Matthew Herbert remixing Sasha Siem makes perfect sense. In fact, this is a no brainer. They both make amazing music that incorporates elements of jazz and electronica. On Siem’s critically acclaimed debut album, Most of the Boys, that is exactly what she did. At times you weren’t sure what you were listening to as jazz happily mingled with electro loops, junkyard beats and classical maelstroms. One of the stand out tracks was 'Proof', and it is no surprise that Herbert has selected this one to remix.
The remix starts with a repetitive vocal loop in front of a hard, abrasive beat. Through a gradual nuance, this leads into Siem’s original husky, stark vocals. The beat returns, but it has changed subtly and the juxtaposition of it and Siem’s vulnerable voice makes for a pleasantly challenging listen. Throughout the remix Herbert chops up Siem’s delivery, so you’re never sure if the phrase will play out or be glitched up. This element of surprise stops the track betting boring, despite its seven minutes plus length.
At times this feels like an existential remix. While this sounds like a bizarre thing to say, it is technically true. Instead of just phoning in a remix Herbert hasn’t just thought about the original song but has re-envisioned it by his own experiences. What we are left with is a track that has a slight resemblance to the original but at the same time is a totally new track.
And isn’t that the point of a good remix anyway?