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With two fantastic shows at the West End Cultural Center this year opening for Junior Boys & Austra now is a good time if any to drop this well thought out remix album from Young Galaxy. With this young Montreal duo of Stephen Ramsay & Catherine McCandless plus band mates Max Henry & James Lynn you not only grow a fonder appreciation for the countless hours they put into the production with the iconic Swedish studio master Dan Lissvik on their recent album Shapeshifters but you see the vision of each of the other contributions to remixing these artists. Young Galaxy’s sound is one that tells a sorrowed story of our Canadian landscape through riveting deep melodic tones and swirling powerful movements of indie electronic dance fueled motions. Handsome Furs get ‘Serve the People’ as Young Galaxy’s weapon in a plot to return you to an era of easy flowing chilled 90’s UK pop rock. The vocals float effortlessly on a bed of wispy filtered undertones delivering a timeless song that any generation can appreciate. ‘Lose It’ is by far one of the most emotional moving tracks from Austra and it is with great pleasure to say that they’re treated well in the remix department. Katie Stelmanis vocals enter you like a haunting and with a chilled essence of calm percussion and a swagger of the original melody fits so well. Johan Agebjorn is an accomplished solo artist that delves in the DJ world with Italo disco from the 80’s and his signature vocal styling’s can be wrapped up in a couple words but enigmatic cinematic soundscapes might describe it best. The remix here is no different by taking ‘Watch the World go By’. It drifts through happy thoughts and glowing white clouds of enthusiasm. Arkells are another powerful pop sensation from Hamilton and with their recent offering ‘Michigan Left’ you hear a positive movement in the way of a march with a resounding resemblance to Paul Simon & Talking Heads mixed together on Young Galaxy’s collective efforts on this mix. One track and band I found interesting that doesn’t really fit the style alongside these of artists is The Sound. The quirky shuffle of a reggae beat shimmers beside the slew of poppy key arrangements and air horns that ring a sound of distress but it still is a wonderful journey to see how Young Galaxy transformed this track into something new and fresh sounding for a new audience. With 10 artists getting the remix treatment by a rising band that has some good connections through the Paper Bag Records roster I foresee more future Versus compilations to surface.

By Marc 'Oxide' LaCasse
Dec 5, 2011

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