Graveyard Tapes

I’m On Fire (White Rooms Remixes)

I’m On Fire (White Rooms Remixes) is a collection of remixes and covers. Graveyard Tapes, the project of Euan McMeeken and Matthew Collings, released White Rooms last year, and now the music’s reborn. It has a new set of features – a new pair of eyes through which it can view the world, and a new pair of ears. It has a new personality, too (multiple personalities, you might say). It was thoroughly burnt by last year’s autumn flame, but it has cleverly found a way to mould itself a new, unblemished and tonally-pure skin. Rather than being a standard, patchwork offering that can and often does plague the concept of the remix album, the music fits together nicely – although every track is very different – and, crucially, the quality never dips.

‘I’m On Fire’ is the first remix and it comes courtesy of Western Skies Motel. A chilly October day immediately turns the sound murky. The weather is inclement and heavily overcast. Rainy drizzles coat the air; sometimes, the sun doesn’t want to be photographed. A grainy-toned piano erodes as it plays its solitary note, cutting itself on sharp, lo-fi shards of sound. A vocal staggers around as if it were lost. Synths laser the second track ‘Ruins (Fieldhead Remix)’ as the record yields to a strong electronic current. Solitary, staccato notes point and prod at the music with stubby melodic tentacles. The Mute Forest remix that comes next features a prominent acoustic guitar that easily drives the song forward unto dawn, and the synthetic electronics are replaced by natural strings. The song is splashed with more than a lick of ambient paint, and it’s another reincarnation; the lyrics are familiar, the voice is familiar, but the face now holds a different appearance.

A high quality selection of musicians dapple the white room with their own remixes, not to mention their own thoughts and perspectives. Dag Rosenqvist, William Ryan Fritch and Benoit Pioulard are just a few of the musicians you can expect to hear. You will recognize the ‘Exit Ghosts’ remix immediately as that of William Ryan Fritch and his signature, paradise-infused sound. Tribal drums clash together, and an extremely vibrant sound drifts in on the air. The lively vocals seem to be intent on conjuring up a couple of spirits from the not-too-distant past when the title of the track would have you believe they were attempting to reverse that particular course of action, to vanquish them from the soul.

‘Dulcitone Grasses’ slows the music down with its heavy dew of drone. It swirls lazily in the air like a lonely autumn leaf, spiralling downwards, engulfed in its own repetition. Benoit Pioulard’s remix is unhurried and unspoilt. It’s like splashing your face in a pool of cool water. Gushing waterfalls gleam with the cleanest of tones. Caught In The Wake Forever’s remix of ‘Ruins’ is suitably titled, as a lone, minimalist piano wanders through the musical debris. The vocals echo through an invisible vortex that can’t be explained by physics alone. A dull and barely audible pulsing beat leaves the record in a relaxed, optimistic state. It’s as if the record has survived the stark-but-bare cruelty of the winter and is now ready to renew itself, in tune and in time with the changing of the seasons. Ready to be reborn.

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