Vexagon & XOR: Path of Surrender

XOR, the brainchild of Matthew, who has experimented with different aliases for the past decade, collaborates with Vexagon, the enigmatic project of Briar Moth, created as a means of processing their inner world while residing in Augusta, GA, and navigating life as an undiagnosed autistic queer individual. They unite for the fresh split EP, Path of Surrender, wherein each artist puts their own spin on the other's tracks by way of remixing.

XOR comments on his new take on Vexagon's Love is Surrender: "It takes me a while to know what to do with a remix, especially if there are stylistic similarities and overlapping influences between XOR and the artist I’m remixing. After a few months of attempts, I had a version of Love is Surrender that felt fine, but didn’t feel like its own song. More a rendition of the original

"Then, I got home from a tour I had to cancel part of the way through and was feeling depressed and lost. Not knowing what to do with myself or the newfound time, I started the remix from scratch and nearly finished it in an afternoon. Nothing about it resembled my initial attempt. Something about how I was feeling at the time allowed me to capture the underlying bleakness I’d missed before. 

"I also sang a backing harmony in the final chorus. It isn’t something I’d done before on someone else’s song, and I don’t know if I would again, but it felt necessary."

The opening sample of the song is from The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, while the idea is based on the notion that in order to be fully understood, one must let go of coping methods and accept losing control for the benefit of another.

The title of the song Path, originally by XOR, is derived from the word's etymology, 'pathos,' which means emotion and is applied to refer to terms like empathy and sociopath. The word is also connected to the unconnected term 'path,' as in describing the decisions a person has made in life.

Vexagon comments on their new version of Path: "Matthew & I are both bass players. My bass amp was blessed by his playing through it once at a Secret Shame show in Chattanooga. The sonic palette & atmosphere in the XOR song “Path” spoke to me the first time I heard it, with morose layers of mood & rhythm that felt kindred to my sensibilities. I wanted to bring to the forefront the emotional impact the song had on me & where it took me mentally. The remix was a blast to work on & this release is a joy to be a part of."

The two artists use a very fine combination of their usual creative approaches and a propensity for something unexpected and undefined to create something entirely new from their older material. While Vexagon creates a new, bright sound, XOR follows a darker, moodier route. Regardless, the outcome is novel and thrilling.

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