Horse Doctor DATM Remix

Dunedin software-wizard Horse Doctor (John Glasgow) has remixed Death And The Maiden’s “Dear ___ ” and it’s the most radical remix of anything I’ve ever heard. Ever.

It was so radical it (almost literally) took my breath away. There’s barely enough of the original essence of the song to recognise it from its original album form.

Vocalist Lucinda sounds dislocated, trapped in a resin mold and spinning through space on an alien craft controlled by a malfunctioning short-circuiting computer system. It’s brilliant.

There’s a bit in Simon Reynold’s book “Retromania” where he laments the lack of genuinely new forms of music utlising technology and non-traditional music instrumentation and conventions to craft new exploratory styles. Horse Doctor is the future he imagined was possible.

In this remix – and in the other works assembled on the Horse Doctor Soundcloud – the striking feature is the seriously complex multi-layered Frankenstein Monster re-assembly work. But it goes beyond just looping samples. The first 4 minutes is weird enough. But it really takes off at around the 4 minute mark and goes into a time-distorting, gravity-defying worm hole of sound.

There are many looped micro-samples layered so they form glitchy polyrhythms and then these looped micro-loops are layered with other looped sound into a weird and exciting kind of extra-terrestrial orchestral music, as if performed by a vast orchestra formed by a species of hyper-intelligent space-ants.

“i think i crashed acid pro about 500 times for this one” says Horse Doctor, confirming the diagnosis that this pushes the boundary of music software, and perhaps even sanity. Anyway, it takes a few listens to get into this because it is so different. Yet it is music of great skill and unusual beauty, bearing as much relationship to its orginal re-mix subject song as it does to any notion of pretty much anything else I’m used to.