‘Cabin Fever Remixes’ is a subsequent release from Baconhead following their 2015 EP ‘Cabin Fever’.
It features two new versions of their seriously dark and stormy track ‘Foreign or Domestic’ (featuring LA rapper Nongenetic) - one mix by Brain Rays (half of Baconhead), the other by Lenkemz (Slit Jockey and Mad Decent).
An ambitious endeavor to say the least; the original is a hard act to follow. The heavy and somewhat brooding beat of the original underlies a delayed and almost robotic delivery from Nongenetic. Although that description doesn't sound initially promising, the end result of this coupling is a spacey, tripped out experience which will cause you to miss your tube stop.
The Brain Rays remix retains much of this experience, but dares to go a step further into the darkness with a trap heavy revamp of the original. Hefty subs are combined with creepy, bell-sounding synths that enable Nongenetic’s vocals to have a more ominous effect on the listener. Midway through the the track, Nongenetic states, “Half man, half amazing is that dichotomy / Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde…psychology”. Perhaps Brain Rays gives a slight nod to this infamous tale of a split personality through the sudden change in tone, whereby the beat moves from dark and menacing to almost uplifting for a brief moment.
Having listened to the Brain Rays remix first, Lenkemz caught me off guard with their reimagining of this track. Naively expecting some more chest-rattling subs, Lenkemz instead opens with the tranquil sounds of Spanish guitar. Nongenetic’s vocals then gently drift onto the beat, having been tamed with the help of an auto-tune. The result is that of refreshing uplift, although this is short lived as the track seriously derails towards the end. In a similar (but opposite) sense to the Brain Rays remix, there is a sudden change in tone - except this time it moves from joyous and uplifting to creepy and weird. Nongenetic’s vocals are slowed down to inaudible levels and the once soothing Spanish guitar is twisted making it sound haunting. When it eventually fades out, it feels like you’ve just come round from a bad trip.
Nevertheless, if I had to choose between the two I would probably side with the Lenkemz remix. The fusion of Spanish guitar with Nongenetic’s vocals is nothing short of inspired, and it was welcome to hear a more lightened version of the ‘Foreign or Domestic’ track (up until the bugged out end that is).
Released May 22, 2017