For the past year, Studio’s two members, Dan Lissvik and Rasmus Hagg, both from Gothenberg, Sweden, have spent much time doing remixes for people like Kylie Minogue and Shout Out Louds. Yearbook 2 is a collection of these remixes, and it’s the follow-up to last year’s acclaimed set of originals, Yearbook 1 (which was later re-released in shortened form as West Coast).
These aren’t remixes in the traditional sense, though. They’re more like re-interpretations of these songs: Each one sounds more like a Studio track than a different version of the original. Bits and pieces are borrowed from the source material, such as Kylie Minogue’s and Adam Olenius’ vocals, but Studio always find a way to keep themselves in the foreground. They even go so far as to transplant their own melodies into the mix, such as the guitars in the remix of Rubies’ “Room Without a Key.”
You can’t read an article about Studio without coming across the word “Balearic,” and for good reason. Each of these songs sounds like it was composed on a breezy Mediterranean beach, which gives the album a cohesive sound that many remix compilations lack. The Shout Out Louds’ dour “Impossible” is turned triumphant on the “Possible Version” included here. The sexuality is almost completely stripped from Kylie’s “2 Hearts,” which now sounds more at home in a hammock than in the club. The version of “Love on a Real Train” sounds both funkier and more laid-back than either Tangerine Dream’s original or Williams’ cover.
Yearbook 2 manages to sound both timeless (I can’t imagine a “Balearic dub-disco” fad starting up in earnest any time soon) and appropriately timely. This is the perfect record for the sweltering peak of summer, when some of the most popular tracks from the past year somehow sound better slowed down to an even mid-tempo pulse, backed by an acoustic guitar and stretched past the seven-minute mark. And when you finally decide to get up from your hammock, it makes for a pretty good dance party, too.