London artist LAYLA’s Black Mud EP dropped earlier this year was full of vocals and instrumentals which brought out the reflective and sentimental in all but the most leaden-hearted of listeners. The lead track from the EP is here given a fresh lease of life courtesy of Lancashire-based duo Aquilo, who add a gleam of electronica to ‘Black Mud’ without surrendering any of the original’s beauty.
More sedatory than LAYLA’s initial version, Aquilo add layers of texture and depth which sit firmly within the space left intentionally by LAYLA, as well as intervening refrains and instrumentals. The sense of emotional integrity and hurt which sat at the heart however is retained, as the track ends with LAYLA pondering desperately ‘would it all work out?’ The balance of late-night comedown and genuine heartache is testament to the care with which Aquilo have taken with the original, and as every good remix should, magnifies and adapts what is already there rather than try and rewrite.
The breathy echoes and synths cover the vocals in a blanket comprised of a haunting and evocative nature, injecting a notion of menace to the track. It also adds a sense of beauty, accentuating the desperation and unsettled nature of LAYLA’s vocals and lyrics. Confident in its composition but in many ways tender in its delivery, Aquilo’s remix is full of beauty and care, adding a different shine to an already glistening gem.
Review by Ben Lynch |