“This is the beauty I want. Beauty has got to be astonishing, astounding – it’s got to burst in on you like a dream.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, from “The Offshore Pirate”
When Sofi de la Torre sings of certain markers of opulence on “What People Do,” her smokey vocal and scaled-back percussion makes the things she longs for seem unobtainable. Like Lorde’s “Royals,” that inaccessibility gives way to a certain ironic tinge, and by its end the track shows something of a disdain for trite status symbols.
But leave it to NYC-based producer Mickey Valen to flip that script. “When looking for remixes I search for great songs that have vocals that inspire me to do something different, completely strip all the original production and build around it” he says. His lavish treatment of Sofi’s “What People Do” is so sonically disparate from the original that it adds a completely new dimension to the track’s sense of yearning. With flute flourishes, jazzy piano, and bubbly synth glitches fanning out from the Spanish singer’s distorted hook, the world Sofi created pops off like a Gatsby party under Valen’s skilled hand. It’s enough to make you want to put on a string of pearls and sip champagne on a yacht.
Valen has worked with emerging indie acts as Noosa and EVVY, and has four more projects slated for release in 2015. He’s taking a break from producing full-length albums to put out remixes every month, so be sure to follow his soundcloud for the latest.