Rest Assured is thrilled to announce Rafiq Bhatia is releasing Strata Remixes on October 16th in anticpation of his debut full-length Yes It Will, out October 23rd. Strata Remixes features remixes of the entirety of his debut Strata EP. The tracks were remixed by Sons of the Morning, the new collaboration of Prefuse 73 (Warp) and Teebs (Brainfeeder). Strata Remixes marks the first recorded output from the much-anticipated partnership. Pitchfork premiered “I” (available for posting HERE), remix of Bhatia’s “Sunshower,” and XLR8R debuted “IV” (available for posting HERE) the final track from the remix EP. Full track-list and art for all three releases is below.
Upon the release of Bhatia’s debut Strata EP last month,. The Fader called the EP “excellent,” described “Sunshower” as “echo[ing] like jazz set out to sea, inaugurated by Bhatia’s deft fingerpicking, sounding like a tree’s worth of acorns rolling into a fjord,” while praising the track “Greenhouse” as “a wonder as it coils so tightly into itself and unwinds so gracefully.” Coming shortly after this release is his debut full-length Yes It Will, out October 23rd. The New York Times, who featured both the EP & LP in their Fall Music Preview, recently praised Bhatia’s live show, proclaiming that Bhatia “transcend[s] real sound in real time with the unexpected.”
Just two winters ago, Bhatia found himself trudging through the snow to the front door of Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík, Iceland for the first time. He and his producer and musical accomplice Alexander Overington travelled across the Atlantic to work with Valgeir Sigurðsson, known for his work with artists such as Björk and Feist, who they sought out on account of his predilection for exposing the new within the known.
The Strata EP is a manifesto; the first half features two expansively produced originals (“Sunshower” and “Greenhouse”) propelled by woozy, nod-inducing beats, wall-of-sound orchestrations, and anthemic melodies. On “Statements,” a cameo verse from Anti-Pop Consortium’s High Priest weaves through a maze of constantly shifting trap beats, processed woodwinds, clustered strings, and guitar harmonics. The EP closes with a rendition of Flying Lotus’ “Pickled!”, which reimagines the stacked synthesizers of the original with tiers of processed acoustic sounds. For most bands, attempting a FlyLo cover would be an exercise in futility, but Bhatia and his collaborators use each section of the original as a point of departure into exciting and unexplored territory.
On Bhatia’s debut LP, Yes It Will, explosive improvisations are elevated by layers of overdubs and processing to create a lush and highly detailed musical statement. The vast yet intricate, ship-in-a-bottle production of tracks like “Open Spaces; Open Minds” and “Once” is juxtaposed against rawer cuts like “Annihilator Gators,” which features instrumental explorations and sound design that carefully emulate the technical quirks of 60’s Impulse! live recordings. After six originals, the album closes with a cathartic instrumental rework of Sam Cooke’s civil-rights focused classic, “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Special guests Vijay Iyer and Billy Hart, two of Bhatia’s closest musical mentors, deliver standout performances alongside members of the experimental chamber ensembles ICE and JACK, all grounded by the well-oiled machine formed by Bhatia and his bandmates.
Rafiq Bhatia Tour Dates:
10/16 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY w/ Foxygen, The Orwells, Dent May, Tashaki Miyaki
Aquarium Drunkard CMJ Showcase
11/15 – Glasslands Gallery – Brooklyn, NY w/ Raja, Pepepiano
Yes It Will Release Show
3. Statements (feat. High Priest & Shahzad Ismaily)
Yes It Will
1. Background Music
2. Open Spaces; Open Minds
3. Annihilator Gators
5. Endogenous Oscillators
7. A Change Is Gonna Come