Last year Solarstone’s third longplayer put the proverbial torch to perceptions of what an EDM album should be. Through tracks like ‘Intravenous’, ‘The Best Way’, ‘Electric Love’, ‘Twisted Wing’ and its title track, Richard Mowatt displayed an ever-expanded artistic range. Erasing established genre lines it travelled across previously unmapped musical terrain. Now, a year on, its time to revisit that music.
Touchstone’s been re-touched!
Release date: 23rd January 2012
“Lovin all the mixes. My favourite is the Elfsong mix. HUGE!!” – Armin van Buuren
When approaching the album Richard’s A&R mandate was clear: “in essence I wanted to hear fundamentally different sound-designs for each of the tracks”, he says. “No tweaks, revisions or minor modifications. No comfort zones. All-out musical revolution!” With a free hand to take the tracks straight down whichever rabbit hole they saw fit, the radical ‘Touchstone’ remixing commenced at pace!
By this point switched on Solar-fans have likely locked ears with Elfsong’s remix of the album’s title track. The young Hungarian’s remix of ‘Touchstone’ refuses to trade on the recognition factor of the Original’s longing guitars, instead cultivating the track onto a linear, floor-ready progressive journey. Irish duo Tucandeo meanwhile have swapped-out the breakbeat drum signature of ‘Ultraviolet’ for a 4/4 pattern and used its native synths to create an epic, escalating trancer that rise up to truly dizzying heights.
Throwing the progressive rulebook clean out of the window, Vadim Zhukov has given ‘Night Signals’ a new tightly coiled, high wire tense lead-riff. Onto that he’s transposed a remodelled version of the vocal, giving his rework a numinous,filmic quality. Poland’s Piotro has summoned a career best with his masterful Microprog kit-out of ‘Electric Love’. Starting out canyon-deep, he twitches and glitches Bill McGruddy’s vocals until, mid-break, the remix takes one final, incredible, breath-stealing step over the edge.
Young-gun producer Konektiv has performed a spectacular coup d’état on ‘Intravenous’ beat-free reign. On his Epicentric Remix he’s floor-jacked the track with a sensational Plastikman-esque slow-burning techno churn, marshalling its Pink Floyd-like prog rock guitars into the drop.
Likewise Klauss Goulart has revolutionized the once proggy, Renaissance-esque ‘Slowmotion’ with one of his forceful siren-led 5am floor-whackers. Dennis Sheperd meanwhile recasts ‘Zeitgeist’ with a more pumping drum structure and captivating, ethereal vocals – holding out to deliver a late-in-the-break synth-sonic uprush. Elsewhere fellow German Miss Nine revises ‘The Best Way To Make Your Dreams Come True Is To Wake Up’ into a vibrant, clubby prog-house punch-packer.
The rezoning of sub-genres continues as the album reaches its latter stages. Electronic Architecture alumni Dave Horne turns the once unequivocally drum & bass-housed ‘Twisted Wing’ into a melodic trance odyssey – albeit one with a deceptively powerful production engine. To the greater degree that switch-out is reversed on Royal Sapien’s rework of the Lucia Holm vocaled ‘The Last Defeat’, with the New Yorker underpinning his mix with brisk, Bukem-ized beats.
Bringing the album to its conclusion, Chris Johnson’s let the house drums speak on bliss-fest ‘There’s A Universe’. Taking the Blur-ish vocals of the original, he’s dynamically repoints it (for the first time) in the direction of the dancefloor.
With ‘Touchstone Remixed’ tracking the exact same running order as the original album, fans can anticipate a unique, extra-dimensional listening experience. At once resonant yet entirely metamorphosized, it’s a remix album in the original meaning of the expression. It’s out on the 23rd of January.
01: Is There Anyone Out There (Dirty Herz Remix)
02: Ultraviolet (Tucandeo’s Dream Mix)
03: Night Signals (Vadim Zhukov TFA Remix)
04: Touchstone (Elfsong Remix)
05: Electric Love (Piotro Microprog Love Mix)
06: Intravenous (Konektiv’s Epicentric Mix)
07: Twisted Wing (Dave Horne Remix)
08: Slowmotion (Klauss Goulart Remix)
09: The Best Way To Make Your Dreams Come True Is To Wake Up (Miss Nine Remix)
10: Zeitgeist (Dennis Sheperd Remix)
11: The Last Defeat Pt II (Royal Sapien Remix)
12: There’s A Universe (Chris Johnson Remix)