Sun Restructured

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Listening to Temples debut album, Sun Structures, it's hard to see any need for the tracks to be remade, remixed, or restructured in any way. The English foursome arranged their trippy, heavily '60s-inspired songs to a degree of perfection that barely any bands in the original psych pop wave achieved, and finding someone to do the job right seems like a fool's errand. Every note, inflection, and flourish was just right, from the hazily romantic vocals down to the echoing thump of the floor toms. To pick up a brush and try to improve on a masterpiece like this would require a hardy soul, to say the least. Temples and their label, Heavenly, turned to two masters of the remix and revamp to take a shot. Erol Alkan and Richard Norris have both done excellent work separately, as they have together as Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve. Their brilliant reanimation of Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks" is rock-solid proof of that. Here the duo does the near-impossible and turns the Temples album into something equally as interesting and worthwhile as the original. The duo's m.o. doesn't involve tearing down and rebuilding; they keep plenty of vocals and other original sounds from the album. Instead, they stretch and amplify what's already there while adding occasional sounds as they see fit to help bring out the album's innately dreamlike textures. They set the songs free from the tightly constructed arrangements, giving the sounds room to billow and expand, filling the air with great clouds of psychedelic candy. When they do come down to earth, like on their take of "A Question Isn't Answered" with its nasty-sounding bass and thundering drums, they prove to be just as nimble and handy with the EQ dials. It's an impressive feat from a production point of view for sure, but more than that it's a compelling take on an already great album. Temples were right to trust Alkan and Norris with their work; the duo treated it with care, wrapped it in color and light, and handed back something almost as special as the original. One can't ask for much more than that.

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