This past June, Rostam—formerly of Vampire Weekend—unveiled his second full-length solo release, Changephobia. Today (Dec. 1), the 38-year-old multi-instrumentalist and songwriter put out the second half of the album’s corresponding remix project, featuring new versions of the tunes by the likes of Japanese Wallpaper, EasyFun, Ben Böhmer, and more.
The first installment of the remix project (featuring A. G. Cook, Billy Lemos, and more) hit DSPs last month. To go along with the release of the second half, Rostam outlined how each of the five tracks was reimagined, starting with the revamped version of “Bio18,” which features tabla, a drum often used in Hindustani classical music.
“The drums on the original version of ‘Bio18’ song have all been replaced by the tabla performance by Neelamjit Dhillon,” Rostam said. “Though there are no tablas on my second album, my first album had tabla on the songs ‘Wood’ and ‘When.’ I liked that this remix serves as connective tissue between the two records.”
Following “Bio18” is a remix of “4Runner” by EASYFUN, who’s been in A. G. Cook’s PC Music circle for years. “Finn (aka EasyFun)’s ‘Be Your USA’ was my summer jam for 2018,” Rostam explained. “I’ll always connect his unique musical style to that summer and this remix reminds me of it in the best way.”
Then, joining the roster is Japanese Wallpaper, who put together a stripped-back version of “These Kids We Knew.”
“Japanese Wallpaper aka Gab did this minimalist take of ‘These Kids We Knew’ and since he is on Australian time, I received it in the middle of the night,” Rostam said. “I love that I first heard it in the middle of the night and in the morning it sounded like a dream to me.”
Up next is “From the Back of a Cab,” one of the highlight tracks off Changephobia. For the remix on this one, Rostam not only got a new version of his tune but a new artist whose work he could dive into too. “Ben (Böhmer) reached out about remixing ‘From the Back of a Cab’ and at the time I was unfamiliar with his music,” he said. “I love his mix because it feels equally fitting for a morning commute or a night out in Berlin.”
Then, the remix project ends, fittingly, with a version of “Kinney” reminaged by Roth Bart Baron, who Rostam has provided remixes for in the past. “Roth Bart Baron are a group from Japan whose song ‘霓と虹 ‘I remixed recently myself,” he said. “Their remix of ‘Kinney’ was surprising and exciting at the same time. It was an unexpected take on a song that took some unexpected turns in and of itself.”
All in all, the two halves of the Changephobia remix project—paired with the original record itself—constitute a magnificent creative product, indicative of the inimitable mind that brought it all together. Read more coverage on Rostam (including our interview with him from the album’s release this past summer) HERE.
Photo by Jason Stone / Motormouth PR