Sir Ivan – Imagine: The Remixes
Primary URL: http://sirivan.com/
Ivan Wilzig, a.k.a. Sir Ivan, began adult life as a banker for his family’s multi-million dollar business interests, but has since parlayed his wealth into musical and entertainment opportunities. He is a reality TV star, social activist, and electronic dance music performer renowned for his electronic dance music covers of famous 60’s classics like The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”. He first burst on the scene in 2001 with a wildly imaginative recasting of John Lennon’s “Imagine” as a electronic dance music track and, in 2016, judged it to be a good time for revisiting the song as a reaction to recent murderous tragedies in Turkey, Belgium, and France. Imagine: The Remixes features contributions from a variety of esteemed EDM producers and DJ’S, but this isn’t a vanity project. Instead, it is a restatement of purpose and an entertaining call to arms that we all bear some responsibility for resisting the shadow of terror fundamentalist groups look to impose over our lives. Finally, however, it is a tribute to Lennon himself in honor of the 35th anniversary of his untimely passing.
There is a sense of that tribute encompassing each of the twenty seven remixes. There are many contributors to the album, all well respected producers in the EDM genre, and they are expert at balancing their own artistic needs with those of the material they are working with. However, none of the producers attempt to frame Sir Ivan’s vocal and Lennon’s message as anything less than the focus of everything. In particular, producers like Dor Dekel and 7th Heaven Mix and Production do a particularly excellent job of giving the listeners highly entertaining material while still highlighting Sir Ivan’s voice in surprising ways that, nevertheless, remain faithful to the source material. Producers and DJs like Chicago’s Marc Stout or the London, UK based Project Bassline show fidelity to the original material, both Lennon and Sir Ivan’s cover, while still managing to take the song in new, perhaps previously unconsidered, directions. Their work, likewise, nods deeply to the genre’s basic concerns and stresses the EDM strengths in the track without ever belaboring them or else losing their way.
German composer and producer Roger Shah’s takes on the song produce something in the middle. While Shah’s own creativity behooves him to leave his own, unobtrusive stamp on the track, he’s also an attentive listener who knows how to accentuate the song’s existing strength without diluting it. The Wideboys score to finish the album off. Their trio of remixes have a wilder, playful edge than most on Imagine: The Remixes, but like their other contemporaries, they succeed in making an already great dance track even hotter and more dramatic than before.
The guest producers chosen for this project could not have been better picked. Each of them bring an enormous amount to the song, but they never subvert its qualities to their own individual needs. Imagine: The Remixes is a memorable effort in every respect.
9 out of 10 stars.