Indie folk remixed into EDM? It works, thanks for Eric Anders, Mark O’Bitz and their collaborators –


Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz are a prolific folk/Americana indie duo who have produced some of the most interesting and beautiful work seen in the genre in the last four years. With the harmonizing aptitude of Fleet Foxes and the like, but the post-punk grit of Tom Waits, these two artists are well known to those of us at YEDM who follow those circles but never thought they’d end up. featured in YEDM. We should never underestimate a good artist’s innovation and remixed new versions of their haunting 2020 album. american bard shows Anders and O’Bitz as the latest artists to prove that point.

Now that we hear them, the remixes of american bardretitled for the occasion as bard’s ghosts and split into two parts, they sound like they were made to be electronic all the time. So much so, in fact, that the original songs almost sound a bit minimalist now. So often with folk and Americana work that’s been rewritten or remixed into electronic or pop, there’s a moment of, “hmm, that’s weird,” in the head, followed by a yes or no vote. This is not the case with bard ghosts, and the reason these remixes fit so well is definitely the remixers, Mike Butler and Steven Jess Borth II (CHLLNGR).

Bard Hauntings I, Butler Hauntings, contains remixes of half of american bard performed by engineer and producer Mike Butler. Aside from his engineering credits with Phoebe Bridgers, Norah Jones, The Shins, and The Predenders (among many others), Butler has been working with Anders and O’Bitz for a long time. Intimate knowledge of an artist’s body of work obviously helps with a project like this, and Butler probably has the most intimate knowledge of these artists other than the artists themselves. He produced and mixed american bard itself, along with every Anders/O’Bitz release since, except for 2021 true September Songs, including the bard’s ghosts PS.

For those EDM fans who are also familiar with the worlds of jazz, folk, and ska, Steve Borth may already be a household name. Part of a musical dynasty started by his father Steven Jess Borth I, Borth II had an early aptitude for music and was already recognized as a saxophone prodigy at age 10. Borth has been around the world utilizing his multi-instrumental talents in ska bands and ensembles, but EDMers may know him best for his ska/reggae/soul/electronica crossover project, CHLLNGR. Fusing all those genres with breaks, future bass, dubstep, house and techno, Borth’s project CHLLNGR garnered quite a bit of attention from the EDM world in the early 2010s. his aptitude for such fusion also made him a perfect choice. for Charms of the Bard.

The 12 remixes on american bard hasre split equally between Butler and Borth to do both bard’s ghosts, but it seems that the two artists chose which ones they wanted, since the order of the songs does not follow that of the original LP. In this way, each producer was able to tell his own story with the themes he chose. Looks like Anders and O’Bitz gave them carte blanche.

The title, ‘Bardo Hauntings’, is based on the idea that remixes haunt the original songs. In this case, the original songs are those of American Bard, so these remixes are “bard spells.” As with ghosts, the original is present and absent at the same time.

Butler flexed some songwriting muscles few aside from his long list of celebrity clients had ever heard before. From the surprising yet emotional industrial/ambient mix of the “Won’t Live It Down” remix to the heady, theatrical, and largely analogue remix of “Matterbloomlight” (this is now a third version of this achingly beautiful song, by the way). ). ) to “Holding Will’s” medley of minimal hours, Butler incorporates a range of styles and genres without going overboard. This is key with a sound palette as delicate as that of the original Anders and O’Bitz discography.

Borth’s remixes are more popular and more ravey than Butler’s approach. On most of the tracks he remixes, Borth maintains almost all of the original themes, including the instrumentals and the general pop/rock structure, as more and more electronics progressively creep into the melodies as both they and the band progress. PS. The first track, “Haunting Abraham,” for example, starts off almost entirely acoustic and then builds in production complexity as Borth adds a house beat thinly masked as analogue. In the end, the track has a full complement of strings and may not be easily recognizable as a pop or folk EDM track. Talk about delicate treatment; it’s almost like we’re tricked out with rave tracks on the Borth EP, and each track is a surprise as to how it will reveal itself.

Butler and Borth had very different approaches to this remix project, but both brought out the best in Anders and O’Bitz’s work and hopefully exposed it to a whole new range of fans. The idea that these are electronic “ghosts” of american bard is brilliant as it joins the bard’s ghosts not only to the original album but also to George Saunders’ 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, lincoln in the bard about which american bard was based. It is an illustration of how great art begets great art begets great art and can span across media, generations and genres. Now the only thing left to do is go full bard inception and have Butler and Borth remix each other’s remixes. In the meantime, a beautiful body of work is now here for fans of folk, literature and EDM to enjoy for the “haunts”.

Ghosts of the Bard I Y Me Both are available now and can be streamed on Spotify or purchased on Bandcamp. Check out the links in this article for more information on Mike Butler and Stebe Borth II (CHLLNGR).



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