Gydra’s jaw-dropper of an LP, Snake Monastery, released around this time last year and it’s been in strong rotation in mixes, in clubs and at festies ever since. A new yardstick for neuro and its diverse potential, it only makes sense that a remix album of Snake Monastery should follow, but what a task. It’s a marvel that Eatbrain has been able to get remixes for the massive album, releasing them weekly as singles, in just under a year.
With remixes out from Skantia, Gridlok and Audio thus far, Snake Monastery 2.0 promises to be just as powerful as the original. Next up on Gydra and Eatbrain’s tour of the monastery’s ancillary chambers is a remix of “Hangjaw” by Levela. The original “Hangjaw” is likely one of the most recognizable tracks on Snake Monastery. With its distinctive, highh-pitched vox sample comprising the synths and an absolute chugger of a bassline, it’s a tough one to remix. Of course that didn’t stop Levela.
In true Levela style, the UK producer has taken the stems of Gydra’s original and run with them, creating a completely different track. Where original is dark, heavy and classically Gydra with its sinister beat and bass synth, loads of even more sinister sound design and punctuated, amelodic synths, Levela has taken a lighter approach. He brings melody to the track from the intro, almost tricking the listener into thinking it’s going to be a dancefloor rework, before dropping into a minimal yet very intense main track.
That unique “Hangjaw” vox synth is cut up, looped, syncopated and reworked to a dizzying degree in the remix. It takes on its own rhythm structure as both the drum and basslines are wispy and barely perceptible. That chugging beat is stretched out into a sine wave and now punctuates every other phrase to give some cinematic depth to the track. The result is almost experimental and pushes the bounds of what neuro and drum & bass are capable of. A fitting tribute to the instant classic that was “Hangjaw.”
To say this remix has flipped the original “Hangjaw” on its head would be an understatement. If it weren’t for that distinct sample, it’s likely fans wouldn’t even recognize Levela’s version as a remix. That, however, is what makes remixes so interesting: it’s not just a chance to see what another artist would do with a track but an opportunity to push the bounds of an entire genre. If anyone can do that, it’s Gydra and Levela and if any album can invite such diversity in its remixes, it’s Snake Monastery.
“Hangjaw” will drop this Friday on Eatbrain and can be pre-ordered on Beatport. The next remix for “Stoning” by Kemal will be out on November 12. Check out all the remixes thus far on Eatbrain’s Soundcloud.