Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz, the indie rock and alternative singer-songwriter duo from California have come up with an eclectic remix album. Eric and Mark hailing from northern and southern California respectively having been making music since 2003.
The twelve tracks from their album 2020 American Bardo were remixed as the remix album Bardo Hauntings released in two volumes. Six of these tracks are remixed by Mike Butler for Bardo Hauntings Volume I. American Bardo was based on the 2017 American writer George Saunders experimental novel Lincoln in the Bardo, which addresses American history as well as a variety of other hauntological topics and themes. With their lyricism which possesses stunning depth and sonically vivid musical expression, the listener cannot help but emote with each song on the record.
The album begins with Won’t Live It Down (Butler Remix) begins with a heavy synth bass and beats that lay down an industrial intense sound. Vocals traverse through this dense arrangement like butter. A string section adds to the stunning impending cinematic aura of the song. Matterbloomlight (Butler Remix) has a porous chordal backdrop on which the vocals are drenched in apt amounts of reverb. There is also good use of percussive tabla samples coupled with string sections and vocal harmonies. Electric guitars with dense layering add to the arrangement by Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz.
The remix of And One Love has a gritty synth riff over a retro electronic arrangement. Beautiful sonic canvasses are conjured on this track. A song one would revel in. The fourth track is the remix of Bury Me. A cello commences the track with a mesmerizing vocal performance and a solid rhythm. Another song with an amazing arrangement you would be immersed in. Holding Will is the fifth remix song on the record. There is a great amount of classic electronic production on this song. The novel arrangement gives the song a fresh upbeat approach which gives it a new spin. The remix album concludes with the sixth and final remix track of Judgment Day. With some interesting chord changes and production which elevates the song, we get a great swan song to the record.
The evocative vocals of Eric Anders are akin to Phil Collins or Elton John. While the music of Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz lies in Americana and folk, the adult contemporary indie electronic remixes on the record are top-notch are wonderful reimaginings of their songs. The remix album aims to send us into a state of hypnosis with the music possessing an elegant and vivid sensory aural experience. Trip-hop, downtempo, and other indie rock styles are used on the original tracks to great results which results in a fresh sonic narrative. This is an immersive record that is not merely a remix but reimagined album.
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