|1||Vampire Body Blues (Kelby Clark Rework)||3:25|
|2||Vampire Body Blues (The Humble Bee Rework)||6:49|
|3||Keening & Crying (Laila Sakini Rework)||4:29|
|4||Keening & Crying (The Tape Loop Orchestra Remix)||3:47|
|5||Keening & Crying (Dania Rework)||3:04|
|6||Vampire Body Blues (Laila Sakini Rework)||7:57|
Whisky soaked, nocturnal, brooding. Aging’s album »Troubles? I Got A Bartender« was a noteworthy, film-noir infused suite that quietly slipped out on cassette in 2015 by a then budding Manchester avant-jazz ensemble, led by David McLean.
In 2020, amidst the pandemic’s tempest and winter's gloom, the idea manifested of showcasing McLean’s slow burning, wistful soirée in a new light via a curated effort by Berlin’s Vaagner label, which invited a series of hand-picked artist to rework selected compositions from the album, rendering its mournful, smoke-tinged resonances into new shapes.
Its result is »Reworks (Rewoven)«, and it presents 6 new interpretations by 5 artists. These range from ruminating, tape smudged ambient works interlaced with sublime acoustic strums by fellow Manchester musicians The Humble Bee and Tape Loop Orchestra, to poignant steel guitar renditions by Nashville based Kelby Clark. Furthermore, Barcelona based Dania and London based Laila Sakini, each present pieces that draw the listener into opaque realms harbored by swooning reverie and eerie, glistening prophecy.
Carefully assembled across two sides of vinyl, McLean’s penchant for hard-boiled detective novels, vintage Japanese crime flicks and film noir iconography have a continued lurking presence in the reworks, yet the new pieces each add a modern facet to the original’s cinematic narrative, its morose and sulky mood now opening into new avenues of interpretation. And whilst some artists have chosen to dive further into the themes of contentious ambivalence and pensive solitude, others have sought to slightly lift the haze, stirring up melodies tinged with a sense of hope, hinting at times, towards instants of poise and vivacity.
In the end this leaves us with a new body of work that manages to feel poignant in its complexity whilst remaining dissonant and elusive in its renditions, hinting at a modern day existence even more opaque, intricate and convoluted than the film noir classics of old might have pictured the world.