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Reworking The Uncommon: A Listen To Ordinary Boy - The Remixes By Ultraísta

Updated: Nov 12, 2020


The promise of a choral side-project serves as a lifeline to craftsmen whose historical essence belongs to their initial output, but crave change that satisfys creative urges; the freedom to invent pieces that stray into offbeat territory. Instrumentalist and producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead) gathered generators, vocalist Laura Bettinson (FEMME / lau.ra) and drummer Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M), with no urgency, pressure or timeframe, to form outfit Ultraísta. 

Pooling their love of Afrobeats and electronic spark, they hold complete control of not only their sound but all other ingredients of being a modern recording artist. From the release of their self-titled debut LP in 2012, the collaboration of their new album Sister, for the duration of eight years, fitted around various commitments and life in general. More than just a few gifted friends hanging and producing, Nigel pieced together the group's improv to form a neat piece of art that never lacks in sheer care and attention. 

Listeners felt a pulling towards Ordinary Boy from the collection of songs; it was as close to levitating with both feet on the ground as they could get, letting the tune sensually swirl around the subconscious. With this in mind, Friday, November 6th grants us EP Ordinary Boy - The Remixes on Partisan Records, featuring five reworks along with a bonus sixth from The Cinematic Orchestra on the digital copy. 

DJ Floating Points lulls you in with the original surreal synths and Bettinson's voice centralising things, but heat builds to a full-on, unexpected firecracker with disjointed effects. She gushes,


It was love at first listen. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t that outrageous drop. Bouncy banger.”

Beaty Cinematic Orchestra's version utilises powerful plodding strings, and a hip baseline, while Faulty DL slows the speed considerably joining sound and voice that aren't intended to complement each other, yet manage to be considerate. An instantly identifiable number arrives from chill kings Zero 7, who stripped the original back to calm the senses and soothe tempers, and a drum and bass treatment, in the company of dizzy reverb is administered by Crate Classics.

To close, avant-garde composer, Leifur James loops a melismatic moment from Laura, pacy synths, and dusky atmosphere, continuing the cinematic tendencies of the band. Six pieces of gold: all the same song, all the same glowing quality. However, we would never expect Ultraísta to lend their name to anything else.


Article by Beverley Knight

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