It’s been a little over a year since Droptek’s now legendary album Symbiosis dropped on Korsakov Music, heralding a new era for techy drum & bass and bass music. The album crossed genres as smoothly as either scene had ever seen and multiple singles became instant classics. If that doesn’t warrant a sick, action-packed remix album, then really what on earth does?
Part 1 of Symbiosis Remixed drops on Friday and contains remixes from just about every hard D&B artist one could hope to see on such a compilation: Joe Ford, InsideInfo, Audio, Dub Elements, Gydra, the Outsiders…the list goes on. As the stems were obviously super-clean on the original album, all these talented producers could really go anywhere they wanted with them and part 1 shows the fruits of that equation: pristine stems + great minds = excellent remixes.
One remix that stands out in an album full of standouts if Skantia’s remix of one of the biggest tracks off Symbiosis, “Extrapolate.” The original has a cool, ravey synth with a haunting echo kickback and a clean, snappy, yet somewhat minimal beat structure. Skantia has basically turned all this on its ear by putting that big, echoey synth in the background and then taking the secondary, rolling synth that follows the beat and blowing it out.
By blowing out this synth, Skantia was able to reverse the melody, put some feedback into it and draw it out for the main synth in the beginning of the track. He also uses that synth in its unadulterated form to punctuate phrase transitions. He uses it in a number of other places as well: to construct another ambient melody for the break, as part of the background and as the main melody for a bit after the break.
Beat-wise, Skantia’s version of “Extrapolate” is at base even more minimal than Droptek’s original but listeners may not notice it until after the break. The reason for this is that with the components of the beat, Skantia has also blown out the tone a bit, adding a little static so that the sound becomes a bit less snappy and a bit softer around the edges. The effect is a beat that feels heavier than it actually is, and it pairs well with the new background synth in terms of texture.
There’s a lot more to the Skantia remix of the nouveau classic that is Droptek’s “Extrapolate.” The original is itself quite complex but Skantia takes it to new levels and really creates a whole new song out of the track and its beautiful, clean stems. It’s a great testament to both artists that this track can be taken to such an interesting, different place.
Symbiosis Remixed Part 1, Drops on Korsakov music Friday, July 3, with a deluxe edition also available. Click here to pre-order or pre-save.