Jacques Greene, Skee Mask – Relay (Skee Mask Remix)
Last year, Canadian house producer Jacques Greene released his EP Fantasy, a record that pivoted him away from the four on the floor invocations he’d become known for toward club ready rumination on the splendour of the natural world. Inviting in breakbeats, ambient influences, and sparkling, fantastical chime synths, Fantasy was an exercise in spirituality by someone who finds their religion on the dance floor. It’s suitable then that Relay, one of the EP’s brightest and most whimsical moments, should be reinvented by an artist with a similar creative trajectory; Skee Mask.
For his take on Relay, the German producer lifts the breakbeats surging beneath Relay and makes them a touch harder and sharper. He smudges the chimes of the original beneath this so that they glow as atmospheric drones, and mutates the melody into a choppy chorus of pads. Skee Mask injects an urgency to Relay that takes it from the sunny hills of a meadow into the rush of an urban landscape. Relay has always felt like it possesses the DNA of Aphex Twin, and Skee Mask understands this. He excavates these strands, pulls them together, and amplifies them. It’s almost as if he turns the track inside out; relegating Greene’s shiny pads to the background and pulling its percussion forward. His technical prowess is formidable; over the course of its near five minute run, Skee Mask’s remix shatters its own breakbeat with alarming subtlety. Through overlapping backspins and syncopations, he manages to create something less direct and more ambiguous; an application of Greene’s natural solace to the chaos of the city.
Watch the music video for Relay (Skee Mask Remix) below.
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