Released at the end of 2020, Zombie Cats’ Mutation LP was easily one of the most technically clean drum & bass albums in recent memory. With the duo’s usual melodic flare in full force, it was a surprisingly emotional and extra funky offering for the trans-Pacific neurofunk mainstays. It’s no wonder the likes of Current Value, Chris.SU, Freshney and Kemal turned out to remix tracks for the Mutation reload; it would be hard to resist with sexy stems like these.
Amid all the mad bangers and twisted beats from tried-and-true masters on Mutation Remixed, a hidden and brand-new gem has emerged in the form of fellow Aussie countryman to half of ZC, Shannan. Literally his first release ever, Shannan isn’t doing too shabbily by debuting in the drum & bass world with his remix of “I Want” on this last release from Zombie Cats’ self-named imprint.
The frenetic and melodic classic that is “I Want” is a particularly tough track to remix, sexy stems or no. It’s got loads of layers of textured synths, a heavily syncopated and ever-changing beat structure, whip-smart snares and blown out, cinematic sound design. On top of that, the original “I Want” has been a recognizable mainstay on the dancefloor since it released.
For his remix, Shannan took the starburst synth that characterizes “I Want” and drew it out so that it was slower and covered more surface area. In this way, listeners can now really hear the sine wave structure that creates the starburst. It also changes the whole feel of the track. He also largely does away with the vocal sample, preferring instead to add another diminshing sine wave synth, this time in a bass register, to punctuate every other phrase and give the track even more old school neuro/techstep flavor. Beat-wise, the remix interestingly has just as many unexpected breakdowns and beat change-ups as the original but they’re in different places and are almost more startling due to the beat being more of a heavy chugger versus Zombie Cats’ more minimal, snare-driven one.
In a remix album full of epic remixes from some of the best artists in the game, it’s a cool surprise to see a brand-new player go to-to-toe with said legends on Mutation Remixed. If this is a preview of whats to come from Helloworld, it would seem the drum & bass world would do well to say “hello” back.
Mutation Remixed drops on Zombie Cats’ imprint this Friday, November 5. Click here to pre-order or pre-save.