REVIEW: Björk’s “bastards”

Bjork Looking around, I was caught by surprise to see a new album by Björk. bastards (One Little Indian) is a remix album of tracks from her most recent Biophilia album, and were previously released digitally under the Biophilia Remix Series.

What makes her music a trip is that whether you’re listening to her music in its original state or in remix form, it sounds fresh and new, even if you know these songs inside and out. Björk allowed people like Hudson Mohawke, Death Grips, These New Puritans, Alva Noto, and Current Value to take her songs in whatever world they wanted to, being given a license to take her wherever they wanted to. It sounds like a worldly album of sorts, as her voice travels through the Middle East, the Pacific Rim, to the state capital of California, and even a bit of cross-country hip-hop, down tempo, and drum-n-bass jumping around, all of which can be heard in the incredible remix by 16-bit for the song “Hollow”.

In fact, even if you’ve never heard Biophilia, you can listen to bastards as a piece of work that may be distant from its original intention. There aren’t many artists who are willing to allow someone else to fit themselves in a new musical wardrobe, but Björk represents the kind of freedom I wish more music fans/listeners and artists would honor and celebrate. Maybe she’s calling everyone out on this and stating that they are bastards for not understand the freedom that can be found on the other side of the fence. Good, more space to play for everyone else.