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Avalon Emerson's Remix of Slowdive's "Sugar for the Pill" Is Pure Bliss

The Berlin-based experimenter's flip comes in advance of the shoegaze icons' first album in 22 years.

by Colin Joyce
May 2 2017, 12:00pm

Slowdive are best known as one of the founding acts of shoegaze, the blissed genre of guitar rock that swaddles sharp songwriting in the downy comforters of reverb and delay. It's pillowy stuff on its own, but over the years they've also nursed a healthy fascination with spacey electronic music. They've commissioned a few remixes for songs of theirs—check the jittery, jungly flip of "In Mind" by Bandulu, or the creeping IDM flip of the same track by Mark Pritchard, then operating as Reload. And the last time we heard from the band as a recorded entity, a full 22 years ago, they were also branching out into that territory, with the airy ambient techno of their third album Pygmalion.

Their new self-titled album—due this Friday May 5 on Dead Oceans—doesn't really feature many of those moments. As weightless as it is, they still veer closer to their rock band roots than their more cosmic material. Fortunately though, they still have something up their sleeves for fans of that side of their work. Today, the band are sharing a remix of their recent single "Sugar for the Pill" by the Berlin-based techno experimenter Avalon Emerson, which turns the track into an ambient techno epic. Emerson stretches the song to over twice its runtime and pulls at its seams—unspooling it into a cottony, but impressively detailed ambient track. Technicolor synth lines skitter along over placid pianos and a gently pulsing kick drum. Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell's dazed voices echo in the margins—human forms floating somewhere out amidst the nebulas. You can listen to it right here in advance of the release of Slowdive.

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