Premiere: Grievous Bodily Calm share two new remixes, live take of Sync Step
The two new remixes of Grievous' Sync Step come from Ben Agüero, and are featured on the vinyl pressing of their recent Arc EP.
Header image by Nick Fitzpatrick.
Grievous Bodily Calm are a group that at this point, don't need much of an introduction anymore. The Perth favourites are synonymous with the peaks of West Australia's music space at its most experimental and lively, capturing the sheer enjoyment of a group improvising themselves bursts of organic and modular instrumentation that carries influences spread across jazz, soul, hip-hop, electronica and beyond.
It's something that shines both in recording and on the live stage, both of which have been teased throughout the last year. A couple of months back, Grievous Bodily Calm carved out their continued evolution with a three-track EP titled Arc, which despite its short length, still carried the odyssey-like journies that their sound radiates (and the experimentation and enjoyment captured within that). On the live stage, meanwhile, they may not have been as present as initially thought due to everything that went down across the year, but you still got peaks of their show through live sessions recorded at Rada Studios, and the few shows they did end up playing.
On the physical edition of Arc arriving this month, the three-track EP comes alongside two remixes from Perth-based producer Ben Agüero, as well as a live recording of Arc - the EP's self-titled moment, and one of its highlights - from the Rada Studios sessions they've been showcasing throughout the last few months. The two remixes arrive on streaming services this Friday, but before then, we have a little treat of a premiere that teases everything a few days early, and what a treat it is.
First, the video. Recorded from the same session as Arc released a few months back, the Sync Step (Live at Rada) brings the song to life with the same intensity and class as their usual live show; the five-piece bringing the live chops they've become renowned for to the now-Fremantle-based studio that has hosted them in the past. It really does a great job at capturing the fun that defines Grievous Bodily Calm, and how every member can bring together such different performance techniques to create something wonderful.
Then, there are the remixes of Sync Step, produced by one-to-watch Perth dance music force Ben Agüero. One remix takes a more ambient-like lane, stripping back the single's melodies to their most bare-boned and spotlighting them with a subtle embrace of the song's beauty (which really comes to the forefront, when the business of it is stripped right away). The other remix, meanwhile, is something a little more upbeat and club-ready; the Perc + Clap remix adding this garage-like, two-step edge to the single's already-dizzying sound.
"We have been aware of Ben's compositional and sonic brilliance for years, but his remixes exceeded all expectations," says Grievous on the two remixes. "Upon the first listen we were all floored by his ability to find new functions for every bit of material. The ambient mix slows down the trumpet choir, whose movements are answered in the bass. Underneath swirling deconstructed layers, Ben places us in a unique and deep sound environment to sit in, which brings to my mind ambient greats such as Eduard Artemyev.
"His 2nd remix features amazing and dynamic chops of the drum track, whilst using restraint to retain their liveness. He sends us on harmonic bends and turns that still astounds GBC as listeners upon the 50th listen. With an acidy bass tone that pulses, all elements are held in balance by his permutation of the original melody. We were so privileged to have Sync Step spun by his profound talent, and implore our listeners to check out his projects - including his solo project and Myriad Sun."
Ben, meanwhile, has similar acclaim to share: "This was something different for me as I’ve never remixed a band before," he says. "I really enjoyed just playing around with the sounds and trying different ideas. Initially, I struggled to come up with something as I liked the original as it was so it was hard for me to move on from that and just attempt to create something new."
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