Daniel Lopatin’s Software is riding out the remaining four weeks of winter (thanks a lot, Phil) in style, thanks to a couple of timely releases. The label just put out Thug Entrancer’s excellent Death After Life on February 11, an album that coldly navigates the space between Chicago juke and Detroit techno. Now, they’re following it up with an inspired remix of the album’s lead-off track, “Death After Life I,” from Providence producer James Hinton, aka The Range. The two producers share an affinity for sonic clarity, and here Thug Entrancer’s pinpoint sound bullets provide a basis for Hinton’s equally punchy but melodic interpretation.
Death After Life was an apt soundtrack for this winter’s crushing polar vortex, but the remix supplies a welcome dose of sunshine. Hinton converts Thug Entrancer’s eerie arpeggiations into splashy piano chords, a sound familiar from “Metal Swing,” his single from last year. That track, like much of last year’s Nonfiction, used a vocal sample to create an emotional anchor—here, a swooping melody in the upper register serves a similar purpose, capping off the mix with just a hint of Balearic bliss.
The overall effect is a potent mixture of sweet harmonies and rapid-fire rhythms, which nods towards Hinton’s trademark affection for UK bass music. But it also has more than a little in common with the open-armed inclusiveness of Euro house. As everything culminates into a sweeping, emotional climax, the track flips the fatalistic message of the original on its ear–if death always follows life, why not enjoy it while you can? It’s 808pm at the beach somewhere, right?