Japanese beatsmith and RBMA graduate Yosi Horikawa got his big break in 2013 with his debut album ‘Vapor’. The release defied stylistic boxing with its mix of different contemporary music styles. Now, from its immense popularity comes the first official EP of ‘Vapor’ remixes. Including reworks by Yosi’s friends Daisuke Tanabe, kidkanevil and Fulgeance, plus an original track by kidkanevil directly inspired by Yosi’s style, the EP offers an insight into how Yosi’s compositional methods are interpreted by his contemporaries.
First is Daisuke Tanabe’s remix of ‘Kingdom of Frogs’. The introduction is a mirror copy of the original’s, creating a stylistic blend of Hip Hop, Electronic Music and Musique Concrète, which melts gradually into Daisuke’s personal translation of Yosi’s amphibian world. Following it is kidkanevil’s take on ‘Stars’. The aptly celestial glistening of the marimbas is still present, but the swung Jazz rhythm of the original’s double bass is modernised by the remix’s glitched, electronic style – an idiom common to kidkanevil’s work. Fulgeance’s ‘Beer’ remix follows and unlike the former tracks which respected Yosi’s stylistic properties, this version bears little resemblance to the original with the jarring Moog-esque synthesiser introduction and its bass-heavy, Hip Hop-orientated nature acting as a refreshingly different, almost parody-like interpretation.
The final track is feels akin to a bonus track, offered up by kidkanevil. ‘Thousand Year Forest (One for Yosi)’ followed on from kidkanevil and Daisuke’s trip to Mount Fuji. kidkanevil draws inspiration directly from Yosi’s authenticity of sound, and his roots in Chiba, Japan. The track acts as kidkanevil’s homage to one of the most forward-thinking, genre-defying producers of our time.
‘Vapor Remixed 1’ is out now on First Word Records. Buy it here.