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Album cover of Liquid Stranger's Psychonaut remix package
Credit: Wakaan Records (www.wakaan.com)

Reviews

8 artists send Liquid Stranger’s ‘Psychonaut’ track to another dimension

You may remember a time around Valentine’s Day last year where bass music fans were a little louder than usual celebrating Liquid Stranger. We rejoiced when the kingpin of freeform bass released a heavily dubstep-influenced EP, Ascension. From start to finish, the EP took us all for the ride of lifetime.

But one track stood out, and is getting the remix package from 8 artists — Psychonaut, the opening track. Top-notch bass artist recruits 12th Planet, Blanke, Lick, and Hydraulix make out a stellar lineup of support. Listen to all the Psychonaut remixes out now on Liquid Stranger’s Wakaan label, and read our review below.

Challenge of re-working the original track

It’s hard to figure out how you would change a track that already packs so much gas. An expansive, complicated, tangled mess of bass makes up the original Psychonaut, but it’s done with poignant clarity.

Complete with a plunging bassline that drags through time, the propelling rhythm is tied together by vocal cuts. Shortly after the track’s opening, a voice introduces the concept of a psychonaut, “the few and the brave, willing to take the trip into the unknown in order to know themselves.”

Standout remixes: Lick brings the bass

Our favorite remix in the package comes from Lick, a producer based out of Los Angeles. True to his style, he brings a hefty cut of discordant bass together and hits his take out of the park. He maintains a congruent structure to the original track, with a higher-strung and dizzying first drop complemented by a less-intense but still psychedelic second.

As an artist who’s been on DMNW’s radar for a while now, Lick is bursting onto the scene in a big way. Snagging a slot for this remix album is an opportunity that he took and ran with. He’s had a busy couple of years releasing on the Deadbeats stable and collaborating with several other bass artists (including the PNW queen, Whipped Cream).

Blanke gifts a twist of drum and bass

Another one of our favorites comes from down under artist Blanke. We loved his remix for the near opposite reason of Lick’s. Blanke completely flipped this track on its head and unleashed something entirely fresh. Anticipation sets in as he immediately kicks off with the vocal line, and tensions rise for nearly a minute until a glitchy drum and bass drop throw us into the meat of the track.

It’s not the first time Blanke took a remix and stripped it to the bones to build something new. His remix of Zeds Dead and Subtronics’ Bumpy Teeth in 2020 operated similarly.  The Australian producer took the industrial sound he’s been honing for the last several years to a new level on his most recent EP, Change & Decay: The Fall. The influence of his sound shines through on this Psychonaut remix, particularly reminiscent of Shadow.

Remix package characterizes Liquid Stranger’s style perfectly

Perhaps our biggest takeaway is how neatly this fits into Liquid Stranger’s entire project. He’s endlessly demonstrated how versatile his sound can be, smoothly breaking all definitions of what bass music means. Now with the help of 8 other artists, they boast similar results. From legendary 12th Planet’s mix rife with his crisp dubstep sound to a higher-tempo experimental cut from Mersiv, each artist flexes their creative muscles to deliver new sounds.

Listening to the same song flipped nine times in a row may seem repetitious, but in reality it’s anything but. Check out the Psychonaut remix LP, out now on Wakaan.

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