Dreijer’s voices acts as the enticing element around which Plunge Remix tethers itself.
Three years ago, Kanye West promised The Life of Pablo would evolve further past the date of its arrival. In a less-covered instance, Azealia Banks shared a demo of Machinedrum staple “Luxury,” a more rap-focused brag called “Competition.” Like West, she expressed the ways that art often morphs in the eyes of its creators, at times shifting so much that artists can’t help but share these “updated” pieces, or what they came from, with the world.
The label states that, for this release, “Remixers were chosen with the goal of creating music for Fever Ray to dance to.” Technically,Plunge is already packed with danceable moments, from the mischievous rush of “IDK About You” to the 6/8 swing of “An Itch.” However, as expected when involving Karin Dreijer, these songs lie a bit left of standard dance music. This album, with its global array of DJs and another famously unconventional vocalist, streamlines Dreijer’s music for those who want a more discernable time signature. Thankfully, their choice of collaborators and edits ensures this without sacrificing the collection’s peculiarities.
The Dinamarca and Lao remixes follow the original wondrous pan pipes of “Mustn’t Hurry” but put pep in its step with additional percussion and well-placed pauses, respectively. The differences are most noticeable when looking for them, unlike the more Diplo-tinged Tzusing version. As if to tease us to the end, the Aasthma remix fully transports the track into 2-step territory; truly, Fever Ray’s antics feel quite at home in such eerie, whirring atmospheres. Unfortunately, no two-step “A Part of Us” exists, a missed opportunity considering Fever Ray cut “I’m Not Done (Still Not Done Mix)” gets one of its own. Admittedly, the omission of certain tracks coupled with multiple same-song remixes tends to instill Fever Plunge with a homogeneity that, at times, grows monotonous.
But the album’s commitment to dancefloor requirements such as quick bpm and catchy hooks lets a listener simply stream a full DJ for over a solid hour. Sibling Olof Dreijer finds the brighter side of “Wanna Sip” with the addition of driving bells and triumphant horns, while South African duo Faka’s lend the title track a bit more pathos through their own vocals.
Undoubtedly, Dreijer’s voices acts as the enticing element around which Plunge Remix tethers itself. Her nasally enunciation constructs the persona of a playfully menacing presence on the dancefloor, a setting that craves disruption in the form of dissonance or tempo changes (both found in “IDK About You (rip ME reWORK)”). A kindred to Björk, her voice finds assistance from her inspiration in “This Country Makes It Hard To Fuck,” notched up from begrudging to full-fledged outrage. Its industrial elements violently retaliate against the state and society’s terrible record on sexual health and behavior. The title statement coming from two avant-garde advocates resonates with the resolve of artists who shifted culture simply because they had a vision. When demands for change come from them, it’s enough to make such change feel possible.