Stop Your Infinite Scrolling and Listen to This Dub Edit of Petra Glynt's "This Trip"
The Canadian performer's call-to-action anthem gets a rework courtesy of veteran producer Damian Taylor.
In 2013, Petra Glynt put out her EP Of This Land, where she established her style of intricate DIY soundscapes held together by a floor tom and sampler. Since then, a lot has changed for the Canadian artist, whose real name is Alexandra Mackenzie. She relocated from Toronto to the more artist-friendly Montréal, developed her chops as a songwriter and producer, and continued writing new music, all while trying to find the right home for it.
Now she's gearing up to release a full-length on Vibe Over Method, the new imprint founded by Los Angeles-based producer Damian Taylor, and today we're premiering his "Stone Lion" dub edit of first single "This Trip."
Known for his production work with Björk, the Prodigy, Arcade Fire, and more, the label head's version hones in on the original's key elements, including its insistent drums, Mackenzie's powerful and resolute vocals, and her repeated calls to "wake up." It also closes the gap between Petra Glynt's percussion-powered chants and the dance floor, making her sound like a cross between a protest leader calling for action and a house diva.
"I think the Petra Glynt drum approach is incredibly dope so I just wanted to let all that breathe in a different way while vortexing in on some key vocal phrases," he explained to THUMP over email. "I really didn't want to divorce this version from her identity."
We recently caught up with Mackenzie over Skype from her Montréal apartment to talk about "The Trip," finding meaning in complexity in both her visual art and songwriting, and how the collaboration with Taylor almost never happened.
THUMP: Catch us up on what you've been up to since Of This Land.
Petra Glynt: A lot. It's been a tremendous growing period for me. I moved to Montréal last April—it's almost been a year. I was in two different relationships in that period. I wrote the record, it's been done for a while, and I've been writing new music. I've been growing as a producer, as a recording artist.
How do you like it in Montréal?
I really like it a lot. It's a lot gentler, as an artist. It's a lot more accepting of being a more transient person, or not having as reliable an income. The quality of living is a lot higher. I live in a space where I can do everything. I don't have a full drum kit in here but I could maybe get away with it in the daytime.
When did you write "This Trip"?
I wrote "This Trip" when I was still living in Toronto, it must've been a year and half ago. It merges the pop sensibility and my more noisy tendencies, it's a kind of combination, that collage-y orchestrated noise and pop music. I've been leaning towards more polished pop songs, along with songs that are kind of mixed, or compositions that are more orchestral and full, ones with a lot going on at once. But I am also writing songs that are more simplified, and appreciate that simplicity too.
Is the song about trying to bring people back to reality?
Yeah, essentially it's an urgent call to wake up from the distractions of the world. Like that feeling of when you're infinitely scrolling and snap out of it, you wake up, and don't even realize you've just spent 20 minutes doing that.
The word "trip" has obvious drug connotations, but often real life experiences can be described as "trippy" or surreal. Like the fact that Trump became president, it's real, but it seems so far out-of-touch with expectation. It seems like your song is reassuring people, that yes, this is in fact real, and reminding them to find that radical aspect of themselves.
Yeah. This news we're hearing every day is real, and we should take it seriously. With Trump, it's the perfect example because he's this reality TV star and businessman, but he's now president. It's easy to laugh and to make jokes about it, but it's quite real and scary.
Both your music and visual art has this bold sense of colour, and there's a great deal of intricate detail, which could also be described as trippy. How does that kind of trippy-ness relate to the "trip" that the song is snapping us out of?
I think when I'm working on something creatively; there are just so many options of how to put things together. Reality and the natural world is pretty psychedelic in itself. I get excited by diversity in sound, in visuals, in just all those options I can combine together and make sense of. A bunch of little things can help build this greater picture. It's complicated because life is complicated [laughs].
The remix was done by Damian Taylor and the album is coming out on his label. How did you connect with him and what made you want to work with him?
I met Damian a few years ago in Montréal through my friend Airick Woodhead, who is Doldrums. I came here for a show and we were supposed to hang out and he took me to Damian's studio because they were working on The Air Conditioned Nightmare. That's where I met him, and Airick brought him and Katie Stelmanis to the show. Damian emailed me the next day telling me he loves making records and liked the show and wanted to work together. So we've basically been talking about doing this record since the beginning.
Initially he was just going to mix it, but I had difficulty finding a label or the means to work with him and the label that had the means to work with him. There were so many different avenues that I tried to release this album, and I was about to give up on working with him, but then he was like "Actually I've been really wanting to start this digital label." So me almost giving up was really good timing for him. He was like "I actually want to do this right now." By the time the album is out in the world, he'll have built up the beginnings of this label. So it worked out.
Michael Rancic is on Twitter.