KEXP Premiere: KAIROS remixes

Local Music, KEXP Premiere
05/02/2015
Jake Uitti

The innovative releases continue for Lena Simon’s band, KAIROS. Who doesn’t like it when one masterful band takes the work of another for the sake of reinterpretation and homage? And today, we have two examples of this collaboration: a Cock & Swan remix of the KAIROS track, “Can / Cannot” and a Blush Cut (a new Seattle band fronted by Andy Meyer) remix of “Sister.” Both remixers handpicked the KAIROS tunes to work on.Cock & Swan have a lush history in Seattle music, perhaps most notably with their work on local surf-rock band La Luz’s debut EP, Damp Face. Here they rethink KAIROS’ “Can / Cannot,” a percussion-repetitive, dreamy soundscape featuring Simon’s motherly and angelic vocals espousing ideas of forgiveness, and the lack there of. If drums are a language of their own, the snare and cymbals on this track are saying, “Follow me, follow me. Let's go.”

On the remix, however, there is more of a looming sense of danger from the outset. The kind of rhythms that portend night and a dark sky only getting darker. Sythns find our ears and they are not the kind angels play – rather, they’re they kind ghosts transmit through. Our spirits are taken and we are pulled, searching, to safety, we hope.

Both “Can / Cannot” and “Sister” appear on the KAIROS recent self-titled EP. The original “Sister” track has a city feel, a damn-near hiphop beat. Something from the 70’s – you could imagine Grandmaster Flash on the 1’s and 2’s in his stylish jacket preparing to cut up the breaks in a city park.

Blush Cut’s reinterpretation, however, is futuristic where the original is rooted in so much late 20th century bedrock. It builds and sustains and has the sense of alien industry which uplifts, as only Simon can, in breathy strength. Her “Ohhhs” are like a 22nd Century ballet dancer twirling, spinning, loving her art and craft alone in the midnight hour for no one and anyone to see.

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