Canadian experimental rockers Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (who formed ostensibly as a side project to the thunderous and apocalyptic Montreal collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor) are kind of on fiyah this year – following the release of their brilliant album Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (our 8 / 10 review) and some blistering live shows (our review of their London gig) they’ve just announced that they’re dropping another EP on April 28th of “remixes”.
We use the speech marks around the word “remixes” advisedly as, if the B-side they’re currently streaming, is anything to go by, the tracks are playing fast and loose with term, resembling only very vaguely the track they’re based – their own set-closing live favourite “Hang On To Each Other” (which you’re encouraged to check out both before and after you stream the track below) from their 2005 album album Horses In The Sky. The original, which starts with the crackling of a campfire and carries on almost a cappella style bar addition of a squeezebox, is a whole world (and several music genres) away from the “remix” – as you’ll find out when you click “play” on it below – being a house music version of the original, all (in their own words) “4-on-the-floor, drum machines, arpeggiators, pink lasers and grape-flavored smoke machines”.
“Most important thing” they say “= No irony.” Fair do’s.
Whatever, it’s pumping stuff, distorted and full of synths, twiddles and bass – or, to quote from the press release, it’s “coated it in glitter and shards of glass”. Needless to say it’s also drop dead brilliant.
Check out some fascinating words from the band about it after or while you play it:
Words from the band:
“It’s like that famous quote that Emma Goldman never said = “DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION”!”
“Somewhere around 1964 or thereabouts, we wrote a tune called “Hang On to Each Other”. Acapella mostly, with just a few chords on harmonium. Recorded the thing in the woods ’round a campfire = heady times.”
“The chords to that tune are like house music chords, and we figured we’d re-record it someday, thusly and EARNESTLY.”
“4-on-the-floor. Drum machines and arpeggiators. Pink lasers and grape-flavored smoke machines. Most important thing = No irony.”
“Because we love that kind of music, and impromptu dance parties too.”
“Guess it took a long time to manifest, but this past x-mas we finally rustled up the necessary gear and holed up in the snow to loop thee joyful noise = 808, Oberheim Two-Voice, bright yellow toy keyboard, low pass filter, auto-wah bass guitar, wooden drone-box, squeaky tape delay, broken oscillator, string machine, distortion pedal, and violin. No guitar.”
“We let the machines yell at each other until they were hoarse and wheezing. With a baby in her belly, Ariel Engle of AroarA did the kind of singing that we can’t, and we are thankful. Outside of the studio, the city was frozen, and thin tendrils of fine snow whisped across the ice like dragons.”
“We made this thing like a for-real disco 12-inch, to give to d.j.’s to play because we live in the kind of town where some d.j.’s maybe will. Much respect and much love to thee sweaty dancers, and the lost ones, and the ones who fell away.”
– xoxoxox thee silver mt. zion memorial orchestra