In 2019 Western Massachusetts electronic duo Home Body dropped their sophomore album Spiritus on Peace & Rhythm / Feeding Tube Records. The band seamlessly combines the soaring voice of Haley Morgan with the throbbing, hovering keyboards and cardiac beats of Eric Hnatow to create what they call “fever pop,” a spellbinding soundscape that haunts the body as much as the mind. Home Body’s distinctive sound is all their own and while it has its roots in previous electronic pop music, there’s no mistaking them for any other artist. Three years in the making, Spiritus was lush with character and detail, displaying moments of ecstatic high energy melting into soft expansion, coaxed along by ghostly textured synths that were at once momentum mounting and spirit settling.
When the album was released, Peace & Rhythm proposed the idea of commissioning a remix version of the album from producers, DJs, and musicians they thought would take the tracks in other directions and sonorities. A pop duo at heart with an experimental edge, Home Body was open to the possibilities of sharing their multi-track masters and letting other artists explore and expand the envelope of sound that is Spiritus. This project features a diverse lineup of international remixers who range from cumbia to disco, electronica to house, and even folk.
First off, the Los Angeles-based Sister Mantos (Discos Mas / Normandie / Manimal) recontextualizes “DNA” by introducing a Caribbean flavor in the form of a reggaeton / cumbia, lending a syncopated yet haunting feel to the song that somehow feels just right.
Next up, Vongold (Mixmag / Playground / Rotten City) from Guadalajara, Mexico, goes dark, bringing her brand of Darkwave meets New Beat inspired Nu Disco to the track “Comet.” Lower the lights and fade up the bass for this dance floor churner.
Hailing from NYC, C.A.M.P.O.S. is the psychedelic, cosmic, cumbia-loving, alter ego of multi-instrumentalist Joshua Camp (Chicha Libre, Locobeach). Camp goes full tropical on “Little Things,” adding Colombian percussion, heavy bass, spaced out dynamics, and infectious melodies on the maestro’s accordion.
GMGN (Soul Clap, Midnight Riot, Toucan Sounds), from Boston, MA, this house/disco producer at the top of his game, delivers an instant classic. In his capable hands, “Soft Stuff “ becomes a percussive banger, as the producer slices and dices the vocals and adds horn stabs over a heavy rhythm. Peak time party material for the club!
Down in Austin, TX we find Greg Gonzalez, veteran founding member of Grupo Fantasma, Brownout, Money Chicha, and sometime bassist for Prince, with his danceable post punk take on “White Hands.” Gonzalez brings back the moody darkness, infusing it with insistent cowbell and snare beats propelled by ominous fuzz bass tones and droning electronics.
Then we’re off to Oslo, Norway with Plastic Fantastic (Aficionado, Real Balearic) who slows things down with a sparkling, ambient version of “Lightning”. The Balearic master deftly creates a dramatic soundscape as a bed for Haley Morgan’s gorgeous voice.
And back to Western Massachusetts, the home of the band, for a gentle landing with a completely different setting for Home Body. Loops For Pearl fully recreates “Soft Stuff” as a beautiful acoustic journey suffused with folk, Americana, and light electronic touches that somehow manage to ring true, despite being completely foreign to the sound of the original.
To close things out, Peace & Rhythm founder DJ Bongohead re-envisions the full album through “Rubber Eyes,” grabbing pieces from throughout to rearrange the “Undertow” into a downtempo dreamscape kiss goodnight.