There was a lot to digest in Bjork's 2011 album 'Biophilia' but technological
wizardry aside it remains, in many ways, one of her most visionary and satisfying
works; a distillation of core values and a huge imaginative leap into the dark.
'Bastards' harks back to 'Telegram' (1996), a marvelous set of re-imaginings by
other artists of her 1995 album 'Post' and delivers some exhilarating listening.
The elusive melodic and structural form of 'Biophilia's' compositions are given
greater rhythmic presence in many of these interpretations which both reveals
their quasi-organic inner-workings and affords us a refreshing second look.
Omay Souleyman's takes on 'Crystalline' and 'Thunderbolt' attest his Syrian roots
and contribute a fascinating perspective through his use of traditional Arabic
instruments and ribald percussion; the Hudson Mohawke, Peaches and Guacamole
remix of 'Virus' fleshes out the song's fragile heart with big echoing beats
and rich washes of regal synth; the darkly grinding arrangement of 'Sacrifice'
by Death Grips makes your bones rattle in their sockets and The Slip's approach
to 'Moon' adds flesh and blood to the original's ephemeral skeletal structure.
Current Value's inspired response to the magical 'Solstice', however, is perhaps
the project's most exciting contribution; with its truly beautiful skittering
introduction and subsequent massive granite-like slabs of sound we can almost
feel the very Earth tremble and subside beneath our feet. A sonic masterstroke!
Side by side with its esteemed progenitor 'Bastards' can stake a claim to be
one of the year's most rewarding releases. Bjork's offspring have served her well!