Last Train To Lhasa 20th Anniversary EP
Twenty years eh? Goodness, it’s all been a roller coaster in that period. Some highs but a lot of lows. A year following the 20th anniversary release of Banco De Gaia’s Maya comes the re-release of the equally good Last Train to Lhasa. Politics to the fore and in the title track an absolute classic, in any of its many forms, including an ambient version on the CDS release. This now has an EP of remixes to accompany the re-release (only £3) including a free download by Toby Marks himself.
It may not have much Tibetan sounds on it (mainly Mongolian throat singing) but from the train puffing and whistle, through the spiralling acid sounds, to the keening voices it remains a classic dance trip (in every sense of the word). At 11 minutes, the original is wonderful and the extended ambient version a lie down extension. There are remixes in the EP from Astropilot, Silinder and Marks himself.
Astropilot turns in a fine version, managing the sleight of hand by which the track feels more relaxed, yet turns out to be shorter. Lovely. Silinder gives it a bit more progressive house treatment which suffers by comparison. But the real gem here is the Very Extended Ambient version from Marks himself, which increases the original ambient version’s 12 minutes to 18 minutes.
Blurb: 20 years ago Toby Marks AKA Banco De Gaia released one of the classic albums of modern electronica – Last Train to Lhasa – whose groove inflected, multicultural soundscapes helped to form the blueprint for much of today’s global electronica.
To mark the anniversary of its release, Disco Gecko Recordings will release this June a limited edition, physical only (no downloads or streams) 4 disc box set, featuring previously unheard alternative and extended ambient mixes as well as a handful of fresh remixes by like-minded artists.
To kick-start the celebrations, Banco De Gaia asked Ukraine’s AstroPilot and Dublin’s Silinder to add some 21st Century flavour to the title track.
Dmitry Redko, the producer behind Astropilot, has shared a stage with Banco De Gaia at events on many occasions over the last 10 years and consistently impressed him with his approach and style. His remix is no less impeccable, as he harnesses Lhasa’s ambient elements to build a low intensity trance groover.
Silinder is Dublin native Gavin Mulhall, who came to the attention of Disco Gecko after posting an unofficial remix of Heliopolis on SoundCloud. The mix was so well thought out, the label asked to use it as a free download to mark last year’s Maya 20th anniversary re-release. His progressive house rub is primed to set dance floors alight, with added weight at the bottom end and a slight increase in tempo.