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Ian Carr and the Various Artists – I Like Your Taste In Music/On A Wet Day (Remixes): Single Review

Three brand new remixes from the acclaimed avant-folk guitarist and songwriter Ian Carr & The Various Artists’ new album I Like Your Taste In Music”

Release Date: 31st July 2020

Label: Reveal Records

Format: DL / CD

In February, Ian Carr released his latest album, I Like Your Taste In Music (our review here), and, in my opinion, it is one of the best albums of 2020 so far.  Soaked in Swedish influences and Celtic flavourings, it’s one of the most successful integrations of musical styles that I have ever had the pleasure to hear and it has been on heavy rotation ever since I first heard it.  Ian’s new single, released on 31 March by Reveal Records comprises three pretty radical remixes of a couple of the tracks from I Like Your Taste In Music.

My difficulty in listening to these new versions is that I like the originals so much!  I loved the way that Ian had absorbed the folk influences of his adopted Swedish homeland; I loved the choice of instruments selected for the original versions of the tunes and I loved his choice of subject matter which effortlessly bridged the cultural headlands of Sweden and the British Isles. 

As I said in my review of the album, these elements come together marvellously to deliver an album that is a delight from start to finish.  The remixed versions of the album’s title track and (arguably) the album’s best track, On A Wet Day are interesting in their own right, but my lasting impression is that they don’t add to, or improve upon, the originals – but perhaps that’s not the point.

The single consists of three tracks, I Like Your Taste In Music,”(GRIP TIGHT REMIX), On A Wet Day (Richard J Birkin Remix) and On A Wet Day (Richard J Birkin Instrumental Remix.)  All are competently accomplished.

The title track from Ian’s album is reworked by Berlin-based producer GRIP TIGHT.  Resemblance to the album version of the track is minimal and the traditional Swedish feel of the original version is replaced by heavy electronics and repetitive samples of the vocal lines.  It’s compulsive and entertaining, but doesn’t really go anywhere.

The two versions of On A Wet Day fare somewhat better.  The track is my favourite of several strong tunes on Ian’s album and successfully mixes English whimsy with Swedish passion and takes the listener on an evocative journey along an English Motorway, through the rain and out into the sunshine. 

Richard J Birkin (the contemporary minimalist UK composer) has overlaid some quite dramatic electronic enhancements that add richness and build excitement, without completely losing the classic Swedish folk content that was such a feature of the original and which provide the anchor to the song’s conception.  The effects of Richard’s influences are particularly notable on the instrumental version of the remix and it’s clear that this remix has taken an already interesting and novel piece of music to somewhere completely new. 

A short collection of tunes that will certainly be of interest to anyone familiar with the I Like Your Taste In Music album (and, for anyone who isn’t, I recommend that you become so…) and which will also tick the boxes for fans of electronica.

Listen to the original here:

Ian Carr online: Website / Facebook / Twitter

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