“The references are manifold, but never muddled, sashaying from samba to soundtracks, from radiophonic disco to awkward vintage shuffles... Eight Thiumbs Up!” Electronic Sound
“An expert example of the strange and wonderful music from Becker and Mukai, perfectly produced, original and euphoric” Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip, About Group)
In 2019, Parisian cinema composer Jean-Gabriel Becker and Japanese composer and multiinstrumentalist Susumu Mukai embarked on the making of an album that was ultimately going to become Time Very Near.
The album was finally released with great acclaim in April 2020 through the strangest time in history and echoed with their fellow musicians and producers for its singularity and originality.
In these difficult times, musicians across the world found themselves hurt and powerless in front of a crisis that deprived them from one of the most important aspect of music making: the community.
Prompted by a few unsolicited offers for remixes, Becker & Mukai saw an occasion to invite their community of musician and producer friends to re-invent, deconstruct and rebuild the freshly-released album, inviting a few of them to create their own interpretations of the songs on “Time Very Near”.
Studio mates, friends and colleagues accepted to play the game and re-arranged the pair's global grooves and clattering beats into brand new original tracks. They all contributed to make the line-up for this project read like a who's who of London's electronic music scene.
Studio mate Joe Goddard, who, as an attentive neighbour and friend had been a witness of the birth of the album, and even the project itself, was kind enough to unleash his killer beats on Spice War, stripping the track down to its core to rebuild it on a bed of demented drum machines.
His version will the first to be shared and will serve as an introduction to the project, but it was old friend Jas Shaw of Simian Mobile Disco who was the first to come forward and created a alternative mix of Dark Fields Of The Republic for the dance-floor. Label mates (as part of Auf Togo), Sasa Crnobrnja took some time off from his other projects In Flagranti and Mytron and Ofofo, to deliver, under his own name, a dubbed-out version of Time Very Near.
Gus from Dreems took some elements from all over the album to create an ambient soundscape while other label mate AMA//MIZU reinvented the jazz noise of Tout Azimuth in a completely different light.
To complete an already impressive line-up, Becker & Mukai used their own personal projects, Zongamin and Lux Prima to reinvent the last untouched parts of the album...
The whole project is enriched by all these artists and styles.
Susumu Mukai, originally from Osaka, Japan, is one of London’s most sought after musicians, whose list of collaborators includes Floating Points, Vanishing Twin, Alexis Taylor and Fimber Bravo. His discography includes releases for XL, Ed Banger, Multi Culti and Kitsune, with remixes for Trevor Jackson, John Cale and Air.
Most renowned for fabulously oddball recordings as his alter ego Zongamin, this new adventure in Becker & Mukai marks the long-awaited next chapter from a singular virtuoso.
Jean-Gabriel Becker, originally from Paris, is a prolific composer for cinema, who has worked alongside Massive Attack on acclaimed film soundtracks and recorded with John Foxx. He produces music under various guises, including Jeanga And George, Economy Wolf and Lux Prima.
Becker & Mukai began when the pair held jams in an underground studio/den in Shoreditch around 2017. Their first release, the artfully unusual and vivacious ‘Eyes’ EP, came quickly and was soon followed by a collaborative EP of space-disco-meets-experimental-electronics called ‘Auf Togo meets Becker & Mukai”.
“Time Very Near” has been their focus for most of 2019 and finally came to fruition and was released in the middle of the COVID confinement, on the 10th April with great acclaim. It gathers sounds and inspiration from an ever-expanding palette of influences, assembled into something amorphously intangible that’s simultaneously refreshing and sharp, meandering and cosmic, futuristic but timelessly vintage. This remix project will echo this maelstrom of sounds and ideas and expand where the original album left off.
In a similar way, the remix album's cover will echo the collaborative collage that was created by the pair for “Time Very Neat” featuring drawings by Mukai, hence reinventing the art of the original album.