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Lüüp: Meadow Rituals Remixed

img  Tobias Fischer

Greek flutist Stelios Romaliadis declares his collective Lüüp to be “a project with no geographical boundaries as it is with no musical boundaries.” For Meadow Rituals, due for release May 17th via Experimedia, Romaliadis assembled an ensemble of 19 composer/musicians from across Europe.The music—an intriguing genre-bending blend of contemporary classical, folk, rock, and ambient music—makes for an earthy, organic listen. With the exceptions of reverb and the occasional post-production flourish, Meadow Rituals is almost entirely acoustic, lending a timeless “old world” sound married with the hazy dreaminess of contemporary ambient music.

Meadow Rituals Remixed (released in early April) deconstructs and rebuilds Lüüp’s expansive sound through a fog of electronics, washes of reverb, and floating, chopped instrumental samples. Quiet moments on the original album become billowing swells of vocal harmonies and chirping electronics. Elsewhere, Meadow Rituals’ originally intense moments are transformed into sedate and distant stream-of consciousness textures. While electronic remixes of this music seems antithetical to its original intention, Meadow Rituals Remixed offers an intriguing reimagining of the group’s sound, occasionally expanding the already epic music to even greater proportions.

In keeping with the ensemble’s collaborative spirit, the remixes were contributed from a cross-continental spectrum of electronic manipulators, including Aaron Martin, Field Rotation, Hummingbird, Dictionary of Ghosts, Billy Gomberg, offthesky, and Jasper TX. The remixes are limited to two songs—“Spiraling” and “Cream Sky”—and while most of the remixes have a decidedly “ambient” quality, each musician adds his own flavor to the reconstructions. Hummingbird reimagines the Gaelic/Grecian sounds of “Cream Sky” as ambient washes of sound around clouded, reverb-heavy vocal snippets that move antiphonally between the speakers. Jasper TX begins with a similar approach on the same composition before taking it into a fuzzy synth-heavy texture underpinned by a tribal four-to-the-floor bass drum beat. Billy Gomberg transmutes “Spiraling” to a warbly, nebulous texture while Aaron Martin covers it as a luminous string arrangement. Dictionary of Ghosts allows the same piece to disintegrate into hissing distortion, with the occasional voice or instrument twisting its way to the surface of the mesmerizing wash of sound.

Taken as a whole, Meadow Rituals Remixed is a varied listen marked by a similar tendency toward the sedate and the textural—Martin’s aforementioned organic contribution being the most obvious exception. It’s an intriguing and strangely fitting prelude to Meadow Rituals’ mythical, old-world sound, approaching Lüüp’s otherworldliness through an electronic lens.

Meadow Rituals Remixed by Lüüp comes as a free download with each copy of Meadow Rituals ordered directly on the Experimedia site.

By Hannis Brown

Homepage: Lüüp
Homepage: Experimedia Recordings

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