Two of Australia’s greatest exports, renowned for completely different reasons, have merged to create a dreamtime remix of a traditional indigenous song from one of our country’s most revered musical figures.
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu’s track ‘Buru’ has already been given the remix treatment by fellow Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool (of ‘We No Speak Americano’ fame), but the tune has now been given another round of remixing by the third most played Australian artist on local radio so far this year, Sydney producer-performer Flume.
Gurrumul’s original is a spiritual, acoustic tale about a fire-breathing saltwater crocodile, his totem, and is sung in the mystical Yolngu language.
It’s certainly not a song you’d expect could translate into an equally magical dance remix, but nonetheless, the first remake in the form of Yolanda Be Cool’s upbeat remix ‘A Baru In New York’ proved otherwise.
Then take Flume’s adaptation of that remix, borrowing Yolanda Be Cool’s melodies and hooks to transform ‘Baru’ into a cathartic, electronic-infused anthem that manages to preserve the sacred, ghostly feel of the original.
The track builds with atmospheric storytelling, with Gurummul’s ethereal Yolngu fable weaved between the soothing sound of raindrops, tribal chants, and drumming beats.
It then culminates in one of Flume’s trademark bombastic bass drops; the journey finally arriving at its contemporary destination.
As reported by ABC Radio, according to Gurrumul’s manager and Skinnyfish co-director Michael Hohnen, even the indigenous icon himself was compelled by Flume’s transcendental electronic remix. Speaking to radio station 107 Darwin in an interview, Hohnen says:
“He and I were on tour and we were sitting on the floor in front of a big stereo [at Port Fairy Folk Festival] and I had a quick listen and thought ‘he’d be into this’, so we sat down and listened to it full blast and he loved it, and at the end he said it sounds like ‘a crocodile movie’. It was a great reaction…”
Hohnen also noted the reaction of a Swedish fan on Soundcloud, who wrote, “this makes me want to lift my dog into the air” (we confer that this feeling is highly accurate). Gurrumul has already played for the Queen, but we’d be interested to see Elizabeth’s reaction to a live performance of this remix with Flume by his side.
Gurrumul is also headlining the 2013 Burunga Festival in the Northern Territory this June, after reportedly dogging the festival’s directors annually for a spot on the bill.
Meanwhile, as Flume, Harley Stretton skyrocketed into the music stratosphere with his debut self-titled album, which debuted at #2 on the ARIA charts before eventually topping One Direction to claim the top spot,
Flume is playing at Triple J’s One Night Stand next Saturday, heading to the regional NSW town of Dubbo alongside The Rubens, Seth Sentry, and Ball Park Music, plus one yet-to-be-announced lucky winner of the Triple J Unearthed competition. The 21-year-old beatmaker will then further visit regional centres as part of the Groovin The Moo lineup this April/May.
You can listen to Flume’s ‘Soundtrack Edition Remix’ of Gurrumul’s Yolanda Be Cool-ified ‘A Baru In New York’ below:
Groovin The Moo 2013 Dates
Saturday 27 April 2013 – Maitland NSW – SOLD OUT!
Blomfield St, Maitland NSW 2320
Sunday 28 April 2013 – Canberra ACT
University of Canberra
Kirinari St Bruce ACT 2617
Saturday 4 May 2013 – Bendigo VIC – SOLD OUT!
Bendigo’s Prince of Wales Showground
42 – 72 Holmes Rd, Bendigo VIC 3550
Sunday 5 May 2013 – Townsville QLD
Murray Sports Complex – Townsville Cricket Grounds
Mervyn Crossman Dr & Murray Lyons Cres, Idalia QLD 4811
Saturday 11 May 2013 – Bunbury WA
(off) Parade Rd Bunbury WA 6230
Barunga Festival 2013
June 7th – 10th
Barunga Community, NT
Tickets available via Moshtix
$30 for adults and $20 for under 18s.