Put on your tin-foil hats with Northlane’s new ‘5G’ remix EP.
Northlane’s best album, 2019’s cybernetic ‘Alien,’ was their darkest, heaviest and most personal album to date. But as the band shared when they announced this new remix EP, you can’t take things too seriously all of the time. Cause where’s the fun in that?
Named ‘5G‘ due to the 5G phone-tower conspiracy theory that did the rounds last year, at no other point in Northlane’s history as a band could they pull off a remix release until now. It could only happen following and during the era of ‘Alien.’ This is the band having fun with their music, letting others take the reigns and experiment with their shit. And if you’ll look closely at that cover art above, the band have even left in a handy diagram on how to make tin-foil hats. How nice of them! (Actually, a 5G tower was installed near my house and I almost immediately started receiving brain commands from Bill Gates.)
‘4D‘ was already a drum-and-bass aligned track, but the Aussie electro-dance duo Mashd N Kutcher have played up those elements to turn it into even more of a rave cut. Elsewhere, Australian DJ Mr Bill tackles the brutal ‘Vultures‘ with a filthy pitch-shifting dubstep coat of paint. And Northlane themselves – more specifically, guitarist and programmer Jon Deiley – reenvision ‘Ohm‘ from ‘Node‘ (2014), turning it into an ambient trance piece that still retains those tight, down-tuned chugs.
Unsurprisingly, if you’ve read my coverage on them before, my easy pick of the five remixes here is the almighty Health re-creating ‘Bloodline.’ Because it’s basically an equally atmospheric and bombastic Health track just with Marcus Bridge’s terrific vocals over the top. This is such a huge win for the Northlane guys, considering how heavy and clear of an influence that that particular L.A. industrial-electronic-noise band had over the music of ‘Alien.’ And I’m stoked for them on it. I also really hope that the band play portions of this remixed version live when able, kinda like what Enter Shikari do with certain songs of theirs that they got remixed.
Another highpoint is PhaseOne – who the band worked with back in 2019 on ‘Crash & Burn‘ – taking on ‘Sleepless.’ The final song of Northlane’s last record was one of its most important and personal, written about Marcus’s relationship with his mother. And PhaseOne handles this song with care, playing on the IDM aspects of the original, and beefing it up to match his more aggressive style where possible. But enough from me, listen to it all below: