Trails and Ways: Detornar-se

Trails and Ways, Detornar-seTrails and Ways: Detornar-se
Trails and Ways have started their career ingeniously. They began by releasing a few covers including takes on M83‘s “Midnight City” and Miguel‘s “Sure Thing.” These were, of course, picked up by blogs and thus beginning to make a name for themselves. They, then, released several original tracks, each seemingly better than the last. But as 2013 begins, the band takes a gamble; instead of releasing a full length or a collection of the best tracks they have released over the last year, they release a remix EP entitled Detornar-se. Will the gamble pay off?

Remix EPs are always a risky proposition especially for young bands. The hope is that fans of the remixers will listen to the album and enjoy the remixes enough to seek out the original track thus become fans of the band. The reality for many bands is the remixers on the album have little fans of their own and thus the remix gains the band almost no new fans and gains the remixer no wider audience. Trails and Ways avoids this by having a couple high profile remixers on the album. Bay area producer, Wallpaper. cut his teeth doing high profile remixes for Local Natives, Das Racist, and Passion Pit. On their remix of Trails and Ways’ “Mtn Tune,” they enhance the original track’s shuffling bossanova beat creating what almost sounds like moombahton. They replace the original’s snaky clean guitar with slippery distorted synth creating something fun and danceable out of an esoteric indie track.

The other big name on the remix album is the New York duo, Ghost Beach who are much more known for their originals than their remixes. Ghost Beach takes on Trails and Ways’ “Nunca.” The original quickly became a blog favorite when it was released back in May with its sun-drenched dreampop feel. Largely that dream pop feel is obliterated in Ghost Beach’s remix. They replace that sunny feel with a steady house beat and subbass synth. While it is an interesting look at the track, it pales compared to the original.

As a matter of fact, it pales in comparison to fellow remixers’ The Heavyweights‘ take on the track. The Heavyweights keep the track sexy on their remix by adding a deep house feel and jazzy keyboards that harken back to Crystal Waters‘ “Gypsy Woman.”

Unfortunately, many of the remixes on the album fall short. Yalls remix of “Tereza” is nearly unlistenable and the six-and-a-half minute closer, Bunnynoser‘s remix of “Sure Thing” just turns the track into a Crystal Castles‘ song making it completely unrecognizable as Trails and Ways. Because the album is only eight song, to have two or three weak remixes really brings down the quality of the entire album. While the high points do further the band’s overall objective, I question whether it had to be released as a formal EP rather than strategic leaks while building towards a new full-length.
Rating: 6.6/10
MP3: Trails and Ways “Mtn Tune (Wallpaper. Remix)”
Buy: Free Download on trailsandways.com