Be the change you seek. So many of us spend our days deriding the world’s ills, condemning the heartless, and yet take no quantifiable action to effect even incremental change to its influence in our lives. We offer rhetoric or indignation and nothing more. Ivan Wilzig, aka Sir Ivan, has put proverbially put his money where his mouth is. The scion of a multi-million dollar banking family, Wilzig has used his considerable personal resources to benefit the planet and its people. He also long ago turned his back on the banking profession and chose to; instead, pursue long held dreams of success in the music business. His 2001 debut brought him center stage thanks to his inventive EDM take on the John Lennon solo classic “Imagine” and the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City and elsewhere. Now, in light of recent terrorist spurred massacres, Sir Ivan returns to John Lennon again with his latest release Imagine: The Remixes.
This time, however, Ivan possesses the clout to call in favors from very influential and talented friends. Imagine: The Remixes sports an A-list cast of EDM producers who give this album an impressive spectrum of sound. 7th Heaven Remix & Production, aka Jon Dixon and Andy Watson, are the first contributors to the release and their three different remixes are distinguished by some common themes. One of the primary areas of concern for this remix tandem is accessibility. The tempos are familiar yet propulsive while a variety of synthesizer sounds lasers over the rhythm. Their ultimate intent is clear. They want to accentuate and add to the strengths of a song in such a way it captures attention whenever played and compels people to move.
Israeli producer/DJ Dor Dekel turns in a trio of remixes as well. In general, Dekel’s restatements of the songs have a stronger artistic bent than the aforementioned 7th Heaven entries. It is open to interpretation, honestly, but Dekel’s remixes are much denser, impassioned affairs. There’s an immediacy born from commitment. However, make no mistake – Dekel’s focus doesn’t differ in key respects. His remixes practically push listeners to move and embodies such physicality it is difficult to resist. UK based dance music unit Project Bassline contributes a trio of remixes brimming over with an impressive balance of lean muscularity and playful invention. They aren’t afraid of stripping the song back to its most basic rhythmic elements and equally possess a talent for imbuing the tempo with a number of subtle, interesting turns. The relentless pulse of the Wideboys remixes ends the album on an emphatic note. This is visceral EDM that reverberates in your chest and an underrated musicality that seems to keep the music floating several inches above the ground. These are remixes that understand the value of contrast and climaxes big and small.
Sir Ivan has chosen well. The various DJs and production teams he teams with on Imagine: The Remixes helps him deliver an impressive statement in this genre. It may seem difficult to believe that such an extended work, clocking in at twenty seven remixes in total, doesn’t test listeners’ patience, but this never does. There is enough depth and variety here to sustain any listener.