Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why I don't like remixes (for the most part...)

I've never been sold on the cult of the remix. More often than not they only make me want to go back and listen to the song in its original form, which is always more fulfilling than when some fancy pants producer, DJ, or other musician puts it through a blender.

I became aware of my disdain for the dreaded remix back in the early '90s when Nine Inch Nails, Coil, Pigface, RevCo and the rest of the post-Wax Trax legacy bands were spitting them out willy-nilly. For me it became a hard, fast rule that when a band starts pushing remixes as though they're some sort of essential listen (live albums too), they're done. There are exceptions to the rule, to be sure, but I can't really think of any off the top of my head.

In my head, a song's strengths are all about the performance, not after thoughts wgile twiddling knobs. Also, when a song has been released unto the world, it takes on a life of its own. Regardless of the artist's intentions, listeners have taken it in, digested it and made it their own. Remixes only muddle things up.

Case in point: The Keepaway remix of Fol Chen's song "In Ruins" showed up in my inbox this weekend, and when placed next to the original version of the song, it's a real bummer. What a great group with a great mystique!
...songs of malaise and miscommunication set to dark pop and glitch-riddled chamber funk. Since the band's inception, Fol Chen has remained a mysterious entity - its membership disguised by masks and aliases, its lyrics appearing as transmissions from a fictional world.
"In Ruins" mp3

"In Runins" Keepaway remix mp3

It's creepy and sweet, and it's totally catchy in it's original form. But the remix just kind of chokes the life out of it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jason Urick “Fussing & Fighting” video

Jason Urick - Fussing & Fighting from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

Directed by Mark Brown
Jason Urick is highly regarded in the Baltimore music and arts scene, through his work in WZT Hearts, and at the Floristree Space where he has curated many shows and festivals. "Fussing & Fighting" follows his solo album debut Husbands, and finds Urick pushing his music farther forward with new experiments in rhythm and sonic space.
--Thrill Jockey