(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan

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This is a dream of an EP. More than merely a generous maxi-single for one of 2001's finest pop songs (although it is that), this release forms a sort of microcosm of gentler cutting-edge electronic and indie pop sounds circa the beginning of the millennium. The track list alone makes for a striking document: first of all you've got Jimmy Tamborello's fellow San Franciscan Safety Scissors with a microhouse/glitch-hop remix featuring new vocals recorded by Erlend Øye, then just dipping his toe into electronic waters following the success of Kings of Convenience's hushed folk-pop debut. Following that are a trio of mixes from highly esteemed Germans: Barbara Morgenstern, who adds her own vocals to Ben Gibbard's in a moody, organ-led electro-pop reworking, Kompakt's Superpitcher, with a masterful minimal techno take, and Lali Puna, representing Morr Music with a dreamy instrumental version. And of course, there's the original version of the song, easily the highlight of Dntel's terrific Life Is Full of Possibilities, as well as the initial fruit of the collaboration between Tamborello and Gibbard which later blossomed into the Postal Service. It's a heartbreakingly gorgeous marriage of song and sound, with wispy melody and wistful, dreamlike narrative -- evidently inspired by an actual dream Gibbard had about Cat Power and the Lemonheads' Evan Dando -- wedded to a blissful bed of beats and synths swathed in hazy sheets of distortion. If the remixers here generally choose not to stray particularly far from the original template, it's hard to fault them for that, and the song is easily strong enough to stand up to a half-hour's worth of gentle reimagining. A perfectly fine, if inessential, new vocal Dntel piece, "Your Hill," rounds out the disc.

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