The Non-Functional Saints Release ’17 Remixed’ feat. VLMV, Enjoyed
Title: 17 Remixed
Artists: VLMV, Enjoyed, Tuuligan, Practitioner, Non-Functional Harmony, Nicolas and the Saints, Dutch Wine
Genre: Electronica, ambient, techno, house
For Fans Of: DJ Shadow, Four Tet, Explosions in the Sky
Release date: 2nd March 2018
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17 Remixed comprises seven remixes of the tracks from Berlin/Vienna based The Non-Functional Saints’ debut EP 17, released last summer.
Alongside remixes by The Non-Functional Saints (NFS) members themselves, 17 Remixed brings together artists as diverse as British post-rock darlings VLMV, populist Portland dance producer Enjoyed and Lausanne based ambient artist Tuuligan.
It’s a fascinating exercise in the art of the remix. The same material twisted into wildly varying configurations.
Former Guardian band of the week Enjoyed takes the gentle ballad Make Me Human and extends it into a joyous seven minutes of brass infused house, while Practitioner sets the same vocal against skittering beats, piano and strings in a fragile composition that barely holds together.
Nicolas and the Saints’ version of To Come Home sees NFS member Nick Lewis turn his own spoken word contribution into an industrial trap vamp. Brighton producer Dutch Wine barely pays lip service to the original, departing into a post-dubstep soundscape.
NFS member Non-Functional Harmony stays true to the spirit of the original Make Me Welcome, drawing out the thump in an extended exercise in filthy techno, while Tuuligan buries it in glacial waves of sound, voice and rhythm only sporadically forcing their way through the ice sheets.
The record ends with Fierce Panda signees VLMV taking the delicate Between The Houses and injecting it with gorgeous swells of strings and electronics, a lost Sigur Ros composition for the coming down.
Nick Lewis, one half of NFS, said “It’s fascinating to see how differently each artist interpreted the material, including ourselves. I love how varied it is, but somehow manages to hang together. We’re incredibly lucky to have such talented friends.”
17 Remixed is out 2nd March. 17 was released in the summer of 2017, the debut release from The Non-Functional Saints. It was written, produced, mixed and mastered in just three weeks in a Berlin apartment. The street address was 17, hence the name.
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17 Remixed will be available on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes and all the usual digital retailers.
THE NON-FUNCTIONAL SAINTS BIO
The Non-Functional Saints are Nick Lewis and Phil Minns. The name is a conjunction of their respective artist names.
Nicolas and the Saints is best known as a Brighton five-piece mixing jazz, blues, post-punk and hip-hop, but Lewis uses the name for solo productions as well. He also has a Viennese configuration based around acoustic instruments.
Non-Functional Harmony is Minns’ moniker for his own electronic productions. His work encompasses techno, ambient and downtempo, always with an organic feel and a musicality all too rare in the electronic scene.
The pair met at Alton College studying Music Tech A Level 2001-2003. They are both self-confessed disciples of their teacher at the time – the late British avant-classical composer Martin Read.
Read taught them to love music equally in all its forms, and to be daring in its practice. The first homework assignment was to buy Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. He extolled Never Mind the Bollocks as the most important release in pop history. He admonished them for not knowing Howlin Wolf at the age of 16. He taught them to appreciate the Pet Shop Boys as much as Stockhausen.
Lewis and Minns bonded both over Read’s teachings, and a shared interest in the Warp and Ninja Tune releases of the time – in retrospect, a golden age for electronic experimentation.
After scant contact over the following decade, they reconnected in Lewis’ home of Brighton in 2015. In September 2016, when Nick needed a place to stay, Phil put him up in his Berlin apartment. There they made the debut NFS EP 17. Written, recorded, mixed and mastered in three weeks at 17 Simon-Dachstrasse.
Whenever they were stuck for ideas, or at loggerheads over which direction to take, they would ask themselves ‘What Would Martin Read Do?’ They even wrote it in chalk on the kitchen cabinet.
17 was self-released in the summer of 2017. Earlier that year, they recorded the follow-up, 2. A 22 minute through-composition that takes in drone, techno, noise and ambient. The name corresponds to a different Berlin address, at which it was made. It is yet to be released.
An EP of remixes of 17 will be released on 2nd March, featuring work by VLMV, Enjoyed, Tuuligan, Practitioner and Dutch Wine, as well as Nicolas and the Saints and Non-Functional Harmony.
In the autumn of 2017, The Non-Functional Saints entered the B-Sides Project remix competition. Their entry was their first attempt at producing remotely – sending stems between Phil’s home in Berlin and Nick’s in Vienna. The result is available as a free download for mailing list subscribers.