One of the only rock bands that really matters in the scene atm return after their second album in 2014, the glorious Darkwave outing “And Blow Us A Kiss” with a bunch of remixes from the same release and a new video.
We’ve said time and time again, in Zohra Atash, they have one of the most remarkable voices in the entire history of rock music and it is that voice that really captures your heart and attention!
For the remixes they have turned to 3 producers, Vatican Shadow, Cut Hands and Auditor.
You can stream the Vatican Shadow and Cut Hands tracks via FACT!
The Vatican Shadow remix of “We Hunger” fades in building up the anticipation for something pretty great but instead it chugs along in quite repetitive mode for an epic 9 minutes without really going anywhere and ending up sounding like a very lengthy intro to nowhere. On the plus side, he retains the eerie atmospherics of the original track and some of the vocals but not really enough of the vocal to keep you interested. I think this could have been great in edited form but it just goes on for far to long with no real purpose or aim.
Turning now to Cut Hands, someone who we’ve had many a debate about in the Politics of Music group on FB. Most of that debate has centred around whether this dude just loves to court controversy or whether he is an out-and-out racist. Fact that he says he is not racist doesn’t mean anything really. To quote a good friend of mine Leo Zhao:
“I’m sure William Bennet has mostly real appreciation for African cultures, but to be a member of a former colonial society which was built on blood-money, and which punished Africans by cutting their hands off, to call your faux-African music project “Cut Hands” is extremely problematic.”
You can go deeper into this by reading a great blog post by Zhao:
This aside, he turns in a pretty great remix “For Last & Forever”. This one is really rocking with awesome percussion and a thumping Techno beat and he manages to retain more of that awesome Atash vocal than the aforementioned remix and makes excellent use of the background vocals and whispers too. Now, this one could have gone on for over 10 minutes and I would probably still want more!
Next up is Auditor whose remix of “Hush” was today premiered at Noisey! Go there to check out the forthcoming Azar Swan Tour dates!
This one is a pretty haunting, gothic, dreamy, Eno-esque DroneFest with lots of props going to Dead Can Dance for the vocal atmospherics with shades of Trio Bulgarka thrown in for good measure.
All the remixes are from the “Variations 12″ due out on May 19 via Handmade Birds.. The Auditor one will drop for free with a pre-order from Thrill Jockey webstore. Plus there will be an additional free download of an older track from the debut album called “In My Mouth” which was remixed by Drew McDowall. The Drew McDowall one is probably my personal favourite of all 4.
We ain’t finished yet though because on top of all of this, there’s the great new video of the original version of “Hush” which was today premiered at Rookie. There’s also a great interview that Zohra did with them that you ought to go there to check out.
If that still doesn’t quench your thirst for Azar Swan, you could always go back and have a look at Zohra’s Top 15 for Generation Bass!