Recreating Pink Floyd is a daunting task, especially when taking on a classic like “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” Yet Brooklyn-based duo Bedouin have done just that, re-contextualizing the seminal 1968 prog rock tune into a grooving deep house number for 2017.
It’s the kind of bold left-field ambition that has made Tamer Malki and Rami Abousabe’s collaborative project so compelling over the years. Under the guise of Bedouin, the pair have championed a signature sound that is best described as beautifully soporific. While more generally placed in the realm of deep house, Bedouin integrate worldly textures and influences in a way that is wholly unique. It’s a style which has enchanted many of the underground’s more celebrated tastemakers, including imprints like All Day I Dream, Cityfox and Kindisch.
In October 2016, Bedouin solidified their acclaim with their debut BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix that featured music exclusively written, remixed and edited by Bedouin — a rarity on the venerated two-hour mix platform. Included in the selection was the pair’s unreleased cover of “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” which would go on to be picked up by Damian Lazarus’s Crosstown Rebels imprint.
Now the long-awaited cover is finally set for release, alongside an official remix from Guy Gerber. It’s a bit of a rare occasion, considering Bedouin have previously abstained from contracting any remixes of their material.
Gerber’s rendition, which Billboard Dance is exclusively premiering, brings the kind of hypnotic Balearic groove which has become a staple of the Israeli producer’s sound. While Guy’s version opts for a more melodically-inclined direction, it ultimately proves just as psychedelic in nature as the stripped down original.
Bedouin’s Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun EP is due out Aug. 25 on Crosstown Rebels. Listen to Guy Gerber’s official remix below and read Billboard Dance‘s interview with Bedouin.
What’s your connection to Pink Floyd? What inspired you to remake ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’?
We grew up listening to Pink Floyd from a young age. They created the most innovative, forward thinking and dynamic journey through all of their music. Watching Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii video recording when they performed this tune was the initial spark when we decided to do something with the song. It was something we felt was so ahead of its time and potentially remaking it into something that could sound current. We privately reworked and edited several Pink Floyd songs before to fit them in our sets but we wanted this one to be a bit more special given the beauty and power of the vocals so covering it was the only way we could reinterpret such a classic.
How did the Guy Gerber remix come about?
Guy has supported us since the beginning, we have never had anyone remix us before so we wanted it to be a very organic situation when it happened. Guy was into the record as soon as he heard it. So it felt right to have him do the remix.
Do you draw any parallels between the psychedelic culture of the ’70s and ’80s and our current dance music era?
There are a lot of parallels for sure. The experience they were providing then is very similar to the experience we are providing now. From having long concerts and festivals that would last three days while camping in outdoor fields far from cities to playing long, continuous sets that would last for several hours. No matter what style of music is being played it was all about tapping into the general consciousness of the people and sharing something all together. That psychedelic era opened the doors for a lot of cutting edge music to break through and connect with millions of people on a level commercial radio music can’t due to the way it was presented and received.
What drives your creative output? What do you hope people take away from your music?
For us, making music is like eating food or drinking water. It’s a natural part of our lives. Anything and everything around us can drive our creative output. Music from different eras, cultures and various genres can always be an inspiration. Also traveling constantly and being exposed to different cultures, people, locations and experiences can play a role in our head space that’s needed to spark creativity… Our hope is that our music connects with people on an intimate and personal level. When it comes to music there is no right or wrong so whatever good feeling we’re able to provide is a positive step forward in our journey.
You’ve got your own residency, SAGA, in Ibiza now. What’s the underlying goal of the residency? What kind of experience are you trying to deliver?
Creating our own party has always been the next phase of the dream. It’s a place where we can create exactly the experience we want to provide. Between the music, sound system, layout and the whole vibe from beginning to end. The feeling that we leave people with and moments that they remember.
What else do you have coming up in 2017?
Music wise, other than our forthcoming Crosstown Rebels EP, we also just released a new 3 track EP on All Day I Dream which will be followed by a couple of remixes we did, including one for &ME featuring Fink that will come out on Keinemusik Berlin. As for touring, we will be heading back to US for a series of dates including Burning Man and a long over due show in our hometown of Brooklyn. We will also head to Australia for our debut tour, followed by another South American tour to close out the year.