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statico (5018)

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Co-author of Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook []

Journal of statico (5018)

Tuesday October 11, 2005
10:10 PM

what's in a remix?

[ #27126 ]

In browsing Magnatune and looking for music to feature in our student radio show, I stumbled accross Brad Sucks, a one-man band with lots of fans, despite what he claims. Usually kids that get their hands on microphones and copies of Cubase produce junk, but this guy has stellar multiinstrumentalist talent and a record deal with a net-label. His album, "I Don't Know What I'm Doing is tasty and enjoyable.

All of the music on Magnatune is licensed under a Creative Commons license, and some of the artists even release the "source" of their work. Brad did just that. When I learned of this, I immediately imagined every kid pirating a copy of Reason and cranking out songs consisting of the stock drum loops, synthy bleeps and as many effects as possible. Luckily, only a few of the remixes sound that way. Brad even picked eighteen of his favorite remixes to release as a separate "album."

Always wanting to see "behind the scenes," I downloaded all remixes that didn't make it to the remix album. After 76 or so songs, it got pretty tiring to hear the same, although good, vocal tracks over and over again. It's pretty hard to work in the confines of someone else's samples -- you can't change the rhythm or melody of the vocals without serious work/money/equipment and the risk of having it sound fake. I wanted to hear mixes, if not covers, that added some serious creativity to the original tracks. Here's what I jotted down.

You can download all of these songs from the extras page:

  • Borderline (Stutterbug mix)
    • This had a good feel to it and added some additional melodies.
  • Dirt Bag (Fear is Key)
    • Best cut-up music mix. Mix 70's cinema music and a little drumandbass. Most (but not all) of the vocal melody mesh into some really, really nice hooks.
  • Making Me Nervous - Melody Generator Space Funk Remix
    • A good, clean trip-hop mix with some synth pads as backup.
  • Overreacting (Nosve mix)
    • Sweet! Additional instruments [female] vocals and acoustic backup give it a great sound, ala-Air.
  • Making Me Nervous (Mandola Mix)
    • Adds original acousting strumming and harmony. Like Brad Unplugged at a folk festival.
  • SexyJosh - Making Me Nervous (Brad Sucks Cover)
    • Tired of the vocal track yet? Here's a breathy acoustic cover.
  • Bad Attraction (Future Boy Sambadelic mix)
    • Original, quick, clean, bleepy, fast, interesting. (Also the same guy who did the 8bit remix on the album, I believe)
  • Sick as a Dog - (Bill Berry mix)
    • Techy-grungy, and the most driving variant of the song that I've heard. I bet there's a little bit of Norman Cook influence.
  • Bad Attraction (w00dy mix)
    • Neat-sounding surf/spy mix.
  • Sick as a Dog (Future Boy Old-Timey Mix)
    • Honerable mention. The swing feel doesn't quite match up with the vocals, but it's a fun listen.
  • Making Me Nervous -'s Lox Mix
    • Honerable mention. Fun.
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