Variety Lights marks original Mercury Rev singer David Baker’s return to full-length releases after 18 years of behind the scenes production work and various other creative meddlings. In case none of that sounds familiar, you’re luckily already on the Internet, so be sure to take a look on Google after you give a listen to Silver Apples’ remix of the upcoming single, “Silent Too Long.” What you’ll find is a tale of struggle between mainstream fame and pop experimentalism as could only happen in the “alternative” explosion of the early 1990s. Now, onward boldly into the future/present.
With synth groundbreaker Silver Apples’ remix, the intensely anthropoid synths and doubled vocals of Baker’s original track stretch neatly over Simeon Coxe III’s bendable grid of semi-tropical drum machine and less than stable synth sequences. Both versions maintain a wonderful affinity for the atonal, dissonant side of analog synth and a continued willingness to bend a few ears in the pursuit of a concept. Which is the most unhinged or innovative in its own right is yours to decide. Regardless, the collision of these two talents is noteworthy not only for their legacies, but for the evidence of fresh direction and the hope of what might come next.
Written by Luke Carrell