of reworkings. Simply titled Remixes, the EP features two reworkings of ‘Setting Sun’ by dreampop legends A.R. Kane – the short Initiation Dub and the epic Hero Remix, which comes in three parts, titled Departure, Initiation and Return and takes the song to some unexpected and exciting new places.
“Whitelands came up in conversation three times in a week,” explains A.R. Kane’s Rudy Tambala of how he got to know the band and came to remix them. “Two times is coincidence, three times is a conspiracy, so I reached out to them on social media, and we started chatting. They’re cool, like baby Kanes. ‘Setting Sun’ was close to my heart, reminding me of ‘Fools Gold’ meets Slowdive versus Frank Ocean. Anyway, I heard several approaches in my head, so I thought, ‘Fuck it, let’s do ’em all’.
“I knew I wanted to take a prog approach: Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon, Sasha’s Involver2, Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, Frank Ocean’s Blond, etc. Even my own sixty nine. It’s that seamless drift from one part into the next, stretching the idea until it ruptures, creating space for a new way of perceiving; this has the first inklings of hive mind, telepathy, in a musical form; you dissolve into it as it dissolves into you. A fundamental dreampop construction and aim, whereby subject and object become one. Ahem.
“As the extended mix took shape it suggested to me the three components of The Hero’s Journey, hence the titles. The three-minute pop song was determined by the technical limitations of the 7” vinyl single. Digital has obliterated that. The perfect dreampop song has no time limit. ‘Setting Sun’ A.R. Kane Hero Remix is timely.”
Alongside Rudy’s reworkings is an equally dazzling drum’n’bass take on last year’s single ‘How It Feels’ by the band’s guitarist Michael in his howdogirlssleep guise.
“Combining shoegaze and jungle was something I never thought of, but when I thought about remixing ‘How It Feels’ the song pretty much made itself,” he explains. “It’s such a sonically rich and emotionally capturing song already; the only thing I had to do was add drums that would enhance the track. I tried to create a feeling of transient energy in the song which the mix engineer, and my good friend, Reinaldo helped me to create. I hope people can shake their ass to this one.”
“These remixes are an absolute dream!” concludes singer and guitarist Etienne. “Having a legend like Rudy doing this for us is very special. And also having Michael also exploring the experimental possibilities of ‘How It Feels’ is honestly such a great thing.”
A1. Setting Sun (A.R. Kane Initiation Dub)
A2. How It Feels (howdogirlssleep Remix)
B1. Setting Sun (A.R. Kane Hero Remix)