(Mute) Maps, aka James Chapman, has shared a brand new remix from Pye Corner Audio of "Lack Of Sleep", one of the standout tracks from his fifth studio album, Counter Melodies, out now on limited edition white vinyl, CD and digitally.
Chapman explains, "Pye Corner Audio's sound is a beautiful mixture of the nostalgic and dystopian, pushing sonic boundaries with every release. The world he creates is a warm yet brooding place to completely lose yourself in. It has always been a dream of mine to work together so it was incredible to get that opportunity!
The remix of "Lack Of Sleep" is fantastic, and I couldn't be happier with the results! Majestically, unashamedly huge in every way, it really is a monster of a remix. The build throughout is magnificent, and takes the original further towards the dance floor - while still maintaining Pye Corner Audio's signature, inimitable style. Complete with Acid squelches, euphoric pulsing synths and the constant pushing rhythmic momentum, the remix is a work of beauty and a perfect rush of endorphins. Turn it up!"
The latest 10-track album, which follows 2019's Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss., is an upbeat and uplifting escape from the news flow and features the fastest, most intensely euphoric pieces that Chapman has ever produced. "I've always used music as a way of escape," explains Chapman, "When I sit down and put my headphones on, I am able to go somewhere else."
From the opening chiming bell sounds of "Witchy Feel", Maps nods towards club music with a framing that has never been as fully evident in his music thus far. Beneath Counter Melodies' grids of unwavering beats is a restless unpredictability, full of unplaceable sounds that arrive out of nowhere and exist on the periphery of detectability. "I've always felt there are some elements of dance music that I like," explains Chapman, "but sometimes it feels purely functional. I've always wanted to make music that has emotion and that makes people feel something. There are elements of this album that have a clubby influence, but I like throwing in curveballs to make my music a bit more interesting."
Initial ideas for Counter Melodies began to form in the wake of Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss. Chapman chose not to tour the album beyond a few shows, instead he found himself DJing a lot towards the end of 2019. "I was enjoying making my own tracks and playing them in my DJ sets," he says. "It's like a comedian trying out new material. I really liked the idea of tracks flowing into one another, like a continuous DJ set. As soon as that idea was in my head, I just worked really hard to make it happen."
While Counter Melodies sounds totally unique in the Maps catalog, there is something about its presentation and tonality that makes it instantly recognizable as Maps. What Chapman has achieved with Counter Melodies is a new adventure through the familiar emotional terrain of the Maps sound, while also transporting you to more resolutely optimistic and hopeful places.