Erstwhile Night Slugs co-founder L-Vis 1990 (real name James Connolly) billed his ’12 Thousand Nights’ collection as a mixtape upon its release in November last year, and if the boundary delineating ‘albums’ from ‘mixtapes’ is becoming an increasingly blurred one, it’s certainly the case here. Over its eleven collaborator-heavy tracks, ’12 Thousand Nights’ saw Connolly working with longtime friends Sinjin Hawke and Jimmy Edgar as well as a slew of guest vocalists and MCs to craft a collection fusing UK sounds such as garage, dancehall and grime with the US-based influences that he picked up whilst living in New York.
Six months on, this download-only collection ’12 Thousand Nights Club’ offers a more club-oriented remix companion that pushes some of the biggest tracks from the mixtape in a more dancefloor-based direction, with contributions from a diverse range of remixers including Jersey’s UNiiQU3, Atlanta producer Leonce, and Night Slugs’ Neana and Sheen. The results of such a globally-based selection prove to remain consistently inspired and diverse throughout. Connolly’s own ‘Garage Mix’ of ‘Flexin’ leads the charge by grafting ominous synth-brass stabs and buzzing bass tones onto an undercarriage of grimy garage rhythms, the dark synth flourishes bringing Taliwoah’s RNB-pop vocals to the forefront as they get cut up into flashes of bright colour.
Leonce’s reworking of ‘Ice Cream’ opts for spookily robot electro-crunk as vast beats crunch away against sinister arpeggiated bass synths, Lord Narf’s barbed MC vocals getting dub-delayed and looped back on top of themselves, before Connolly’s ‘Club Mix’ drops the bpms down to a crawl as blurred-out hiphop beats lurch against flashes of police sirens and sharp-focus trap snare rolls, Tiko Texa$’s repeated yells of “in the cloud, bitch” sounding increasingly disoriented and trapped, the appearance of icy synth melodies adding to the creepiness.
Elsewhere, Zut Zut’s remix of ‘Sunlight’ places Gaika and Mista Silva’s autotuned soul vocals atop a spacious backdrop of vast crystalline bass pads and icy melodic flourishes, the dancehall-centred rhythms seeming to almost glide in slow motion against the hazy electronics, in what’s easily one of the most understatedly spectacular moments here, before Connolly channels the spirit of old-school hardcore on his ‘Club Mix’ of ‘Do This’ as brittle sounding breakbeats rattle against ghostly sub-bass pulses and Ohno’s eerily phased MC vocals. As a more club-centred remix companion, ’12 Thousand Nights’ more than does the job.