Tracey Thorn: Why Does The Wind?
Buzzin' Fly

Tracey Thorn is that rare singer whose presence automatically elevates whatever material she lends her voice to. Listeners who cottoned to the dance-focused style Everything But The Girl gravitated towards in its final releases (Todd Terry's clubby makeover of “Missing,” for example) will understandably be drawn less to the original version of “Why Does The Wind?” (from Thorn's Love And Its Opposite album on Buzzin' Fly's sister label, Strange Feeling Records) than to the heady remixes Morgan Geist, Michel Cleis, and Andre Lodemann bring to the Buzzin' Fly-released EP.

The Ewan Pearson-produced original, which pursues a romantic and wistful vibe (sample lyric: “Why does the wind blow through my heart / Each time I gaze into your eyes?”) that suits Thorn's creamy vocal perfectly, receives a nice mid-tempo kick from Leo Taylor's drumming and Al Doyle's (Hot Chip) bass, though the inclusion of strings makes the arrangement feel overly busy. Metro Area's Morgan Geist strips away the acoustic elements in their entirety, leaving us with Thorn's echo-plexed voice and a bubbly electro-synth backing that pulsates and thrums gleefully; Geist's sparkling treatment offers a splendid counterpoint to the melancholy of the vocal melodies. Adopting a wholly different approach, Lausanne's Michel Cleis backs Thorn with a windswept, Latinized percussive groove in a ten-minute mix that percolates with determination. The track's length allows Cleis ample room to maneuver, and that he does when he banishes the vocal at the four-minute mark for a bumping percussion interlude before sneaking the vocal back in. Rounding out the release in fine form, Berliner Andre Lodemann opts for late-night house swing in an aerodynamic treatment that's reminiscent of the kind Ben Watt might have brought to an Everything But The Girl makeover of his own. (The generously stuffed EP also includes a ‘Radio Edit' of the album original and an instrumental version of Lodemann's cut.)

July 2010