Sir Ivan – Imagine: The Remixes
Renowned EDM songwriter, performer, and cover artist Sir Ivan continues promoting his signature mix of electronic music and hippie ideals dubbed “Technippy” with a timely revisiting of his debut cover of John Lennon’s seminal ballad “Imagine”. Sir Ivan reached out to an assortment of the most important music producers and DJ’s working today to concoct compelling remixes of his fondly remembered 2001 hit. There is universal, across the board quality here – this isn’t merely some hodgepodge of arbitrarily slapped together variations on the same song, but instead twenty seven shades of the song rendered by master manipulators of sound, rhythm, and tempo. They are immaculately presented with their elements balanced for maximum effect. No matter what variations they conjure, the true star of these remixes remains Sir Ivan and Lennon’s original, immortal lyrics.
It is admirable how much focus the producers involved continue to give to Ivan’s voice and Lennon’s words. In every remix, across the board, these console masters give Ivan’s vocal and primacy and theatricality that draws the listener’s attention while a panoply of synthesizer, bass, and drum sounds thud and pulse around him. 7th Heaven Mix and Production, a two man team consisting of Jon Dixon and Andy Weston, nail the opening trio of remixes by emphasizing the song’s base elements and building around them. Dor Dekel’s contributions have a largely darker hue, but they never pull back from providing the same entertaining punch present in the other remixes. Respected producer and Chicago based DJ Marc Stout, with an impressive resume including such luminaries as Britney Spears, offers up a solid trio of remixes that emphasizes balance between the various musical elements while maintaining an almost, at times, claustrophobic intensity.
The tandem of Razor n Guidio’s in Heaven are included as well. Their remixes have an appealingly unpredictable air, but never venture too far afield from the song. The best remixes in this genre are those capable of strengthening or providing a different spin to the material while still, somehow, communicating something of the individual or team’s identity. German EDM producer Roger Shah makes an appearance and his contributions embody the aforementioned idea quite well. Shah is a composer in his own right and cannot resist leaving evidence of his own personality on the piece; fortunately, in the hands of such a talented professional, those touches never cross any lines and deepen the value of Ivan’s cover rather than detracting. The Wideboys conclude the album with their remixes and these have a much more rambunctious, go for broke air than many of the predecessors. Once again, The Wideboys are skilled and quite conscious of the virtues present in Ivan’s material and build off those strengths rather than overshadow.
Few releases in 2016 are like this. The famous painter Monet, renowned for his countless interpretations of natural phenomenon like water lilies, is a good reference point. The 27 individual remixes included here are all different, even if only slightly, angles and interpretations of Sir Ivan’s original vision. Each of them plays as a credible artistic work to be judged on their own merits and never imitative.
9 out of 10 stars.