David Lynch David Lynch's forays into music have always been whimsical and…
- Posted on Mar 11th 2011 2:30PM by Jesse Ship
Rob Da Bank, eclectic BBC DJ and Sunday Best Records label head, was put to the task of building the team of remixers who tackled Lynch's songs, coming up with the other eight tracks which appear on the disc alongside the filmmaker's originals.
And while Da Bank admits Lynch doesn't follow electronic music as intently as he does, the cinematic powerhouse behind 'Blue Velvet' and 'Mulholland Drive' is certainly familiar with artists like Underworld, who is part of the elite production squad also including Sasha, Boys Noize, Skream, John Hopkins and Dan Le Sac, featured on the new EP.
"The first time I met David Lynch was in Paris where I was given a list of instructions. I was to meet him at a café at 11AM -- but that he would be outside because he doesn't smoke," Da Bank tells Spinner.
"The next time was at his home in L.A. He turned off the lights and he played us ten tracks and took us on an audio-visual road trip of his upcoming album. He told us he calls it 'modern blues.' I don't know what that means, really, but there was a definite electronic tinge to it, accompanied by his vocals, guitar and bass."
While the world is abuzz with the Lynch's synth-y, dancefloor stunner 'Good Day' and the downtempo, chain-dragging headphone piece 'I Know,' few are aware that the famous auteur actually sings, plays guitar, bass and a few other electronic instruments on the tracks.
"Not only is he a legendary filmmaker, he's soon to be known as a legendary composer as well," gushes Da Bank.
Lynch famously collaborated with Angelo Badalamenti on the music from many of his cult works like 'Twin Peaks' and 'Eraserhead,' so crossing over to full album production is not a far stretch.
"The 'Twin Peaks' music is forever embedded in anyone's head that lived through that period," Sasha, the globetrotting Welsh-born DJ of Sasha and John Digweed who reworked 'Good Day,' tells Spinner. "The song had something very child-like to it. I wasn't told it was Lynch's at first, I thought it was just sort of interesting. It was nothing like what you would expect his music to sound like, but it has some interesting 'Lynch-y' undertones."
When asked if he thought Lynch had any help in the production, Sasha answered: "I feel like he'd have an engineer working with him; I don't know if he sat there with his nose pressed against the screen, obsessing over every note in Ableton or Logic. But maybe I'm wrong."
German techno artist Boys Noize was another of the select group recruited to remix 'Good Day.' He jumped at the opportunity to remix something so far out of his usual realm. "It's quite boring to remix a techno track," he tells Spinner. "It gives me another dimension to work with -- a song that is not meant to be electronic, or from a totally different genre."
But the vocoder-heavy song made perfect sense to Boys Noize since glitchy Aphex Twin-style drums heavily influenced him during the remix and robot voices often factor into his work.
"I was not really looking to build the next club-banging anthem, I just went with what I was feeling for it, musically, and I'm really happy with how it ended up."
Dan Le Sac, the only actual artist signed to Da Bank's Sunday Best label was another natural fit for the project. "Rob just leaned into my ear last year at a press event and whispered something about David Lynch," says Le Sac, whose first reaction was disbelief, as Sunday Best is a smaller label for such a big name. His next thought, like so many others, however, was "do you need any remixes?"
Le Sac is most known for his conscious/spoken word electro-rap, but is currently on a remixing stint whilst his partner, Scroobius Pip, wraps up a solo EP. He jumped on the 'I Know' remix because it meant he could do what he liked with it.
"I didn't have to make him a pop hit," says Le Sac. "The challenge was not falling into the trap of creating a new version that would get different radio play or getting him into another audience. But it's David Lynch! I reckon he's a little more famous than I am -- this wasn't something that was going to help him sell more records, it was a chance for me to just take the track at face value, and take it anywhere I liked."
Lynch has remained fairly quiet with his feedback, but Le Sac is content with the response he has gotten. "I know at least it didn't offend him," he jokes. "I did get a few tweets from him saying 'thanks'; no hellish 'I hated it' comments. The man clearly has a joy for music."
While it's not clear if Lynch has any favourite remixes, Da Bank was told that "he loves the John Hopkins version of 'I Know.' It really struck him."
"John is such an orchestral guy," he adds, "he really turned it into a beautiful reworking."
There was no shortage of DJs who were ready to give up their time for this project, but sadly, one of Da Bank's top picks just wasn't able to come through. "There was only one artist, Burial, who would have loved to but couldn't for various reasons."
So given that Lynch is producing a full album, the great question remains -- will he be taking his show on the road?
"He talks about it, but I don't think we should expect any major tours," says Da Bank. "He's ridiculously humble and not keen to be a frontman in a rock band. It was always a challenge to meet him even in L.A., and we would mostly do it at his house."