Check out the next in our series of exclusives from the Icelandic icon – part one of two sets of re-imagined songs from music's outer limits by some of the most interesting artists of today
Björk has never kept herself to herself. The list of her collaborators – visual, moving image and musical – stretches into the dozens. Matmos, Thom Yorke, Harmony Korine, Nan Goldin, Alexander McQueen and, on her most recent album, Haxan Cloak and Arca are just a few of her fellow adventurers.
For her latest venture, the Icelandic star has created two sets of remixes. Released by One Little Indian Records, we're streaming the first set exclusively below, featuring the forces of music's forward-edge: Lotic, Mica Levi, Katie Gately and Kramphaft. Scroll down to read the stories of how this extraordinary set of songs came to be.
“Björk – Notget (Lotic Keptsafe version)
“lotic is the one of the first musicians alejandro introduced me to autumn 2013 with piles of enthusiasm : i got immediately obsessed enjoying how always total nature he was !! the most clublike flamboyant anthems of his always seem like shrieks of beasts , dark insects and pagan birds displaying their feathers in a territorial way : a colourful celebration !! the reason why i asked him to do notget was there are certain suspension like elastic gravity defying beat structures that him and alejandro share ( each in their total idiosyncratic way though ) that notget has and i had a gut feeling he would take further . which he did .” – Björk
“When Björk sent over the original track to review late last year, I couldn't believe how well she had intuited that ‘Notget’ was the perfect selection for me. Perhaps it was a bit of coincidence, but I was very much still tending to the scars left from my previous relationship while at the same time nurturing my current one. ‘Notget’ is both the mourning and the eulogy; I knew this meant remixing the song would be difficult, both technically and emotionally. In the end, I felt I had to attempt to amplify both the desperation the song expresses as well as the inspired, reminiscent joy. The result came to be two completely separate explorations, with ‘Keptsafe’ exploring the sorrow and ‘Fromdeath’, coming next week, the bliss.” – Lotic
Björk – Family (remix by Katie Gately)
“katie gately was introduced to me through our mutual friend robin carolan . i was immediately blown away by her universe : has a refined engineers point of view expressing melancholy with some organic physical sonic fine textures . she picked her song and it didnt surprise me she went for family . i feel out of all the remixes she really took it most somewhere else while keeping true to the core of the song . which is that fascinating contradiction of the best remixes .... ” – Björk
“Robin Carolan introduced us through email and bjork asked if i was interested in remixing, which...i undoubtedly was. i asked to work on "family". When I got the stems, I started by just erasing all of them except for the vocals, and allowed myself to add anything to the stew which was originally a "voice" – a sound made from a vocal chord. I harmonized her main vocal line with pitch-shifted owls, peacocks, hyenas and sparrow calls and turned that into the new track. I spoke with her on the phone afterwards, and she seemed excited that it was so different from the original.” – Katie Gately
Björk – Lionsong (Kareokjeijd version by Mica Levi)
“mica is someone i have been following growing since 2008 , like a proud aunt , i might even have been at her first concert ? sooo exciting to witness her grow into a full on composer carry the weight of such things as "under the skin" ... and i still adore her upbeat stuff with tirzah too !!!” – Björk
“I did a karaoke version more than a remix, because I love her string arrangements and thought it would be an opportunity to draw attention to them. I hope Björk isn't offended that I took her voice out, [but] you can hear it in your head – or sing along.” – Mica Levi
Björk – History of Touches (remix by Kramphaft)
“krampfhaft is someone i have been listening to for few years adoring his hyperbeauty , orchid techno i nickname it in the vein of plaid and others : brave enough to take joy on in the often rather apocalyptic environment of electronic music” – Björk
“I was very honoured to be part of this, although it was a pretty daunting taks to rework a song with such an intimate topic! As the original is very stripped down, all I could think of doing was adding in [even more] tension and drama. So I layed the whole track on to a bed of heavily compressed cloth movement and gradually built up the tension from there.” – Kramphaft