Boomkat Product Review:
'Fantas' re-imagined eight times; there's pipe organ, singeli and blistering 'ardkore! You know what to do.
Italian modular icon Caterina Barbieri struck gold with 'Fantas', the delirious opening track from 2019's brilliant "Ecstatic Computation" that's been a staple of her live performances since its release. Now the fan fave has been bumped up and fleshed out with a suite of versions, but "Fantas Variations" is no ordinary remix compilation. Rather Barbieri asked a few friends to re-interpret 'Fantas' in their own distinct manner, and the results are far more interesting than a job lot of ambient shovelware or lo-fi house b-stock. Evelyn Saylor opens proceedings with a crystalline vocal version, working alongside the sublime trio of Lyra Pramuk, Stine Janvin and Annie Garlid, before Bendik Giske transports us into a loopy sax-led netherworld with his lifted, elegiac take.
It's Kali Malone's version that truly blows out our brain cavities out, though. A longtime friend of Barbieri's, Malone adds the weight of a dying world to her 'Fantas For Two Organs', summoning the melancholy power of a sad cathedral on a sad evening in Sadberg: tears were shed. More cheery is an extended singeli jam from Nyege Nyege's Jay Mitta, and LA veteran Baseck's 'Fantas Hardcore' that does exactly what it says on the tin, with the hoover sounds and overdriven hardbounce kicks to prove it.
The album closes by touching the sublime with a deft, economical take from Kara-Lis Coverdale. She strips the composition down to its key elements, recreating the memorable riff on piano and smudging the edges just ever so slightly. It's as spine-tingling a finale as you'd hope to find and the perfect end to a celebration of all things 'Fantas'.