Art Department Presents Martina Topley Bird Featuring Mark Lanegan & Warpaint – ‘Crystalised’ is a re-imagining of The xx’s modern classic of the same name. The original down-tempo version will be released on digital, featured on the 12” are remixes from Director’s Cut aka bona-fide house legend Frankie Knuckles and Eric Kupper, French luminary Agoria and close label associate Deniz Kurtel.
Masterfully re-built from the bottom up with Warpaint’s instrumentation and vocals from Martina Topley Bird and celebrated American singer-songwriter Mark Lanegan, the original was then remixed to perfection for the 12”. There are two versions from Directors Cut (Frankie Knuckles & Eric Kupper), the first is an impossible not to love Signature Mix and realigns the track for dance floor purposes. It’s bouncy, airy and lush with gentle-jazz chords that emphasis the sweetness of the original version’s vocals from Topley Bird. It’s sweet and classic house music that will never sound old and is a typically masterful remix from the legend that is Knuckles and comes backed with a dub version.
Former Infine boss and revered French producer Agoria then turns his hand to the track, slowing it down to a beautifully melancholic piece of deep house complete with heart-wrenchingly draped piano chords. It’s a sublime remix of an already sublime track that Dixon loved so much he provided his own vocal re-touch of Agoria’s epic original. Crosstown Rebels and Wolf + Lamb associate Deniz Kurtel’s version is just as special. This version is darker and more roughshod round the edges, as is often Kurtel’s way: there’s great swing in the drums and moody vibes pervade from start to finish, with the vocal now sounding suitably ominous in the midst of it all.
Martina Topley Bird is arguably best known for providing vocals on trip-hop pioneer Tricky’s debut album and Massive Attack’s Paradise Circus LP, but has also amassed her own enviable discography thanks to albums like Quixotic. Mark Lanegan of course is an internationally acclaimed alternate rock musician who has worked with everyone from Kurt Cobain to Bomb the Bass, and for more than a decade has been a steady contributor to Queens of the Stone Age, featuring on a number of their albums between 2002 and 2013. Completing this heavyweight collaboration is Warpaint, the LA based indie band that deals in art and psychedelic rock as well as dreamier pop soundscapes.
No19 is a label known for pioneering its own sounds, and this latest genre-blurring single package is sure to prove their most emphatic release yet.
Published: 5th September 2013