ILM's 2005 collaborative mix project hoonja-doonja!

August 24, 2005

Leila - 'A Vital Resolution'

A good old-fashioned bootleg, just like Momma used to bake in 2001. Audaciously, it mix-and-matches two of the most stunning pieces of music ever committed to disc: the spectral passion of Aaliyah's 'We Need A Resolution' vocal and Vitalic's so-clean-it-hurts nosebleed techno tour de force 'Poney Part 1'. Odd choices, given how un-malleable both originals sound, and indeed the mix starts off awkward, almost like it's a mistake. There's genius at work here though. It rapidly coheres, the two songs sliding into place alongside each other like vast tectonic plates, and propels itself with the force of an earthquake to a climax which will fuck with your head: a cacophony of Aaliyahs poltergeisting desperately over empty space, bruised and battered by the pound pound pound of all those questions - "where were you last night?" "what was in your head?" "am I supposed to change?" and the monstrous, unrelenting Vitalic force.

Originally I thought I'd have to justify this with the most tenuous of links to the theme. Vitalic was born in rural Ukraine, according to his online bio, which is kinda east of Israel if you have a really bad sense of direction. (Never mind that this all turned out to be a filthy LIE which the sly Frenchman designed to fool gullible journalists like yours truly.) And, um, the original 'We Need A Resolution' sounded kinda Eastern. But that was before I realised who the Leila responsible for this was. The treatment of the voice rang a faint bell, the way as the track builds it increasingly resembles an instrument being manipulated and distorted rather than a human singing, while at the same time having its most emotive vocal qualities magnified. And then I found Leila's website, whence this was originally jacked, and lo and behold it was that Leila, the one who used to be Björk's keyboardist, who did a couple of fantastic electronic soul albums (Like Weather and Courtesy Of Choice) a few years back which made liberal use of that vocal trick, who is originally from Iran. Quelle coincidence!

(PS this also makes me realise that further mixes of Ciara's 'Oh' and Ginuwine's 'Pony' over 'Poney' are needed post fucking haste.)

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