Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith‘s The Kid LP of last month is a triumph that pushes the L.A. synth specialist and composer’s songwriting and arrangement skills to an ambitious new extreme. Four Tet‘s recent New Energy is, perhaps counter to its title, a strong and appealingly restrained effort which serves more or less as comfort food for his fanbase. Together the two artists’ sensibilities combine to make something mesmeric and compelling in Four Tet’s extended remix of Smith’s “I Will Make Room For You.”
In its original version, Smith’s song spirals out from a new-classical orchestral fanfare of sorts, with her traditional, heavily manipulated vocal latticing, wheedling synth arpeggiations, and even some bird noise adding a chimerical atmosphere. A beat never kicks in. In Kieran Hebden’s revamp, however, the irresolute orchestral figures and electronic dots and dashes become swells on top of a muted techno backbeat, which consistently gain density and jungle-like crossrhythms over the course of the song’s eight plus minutes. The romantic paeans in Smith’s lyrics are fragmented into phonemes and drowned in cathedral reverb. It’s a logical and rewarding collaboration between two of the most valuable voices in pop-inspired experimental electronic music working right now. Listen below.