Last year Solarstone's third longplayer put the proverbial torch to perceptions of what an EDM album should be. Through tracks like 'Intravenous', 'The Best Way', 'Electric Love', 'Twisted Wing' and its title track, Richard Mowatt displayed an ever-expanded artistic range. Erasing established genre lines it travelled across previously unmapped musical terrain. Now, a year on, its time to revisit that music.
Touchstone's been re-touched!
When approaching the album Richard's A&R mandate was clear: "in essence I wanted to hear fundamentally different sound-designs for each of the tracks", he says. "No tweaks, revisions or minor modifications. No comfort zones. All-out musical revolution!" With a free hand to take the tracks straight down whichever rabbit hole they saw fit, the radical 'Touchstone' remixing commenced at pace! By this point switched on Solar-fans have likely locked ears with Elfsong's remix of the album's title track. The young Hungarian's remix of 'Touchstone' refuses to trade on the recognition factor of the Original's longing guitars, instead cultivating the track onto a linear, floor-ready progressive journey. Irish duo Tucandeo meanwhile have swapped-out the breakbeat drum signature of 'Ultraviolet' for a 4/4 pattern and used its native synths to create an epic, escalating trancer that rise up to truly dizzying heights.
Throwing the progressive rulebook clean out of the window, Vadim Zhukov has given 'Night Signals' a new tightly coiled, high wire tense lead-riff. Onto that he's transposed a remodelled version of the vocal, giving his rework a numinous, filmic quality. Poland's Piotro has summoned a career best with his masterful Microprog kit-out of 'Electric Love'. Starting out canyon-deep, he twitches and glitches Bill McGruddy's vocals until, mid-break, the remix takes one final, incredible, breath-stealing step over the edge.
Young-gun producer Konektiv has performed a spectacular coup d'état on 'Intravenous' beat-free reign. On his Epicentric Remix he's floor-jacked the track with a sensational Plastikman-esque slow-burning techno churn, marshalling its Pink Floyd-like prog rock guitars into the drop. Likewise Klauss Goulart has revolutionized the once proggy, Renaissance-esque 'Slowmotion' with one of his forceful siren-led 5am floor-whackers. Dennis Sheperd meanwhile recasts 'Zeitgeist' with a more pumping drum structure and captivating, ethereal vocals - holding out to deliver a late-in-the-break synth-sonic uprush. Elsewhere fellow German Miss Nine revises 'The Best Way To Make Your Dreams Come True Is To Wake Up' into a vibrant, clubby prog-house punch-packing.
The rezoning of sub-genres continues as the album reaches its latter stages. Electronic Architecture alumni Dave Horne turns the once unequivocally drum & bass-housed 'Twisted Wing' into a melodic trance odyssey - albeit one with a deceptively powerful production engine. To the greater degree that switch-out is reversed on Royal Sapien's rework of the Lucia Holm vocaled 'The Last Defeat', with the New Yorker underpinning his mix with brisk, Bukem-ized beats.
Bringing the album to its conclusion, Chris Johnson's let the house drums speak on bliss-fest 'There's A Universe'. Taking the Blur-ish vocals of the original, he's dynamically repoints it (for the first time) in the direction of the dancefloor.
With 'Touchstone Remixed' tracking the exact same running order as the original album, fans can anticipate a unique, extra-dimensional listening experience. At once resonant yet entirely metamorphosized, it's a remix album in the original meaning of the expression. It's out on the 23rd of January.
01. Written & Arranged by Mowatt, McGruddy. Produced by Solarstone
Vocals by Bill McGruddy. Additional remix & production by Dirty Herz
02. Written by Mowatt, Christodoulou. Arranged & Produced by Solarstone
Additional remix & production by Tucanedo
03. Written by Mowatt, Scott. Arranged & Produced by Solarstone
Vocals & additional guitar by Julie Scott. Inspired by "Sono Andata" from the opera "La Bohème"
Additional remix & production by Vadim Zhukov
04. Written & Arranged by Mowatt. Produced by Solarstone
Additional guitar by Nigel Summers. Additional remix & production by Elfsong
05. Written & Arranged by Mowatt, McGruddy. Produced by Solarstone
Vocals by Bill McGruddy. Additional lyrics by Joe McGruddy
Additional remix & production by Piotro
06. Written by Mowatt, Summers. Arranged & Produced by Solarstone
Additional guitar by Nigel Summers. Additional remix & production by Konektiv
07. Written by Mowatt, Scott, McGruddy. Arranged & Produced by Solarstone
Strings written and arranged by Mowatt, McGruddy. Vocals by Julie Scott
Additional remix & production by Dave Horne
08. Written & Arranged by Mowatt, Hakanen. Produced by Solarstone & Orkidea
Additional remix & production by Klauss Goulart
09. Written, Arranged & Produced by Solarstone. Vocals by Richard Mowatt
Additional lyrics by Yvette Easthope-Mowatt. Additional remix & production by Miss
10. Written & Arranged by Mowatt, Hakanen. Produced by Solarstone & Orkidea
Sample taken from 'Yellow Moon' by Catbird. 'Yellow Moon' Written by Hasselstroem, Koppel. Sample used by kind permission.
Additional remix & production by Dennis Sheperd
11. Written by Mowatt, Holm, Summers. Arranged & Produced by Solarstone
Vocal by Lucia Holm. Additional guitar by Nigel Summers
Additional keyboards by Bill McGruddy. Additional remix & production by Royal Sapien
12. Written & Arranged by McGruddy, Mowatt. Produced by Solarstone & Bill McGruddy
Vocals by Mowatt & McGruddy. Additional remix & production by Chris Johnson
Richard Mowatt: Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Piano, Synth Programming
Bill McGruddy: Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Nigel Summers: Guitars
Haris C: Synth Programming
Julie Scott: Vocals, Guitar
Tapio Hakanen: Synth Programming
Lucia Holm: Vocals
Special thanks to all the talented remixers who made this special edition possible.
All music Produced, Programmed & Engineered by Richard Mowatt.
Published by Solarstone Music Limited.
Recorded at Various Farmhouses 2009 - 2010
Art by Andrew Debens
Press by Stark Profiles & PR
Dj Management by Paula www.twenty4sevenmanagement.com
Photography by Dan Reid
(p) & (c) 2010 Solaris Recordings
Release Date 23 Jan 2012