The Swedish duo Studio released one of the most quietly gratifying LPs of 2006 (the CD came out last year) with West Coast, a nearly flawless collection of original dub/post-rock/disco compositions. The only problem with West Coast was its hermetic perfection; the album’s deceptively complex rhythms and sophisticated, fully formed melodies nearly disappeared under the music’s languorous effortlessness.
That’s been solved with the second volume of the Yearbook series. Yearbook 2 is a collection of mostly majestic remixes that apply surgical precision—and Studio’s trademark revival of the mid-’90s sounds of Mediterranean dance music—to slashing post-punk, whitebread indie rock, experimental psychedelia, and, best of all, Kylie Minogue’s 2007 pop single “2 Hearts.” The source material grounds Studio’s tendency toward blissed-out exploration, particularly on the duo’s version of Brennan Green’s “Escape From Chinatown,” an ecstatic dancefloor hymn, and “2 Hearts.” The latter reinvents a sultry, three-minute come-on as a seven-and-a-half minute tribute to all things physical. It’s as solid as West Coast was ephemeral, and better for it.