CHRISTINA VANTZOU, the Belgian-based vocalist, composer and film-maker who began her career with Stars of the Lid’s Adam Wiltzie in The Dead Texan and who’s gone to establish a powerful and eerie musical aesthetic over the course of four album for Kranky, has brought her otherworldly ambient skills to bear on a rerub and mash-up of two tracks by the Brooklyn duo LEYA – harpist Marilu Donovan and violinist Adam Markiewicz – leading the modern compositional duo out through the mirror and into a sharded, restless dreamscape pregnant with hallucinatory textures and vocals. Not for the faint-hearted, perhaps, but possessed of strength and beauty.
Both tracks used to create the mash-up are taken from LEYA’s album from last year, the acclaimed, haunting Flood Dream; haunting in the original, they’re gobsmackingly spectral in this reversioning.
“My love for LEYA extends back to their early beginnings, and a longtime friendship and many collaborations with Marilu Donovan,” Christina says.
“Marilu introduced me to Adam at a LEYA show in Brooklyn a few years ago and we became fast friends. So when LEYA asked me to remix a track from Flood Dream I already knew their sound intimately.
“I worked with stems from two of my favourite tracks, ‘Mary’ and ‘ABBA’, and treated the vocals, harp, and violin like I was working on a piece of my own, spending time wrestling with the possibilities, making it glow with the intense, soft and dissonant beauty that marks their sound.”
The track was first heard last weekend during a guest mix that LEYA did for Dublab. Marilu and Adam say of the session: “This mix veers in and out of old and new. We start with 14th-century French ars nova and end with Beyoncé.
“It has a kind of wild flow that reflects our inexperience as DJs – some sloppy mash-ups we made and a lot of random intensity and poorly timed lulls. These tracks pull from our youth, our friends, the masters, the city at current, and Hot 97.”
LEYA’s “ABBA”/”Mary” (Christina Vantzou Remix) is out now via all digital streaming providers.