I wasn’t previously familiar with Lena Platonos’ work prior to receiving this EP, but she’s something of an electronic music legend in Greece, having studied to become a pianist and composer at the Athens Conservatory before releasing a series of albums in the early eighties that saw her combining spoken word poetry with minimalistic electronic elements, and which remain influential to this day in her home country. While she’s never stopped releasing music, opting to move further into jazz and classical spheres over the last two decades, Platonos’ music has received an upsurge in interest during the last few years, something no doubt in part due to Dark Entries’ recent reissuing of the peak eighties electronic period of her backcatalogue.
In the wake of last year’s vinyl re-release of Platonos’ 1984 album ‘Sun Masks’, this 12” EP acts as a remix companion piece, collecting together four newly commissioned remixes of tracks from that album that place the emphasis firmly upon dancefloor centred techno rhythms. Berlin-based producer Avalon Emerson opens proceedings with a reworking of ‘Lego’ that places a rattling backbone of percussive tribal rhythms at the heart of the mix, Platonos’ sweet and slightly childlike Greek vocal interjections shifting between spoken narrative and feathery singing as they get cut up and stuttered against elegantly flowing piano arrangements and ominously whining electronics.
Lena Wilikens opts for a more stripped-down minimal techno approach on her remix of the same track as wavering analogue synth tones merge into a wavering haze amidst dry snapping 808 kicks and hi-hats, the chilly, brittle textures providing the perfect accompaniment to Platonos’ pitched up and slightly clipped sounding musings as burbling arpeggios stretch towards the horizon. On the flipside, New Yorker Kim Ann Foxman reworks ‘Hoping By Shopping’ into airless tech-house as Platonos’ original vocals get vocoder-treated amidst dark growling bass synths, icy bleeps and the sort of stacked, razor-sharp snare kicks that call to mind classic David Morales or Shep Pettibone, before Bucharest-based producer Borusiade closes this EP off with a remix of ‘Wrong Love’ that drops the pace right down as lulling downbeat rhythms clatter beneath Platono’s gently sung tones and warm analogue synth murmurs. Delightfully eccentric.