In a single album stroke, late 2015 saw one of Europe’s most established electronic music houses celebrate their landmark 500th release. The temptation for ‘Bonzai & Friends – 500’ to stroll through the highest heights of their estimable catalogue – now spanning almost a quarter of a century of musical operations, was doubtless strong. The label though went ‘the other way’ and instead of backwards, looked very much towards the future.
They tasked their producer bedrock with the creation of a mind-blowing 50 new tracks – ones that would construct as an album and go down in the annals as both a long-player-great and as a portrait of all-things-Bonzai.
Against seemingly overwhelming odds, FFWD six months and the label have managed to go one better again. 20 of Bonzai’s all-star assemblage have picked out their favourite tracks from the original ‘500’ album, returned to the studio and reimagined them. If ‘500’ wasn’t the absolute essence of the label before, it most certainly is now…
Listen to ‘Bonzai & Friends – 500 Remixed’ via Bonzai Progressive’s Soundcloud channel here: https://soundcloud.com/marnikbonzai/sets/bonzai-friends-500-remixes
Get ‘Bonzai & Friends – 500 Remixed’ via Beatport here: https://www.beatport.com/release/bonzai-and-friends-500-remixes/1782626
Highlights of its highlights, first amongst its equals, best of the best – they’re all but impossible to pick out from the album’s embarrassment of remix riches. We’ll mention a few though!
‘Vega Shining’ from Airwave (“a tune in itself worthy of representing 20 years of the label” said LessThan3) gets an engrossing 10+ minute-long remix companion from Australian psy-ops specialist Satinka. Airwave himself takes Spaniard’s Alex Vidal ‘Blue Twilight’ on a sublimely epic, not to mention cosmically themed remix-ride. Having recently dropped his own debut artist album and mix-comps, Audio Noir furnishes John 00 Fleming ‘The Dark Ranger’ with an Odyssey Remix remap. Matt Holliday reconfigures Rick Pier O’Neil’s ‘Signal’ in dark and deliciously humid fashion, while Matt’s own ‘Prizma’ receives an epic, beatific remake courtesy of that man Yuriy From Russia. Crocy waxes galactic on Rise And Fall’s ‘Looking Forward’, whilst Gai Barone produces a beautifully dark, labyrinthine twist-cum-take on ‘East Café’s ‘Minus Ten’ with his Ode To That Night Remix.