Dntel Conjures a Tidal Wave of Emotion for His Remix of Physical’s “Islands”

The LA producer gives the New Zealand duo’s latest a looming, low-end-heavy spin.

Mar 31 2017, 2:17pm

Photo of Physical by Liz Platova

New Zealand duo Physical have today shared a remix of their new single, "Islands," from Los Angeles producer (and one-half of electronic-pop duo the Postal Service) Dntel.

When sharing the original version earlier this month, Physical's Julia Parr told Nylon the song reflected her experience of drifting apart from someone once the glow of the honeymoon period fades away: "We went on a lush island getaway together, but when we settled back into real life, I started to feel like I was tying her down to one place. [Nik and I] wanted the track to evoke that floating feeling of being in paradise, but with an unsteadiness, the feeling in the pit of your stomach that something isn't right."

Whereas the original keeps an even pace throughout, Dntel's low-end-heavy interpretation conjures a looming tidal wave of emotion. It starts out innocently enough as wonky pop, until a thick, rumbling layer of bass swells to the forefront. The track builds to a chill-inducing peak and devastating subsequent crash. Left in its wake is a melancholy melody that ebbs and flows over bubbling, shimmering textures, while that menacing bass lurks in the background. It's a reminder that not even paradise—physical, emotional, or otherwise—is exempt from destruction.

Dntel tells THUMP of his remix, "I've known Nik for a while now, we share a lifelong allegiance to technopop. I love Julia's voice so this was a really fun remix to work on..."

Listen to Dntel's "Islands" remix below.

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