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(This Is) The Dream Of Evan And Chan

(This Is) The Dream Of Evan And Chan EP
(Plug Research)

Although I was a couple months late in actually hearing DNTEL's amazing Life Is Full Of Possibilities album, I was quick to jump behind it in a big way, and find it in regular rotation in my stereo many moons after hearing it for the first time. Inventive in many ways, one of the best tracks on the disc was the title song of this 6-track EP. With Ben Gibbard adding vocals, it was a track that had enough pop sensibility to make it downright sing-along, but also had enough things interesting going on with it that it didn't fade as quickly as bubblegum contemporaries.

After starting out with the album version of the track, the disc launches into probably the best reworking, courtesy of labelmate Safety Scissors (who released an excellent album of his own in Parts Water last year). Reworking the track completely from the ground up, almost nothing but slight sounds from the original survives, and Curry turns it into a rumbling, bottom heavy glitch-hop track with vocals re-sung by Erlend Øye of Kings Of Convenience. While it only has a couple things in common with the orignal, it's an absolutely brilliant re-imagining.

The Barbara Morgenstern mix also adds new vocals, but she also leaves in the originals by Gibbard, creating a clever duet over a slightly reworked version of the original. Superpitcher Kompakt turns in a dark, dancefloor-rumbling minimal house version, while Lali Puna turn in a so-so instrumental remix, subduing the pretty melody so much that there's barely enough to hang your hat on, let alone hum along with.

Finally, the EP closes out with a completely new track from Brian Tamborello. Again mixing organic (in this case, an accordian melody) with more inventive electronic and quiet vocals by himself, it's another excellent track that could have easily fit on the album. Many EPs seem to give you castaway material to fill in the gaps, but as someone who's obviously doing his best work right now, you don't get it here. Although it's not quite as inventive as the album, everyone involved does a good job of turning one track into 4 distinct ones, and the new track is a pastoral bonus. If you liked the album, you won't go wrong with this nicely priced, 30-minute jaunt.

Rating: 7.5