Last year when British funksters A Certain Ratio released their first album in 12 years, we said that with ACR Loco, the group “sound far removed from their post-punk roots, relying more on their sound’s dance and funk elements”. On that record is the bouncy, beat-laden, dancefloor-ready “Yo Yo Gi”, a track that incorporates deeply groovy rhythms and textures, bubbly synths, vocals, and various field recordings. It’s complex, enthralling, and able to induce a sort of trance as the music rolls on. Also, it’s profoundly funky. Give it a listen.
A Certain Ratio have since collaborated with a number of intriguing artists for remixes. The Orielles took on “Yo Yo Gi” and approach the tune with a minimalist’s ear. Stripping back the original layers to give more spotlight to the field recordings, the Orielles convert the track’s funk to something approaching footwork and 2 step garage with ambient passages. The bass isn’t quite as omnipresent, and the beats have more of a skittering quality than the heavier thuds of a dance-rock song.
The best remixes reveal something completely new about a piece of music. The Orielles succeed in melding A Certain Ratio’s aesthetic choices with their own to expose a new form of the song as “Yo Yo Gimix”, which is more of the headphone variety, as opposed to the dancefloor.
Both artists tell us about working together.
A Certain Ratio on the Orielles: We are big fans of the Orielles, and we have seen them develop into an amazing band from when Jez first mentored them and helped them with their early demos when they were 15 years old.
Their Hot Singles Club DJ sets are legendary, with such an eclectic mix of amazing songs with Shazam working overtime only to find that most of the songs they play don’t even exist on Shazam. That’s our type of music lovers. We were knocked out when we heard their remix of “Yo Yo Gi”, and it sounds like they have been discovering loads of 2 step garage stuff from the 1990s. They are very much like ACR in that they are constantly searching for new things to listen to and play.
The Orielles on A Certain Ratio: “Yo Yo Gi” is a party track, a funky dancefloor-filler that gets heads bopping, and after speaking to the band about the birth of this song and its inspiration stemming from their Japan trip, we decided to strip it back to its core. The assumed subway journey through Tokyo was a great starting point, and we reimagined this journey through layering chords and improvised piano melodies inspired by Joe Hisaishi.
The samples of dialogue and field recordings fit so perfectly and sat so well with the drum groove, giving it a footwork and garage vibe. We also took a part of the bass riff and dotted it between phrases, which gave it an almost ominous tone, waiting for the release of the built tension. We ended the remix with the same sample that ACR use just before their song kicks in, as we thought our remix would be the perfect prelude to “Yo Yo Gi” and would work so well for future DJ sets!