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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Album Review and Interview: Transformuration by Jo Mango

Meet the uber talented Glaswegian musician Jo Mango. This remix album is out of this world...

Written by Amelia Gregory

Jo Mango by Marina Esmeraldo
Jo Mango by Marina Esmeraldo.

The genre defying musician Jo Mango released her new remix album Transformuration last month, enlisting the help of international artists to reimagine all 10 tracks from her 2012 sophomore release, Murmuration. It’s an absolutely stunning selection that encompasses the many influences of this highly acclaimed artist. Highlights include the insistent lilt of Evermore (The Cormorant Remix), the beautiful beats of The Black Sun (Machines In Heaven Remix) and off-kilter folktronica of Cordelia (Adem Remix). Jo was kind enough to write a piece about the making of her album, which you can read below:

Transformuration features all ten tracks of our 2012 album Murmuration beautifully and strangely remixed by 9 fine fellows who I have come across on my travels. There is Adem, who produced the original album, but does fabulous remix work and other electronic side-projects (like Silver Columns with Johnny Lynch of Fence/Lost Map), so I knew I could trust my favourite – and most delicate track from the album – Cordelia, into his hands. My wonderful friends at Team Love Records recommended The Cycad as a remixer – he did their remixes of Tilly and the Wall, and I’m really glad they did. He had a really different take on the remixing process (and now we’re plotting the possibility of a remix/covers version of Parallelograms by Linda Perhacs, which is very exciting!). Then there are my fellow Olive Grove record label mates The Cormorant and Akira, who are both members of the band Randolph’s Leap, and Fraction Man (Gordon Skene), who plays with The Moth and the Mirror; and numerous other Glasgow-based Scottish artists who I admire, such as James from Conquering Animal Sound (CARBS) Machines in Heaven and Joyful Lungs (Tim Kwant and The Great Albatross’s Wesley Chung). Finally, there’s my bestie Ben T-D, who I used to play in bands with and generally hang out with, when he lived here in Glasgow. He’s now in Australia, but I really wanted him to be involved in this album. I chose these people because of their specific music sensibilities I suppose. I wanted an album that was coherent as a whole, rather than just 10 very different takes on songs – that could have gone in ANY direction. And something sensitive to the fragile nature of the original. And I’m super pleased with the result. I think the songs stand together really well. And I’ve changed the track order, to reflect the fact that this is a new journey through the songs.

Jo Mango
The reason we decided to do a remix album was firstly, because it takes me an absolute age to write an album, but I didn’t want to leave fans without anything new to hear for too long. I did that with my last album, and I didn’t want to do that again. And I’ve decided lately that I need to be more adventurous and freed with my musical output – to let go of it a little bit and allow it to live. So trusting the music into the hands of all these people was a way of stretching myself and allowing that to happen. The themes of the album, I would say, are largely the same as for Murmuration: It dwells on freedom, and death and the nature of language mostly. I think all these themes have been stretched and explored in different ways within the remixes. A lot of the tracks take the darkness of the subject matter and place that more upfront in terms of arrangement (Crossties and Black Sun are great examples of that), others have run with the feeling of freedom, and done that really well (translating that into a wish to dance or to move, which is something largely missing in the original). So I think that the remixes complement the original album very well. I can’t wait for people to hear it!!’

Transformuration by Jo Mango
Transformuration by Jo Mango is out now on Olive Grove Records. Go buy it now! Highly recommended.

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