“It is the end of the world, isn’t it?”

While that bit of too-close-to-the-truth came a little late in our talk with Jake Sokolov-Gonzalez, it’s a sentiment that penetrates the core of his “Tendrils” remix. It’s a remix that, as you deconstruct it, the elements seem clearer as the pieces seem more abundant. But it starts from one place, a place of authenticity.

“In a political and social context of so much untruth and deceit, spending any of my actual or psychic energy fabricating an alternate identity for branding sake feels frankly sickening,” Gonzalez says of his former production moniker BVBL. It’s fitting considering the stakes, and the thoughtfulness in making such an artistic decision can be heard.

To go even further back on what supports the authenticity of the track is a particular history and familiarity with the band. When we asked about Gonzalez’s connection to remixing Sons of an Illustrious Father, we got a nice bit of information, one best told in his own words.

“I met Sofia Album at a teenage basement party we were maybe sixteen. I think people were mostly concerned with drinking gin and Tropicana and playing Guitar Hero. Sofia and I instantly recognized kindred spirits, and she on the spot invited me to her next rehearsal with her best friend Lilah, who happened to live down the street from me.

The three of us were SOAIF as a trio (Sofia on banjo, Lilah on her cherry red resonator, and me on the cello) for two years. At the time we did mostly acoustic Lead Belly and Johnny Hobo covers with a handful of spirituals and originals. My senior year of high school (I’m probably getting this timeline wrong), Ezra joined up as the drummer and Jake Generalli as bass player. I think that was the biggest the band ever was, a five piece.”

So, once you factor in this background with his work composing and programming drums– something he admits to getting into as a way to procrastinate – it makes sense how he was comfortable taking on the track. When you compare the original to his work, you then see a place where all are comfortable and putting more effort than ever towards – our political landscape.

Sons of an Illustrious Father are no stranger to a fight. It’s this politically charged tension of “Tendrils” mixed with Ezra Miller’s intense vocals and, as Gonzalez puts it, the “Ennio Morricone vibe” to the original that drew him to this particular cut from the band’s album Revol. We mentioned that we viewed the album’s version as seeing the world in a tailspin. He then took this darkness and wove it into something even darker, somehow even more urgent.

The first thing Gonzalez mentioned was how the band dealt with dangers and issues head-on with a complete lack of fear when we asked him about this. In spite of these dark moments, he also saw a “redemptive beauty” that forever penetrates what is created. He then looked at these moments, especially from the choruses he admires, scoured the harmonic elevations of “Tendrils,” and decided to counter this with a more intense tone.

“It is the end of the world, isn’t it?”

And counter it does. This was his response to what those in charge have started doing to our environment and the society of ‘we the people’. His take is dense, trippy, and sprinkled with intermittent, warbled loops. It moves in a way where the fog becomes thicker as it leads to disorientation and an array of twitchy moments. What’s going on now makes it more difficult to see our true selves, so it’s up to us to fight against this darkness. It’s all right there – you just have to be willing to hear what you may not be able to see.

When he mentions production as an extension of human musical capacity, we can’t help but think he’s underselling a little bit. This is more than just a musical capacity – this remix fights for the potential and capacity we all possess, the elements that strike fear into a small few that hold way too much power while they desperately try to suppress these abilities. It may very well be the end of the world, so we might as well go down swinging.

You can check out more of Jake Sokolov-Gonzalez’s work at jakesokolovgonzalez.com. Right now he’s working on some original electronic music that’s “influenced by liquid jungle, ghettohouse, and noisy shit.” We can only begin to imagine what that means.