Dating back to her days palling around with drum and bass greats in the 90s, Björk's always had impeccable taste in electronic producers. Over the years, the Icelandic great has commissioned some incredible dancefloor-focused mixes of her songs, a treat that's seemingly only become more frequent as she's redoubled her fascination with experimental club sounds—enlisting futurist producers like Arca, Rabit, and the Haxan Cloak to help bring her recent mutant visions to life. Today, she's continuing that thread of her work. She's released an EP of remixes and reworks of "Arisen My Senses," aided by three of most exciting synthesists and percussion contorters working right now: the techno dramatist Kelly Lee Owens, the prismatic footwork contortionist Jlin, and Scottish electro-abstractor Lanark Artefax.
Each take has its own strange charms. Owens manages to preserve the otherworldly bliss of the original, offering new synthetic reawakenings, like watching a flower bloom on one of those fancy HDR monitors. Lanark Artefax offers both blippy beatwork and bombed-out synth work that manages to hit the exact swooning midpoint between Aphex Twin's more straightforward productions and post-rock's didactic ambience.
The real standout though is Jlin's slivered vision of the song. It's taxonomically interesting—as it's the only one labeled a rework rather than a remix—but that distinction feels deserved. She approaches the original like a stack of Jenga blocks, knocking the whole thing down, then rebuilding it in her own twisted image. Björk's voice is reduced to a few slivered syllables, fluttering insect-like over Skip-It kick drums and all manner of loopy hand-percussion parts. It's exactly the same kind of magic that fueled the sharp angles of Jlin's killer 2017 album Black Origami, but with the added kick of some magical source material. You wouldn't necessarily know it was a flip of a Björk track if you heard it out in the nightlife wilds, but that's the beauty of mixes like this, sometimes you can discover whole new worlds.
You can listen below, or pick up a vinyl copy of the EP on May 25. It's coming out on "slug genitalia" colored vinyl, which sounds sick not that I know exactly what it means.