In this age of information overload, it's not often we have subverted expectations. We know, or think we know, enough about anything that comes our way. We're jaded from gorging ourselves on the bounties of music the internet provides, so much so that we so rarely find ourselves surprised.
But every now and again, an album comes out that humbles us. Versus II is one such example. This second entry in the series from On The Corner Records pushes the sonic needle into territories we didn't even know existed. From the Miles Davis-esque Contours remix of "Agama" to the ritualistic "JeJê", this album is simply breathtaking in it's uniqueness. Yet it retains a cohesiveness that speaks volumes of the vision of label boss Pete OntheCorner.
While the A-side tells stories of far flung lands with it's spaced out sounds, the B-side begs us to express our interpretations in the form chaotic dance. Daisho's "Simba" features atmospheric synths buffered by a roiling percussive action that touches and kick-starts your heart. To bring you back into this realm is an acid remix of a Mugwisa International Xylophone Group original, whose shamanistic earthiness grounds you and then begs you to slam your feet to an unbreakable beat.
Closing out the EP is Detroit's very own Peter Croce, who puts a late night dance remix on "Search It Out" from the experimentalist group Penya. This is a perfect bookend, as it features the afro-element themes prevalent in the rest of the album, and yet has a more formal approach, so as to allow for a collection of your thoughts. Starting off with an invigorating set of tribal drum sounds, it takes on a lazy synth angle as the song progresses, only to unleash a euphoric set of vocal samples that envelop you in a warm feeling of bliss. Amazing finish to an outstanding album!!
Purchase Versus II here!