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PREMIERE: Ocean Moon’s Hypnotic Private Agenda Rework

Private Agenda, the London- and Berlin-based purveyors of downtempo bliss, have a new mini-album entitled Submersion coming out on Friday via the creatively audacious Lo Recordings. Today, though, you get to hear (and see) a track off the album that finds artists reimagining the duo’s recent work. The premiere comes in the form of Ocean Moon’s delightfully serene interpretation of Private Agenda’s entrancing “P.S.R.”

Originally, “P.S.R.” was the ruminative closer for their synth-driven 2019 debut LP, Île de Rêve. In the hands of Ocean Moon (AKA Lo Recordings founder and Seahawks-half Jon Tye), the ruminations still stand but are replaced with a more ambient electronic palette that entertains a more spacious worldview. If the original “P.S.R.” (AKA “Point of Safe Return”) is a deeply personal contemplation in a boat’s cabin, Tye’s iteration brings it all on the deck with a community who can ponder in the face of billions of stars.

“The videos, like the music, are also reimaginations of the original album,” said Martin Aggrowe, who along with Sean Phillips comprises Private Agenda. “I wanted it to feel like a dream about the song, which on the surface would resemble the source material, but also have its own phrasing and rhythm.”

Submersion is a collection of “re-compositions” — a host of deep dives — by six of downtempo’s most noteworthy established and emerging musicians. However, according to Lo Recordings, it’s also the closing chapter to Île de Rêve, which in addition to the album is also an audio-visual project. For that album, the “warm, yet beguiling allure of islands” served a musical and visual reference for Private Agenda’s storytelling, according to Lo. It was a noticeably minimalist release with the goal of being a jumping-off point from which other musicians could create their own interpretations of the work.

Fast forward to Submersion, which in addition to Ocean Moon features reworks by Seahawks, Coral Sea, JQ, Delmer Darion, and Delac. Each artist offers a version of the duo’s songs that is specific to them but nevertheless retains some key Private Agenda DNA. Here’s the tracklist:

  1. “Bounty” (Coral Sea Rework)
  2. “Sea Life” (JQ’s Underwater Rework)
  3. “Solitude” (Delac Rework)
  4. “Malanai Ascending” (Seahawks Rework)
  5. “Dependency” (Delmer Darion Rework)
  6. “P.S.R” (Ocean Moon Rework)

Submersion will be available digitally and on limited-edition cassette on Friday, May 21, via Lo Recordings.

Don’t miss Private Agenda’s guest post from 2019 — an interview with Mark Barrott and Max Essa, who provided remixes and reinterpretations of songs “Aura” and Sea Life.”

(Feature Photo: Cover art for Submersion by Jiro Bevis.)


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