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Sunsets & Sushi: Experiments in Spectral Deconstruction

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Feb
Sunsets & Sushi: Experiments in Spectral Deconstruction
Sounds like … worship-meets-electronica of Apt.Core and Andy Hunter, with elements of the Postal Service, Bjork, the Chemical Brothers, Peter Gabriel, and New OrderAt a glance … not a remix project in the truest sense of the word, Sunsets & Sushi is more a creative retooling of some of the David Crowder Band's most memorable songsTrack ListingNo One Like You (Thanksgiving Mix)O Praise Him (All This for a King) (Oceanic Mix)Open Skies (Dirty Beats Mix)Revolutionary Love (Neo-mechanical Mix)How Great (Direct from Satellite City)Intoxicating (Pneumatic Mix)Deliver Me (Antidromic Mix)Stars (From the Mount Wilson Observatory)

Leave it to the David Crowder Band to name its new remix project Sunsets & Sushi: Experiments in Spectral Deconstruction. Meant more as a companion to Crowder's new book, Praise Habit: Finding God in Sunsets and Sushi, than a standalone album in itself, the band wisely didn't go the typical remix route of simply adding a hip-hop beat or a techno thump to their songs. The word "remix" is nowhere to be found, even. Rather, they took eight songs from Illuminate and made them into an entrancing, contemplative collection of electronica-based devotionals.

Like Apt.Core and Andy Hunter before it, Sunset's sonic citations are multiple. "No One Like You" is given a minimalist, Postal Service-like reading in the verses, only to explode into a joyous '80s synth party reminiscent of new wave greats New Order later in the chorus. After an all-too-electronic false start, "O Praise Him" quickly takes on the ominous symphonic elements of Björk's Homogenic album, becoming a cathartic, moody piece of grand proportions. Even more impressive is the Dirty Beats mix of "Open Skies," which rebuilds the fun little ditty into a pensive, minor-chorded dirge adorned with elegant cello garlands and an eminent, plodding beat.

Elsewhere, "Intoxicating" is stripped of its funk tendencies and is transformed into a futuristic, spatial number. In its transition, "How Great" didn't lose any of its serious attitude, but it did adopt a danceable, acoustic pop vibe suggestive of Duran Duran's early '90s glory. By the time you reach the dark and haunting "Deliver Me" or the lovely, prayerful reinterpretation of "Stars," it becomes clear that Sunsets & Sushi is truly a creative exercise in song deconstruction. I don't envision listeners coming back to it repeatedly, but I do see them using it to add a new dimension to their quiet times of devotion.