please can someone explain remixes to me?

Discussion in 'Music' started by andrew markworthy, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12
    As far as I can see, remixes come in three flavours:

    (1) Basically the same song but extended and perhaps with the bass and drums accentuated or even a new rhythm track added, but still basically the same song in form and overall sound (albeit more bass heavy)

    (2) Like (1) but more rhythm orientated and with some very obvious remixing (e.g. delaying the intro of a verse or chorus, the rhythm pushed way forward in the mix, etc). However, the original song can be readily recognised.

    Now these two sorts of remixes I can understand. They're still the same song but pushed more towards the dance market. It's the third sort of remix I can't understand:

    (3) It says it's a remix of a song, but the rhythm track is utterly new and sounds nothing like the original song. Bits of the original song may be included, but they don't seem to match with the new rhythm track and the only discernable parts of the original song may be the same small section of lyric played over and over again.

    Just what the **** is going on here? It's so little like the original song that to call it a remix is like saying that if you cut up the Mona Lisa, jumbled up the pieces, pasted a tenth of them at random in a collage and then smeared it with a coat of paint that that is a 'remix' of the Mona Lisa. In other words, there is so little of the original song that it just isn't a remix, it's a new song (and usually a useless one at that).

    Please can anyone enlighten me? Given the popularity of such remixes, I'm clearly missing something.
     
  2. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Messages:
    4,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had no idea that remixes were still popular. I thought (hoped) that the "dance remix" died at the end of the '80s! I remember the bad old days of Springsteen singles being remixed into 8 minute dance versions.
     
  3. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    13,078
    Likes Received:
    765
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    1. This sounds like simply an extended version. Same vocals, same basic arrangement.

    2. This sounds like a true remix. Same vocals over different musical arrangement and/or different tempo.

    3. This sounds like a "dub" mix. Basically just an instrumental mix or with a short vocal "hook." I have no idea why they do these as everyone I've ever talked to seems to hate them and thinks they're a waste of space on the single.

    Yes, remixes are still popular.
     
  4. Stu Rosen

    Stu Rosen Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 1999
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    And putting all those remixes aside, there are the "radio remixes" done so that one song appeals to any number of different radio formats.

    In most interviews I read, recording artists get a kick out of having a producer take their material and crafting something new and different out of it.

    Can't say they bug me universally -- as with music in general, it's what's done with it that matters.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    i am with you 100% andrew.

    i posted a while back when u2 released their second best-of. the entire second cd contained remixes - and most of them sucked!

    even the most remixable band in the world (and my all-time fave) -- depeche mode -- used to do nice mixes. they would fall into the second category. i have a bunch of 12" vinyl remixes that i'll never part with. but, then they started farming out the stuff to other people -- who just took and *ruined* the song. i don't buy any depeche remixes any more. heck, even my other favorite band (new order) is guilty of the same thing.

    and, my all-time fave snafu? when they try to remix some slow song. i think i heard a remix of coldplay's "clocks" that almost killed me. it was so bad, my eyes glazed over and i almost ran off the road.
     
  6. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    1
    The Japanese do magnificent re-mixes. Pizzicato Five have released several complete albums and EPs containing nothing but remixes, and many of them are fantastic. Some are superior to the original version. I also love Konishi Yasuharu's "Readymade Acid Test Remix" of Puffy's "Your Love Is a Drug". He started with a pop-punk song, slowed it down, added drums (emphasizing the toms), french horns, organ, and a mellotron flute. In other words, he turned into Strawberry Fields Forever. [​IMG]
     
  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1998
    Messages:
    5,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can see a good reason for doing radio mixes, since the heavy compression used for broadcast can seriously alter the sound on the commercial CD, particularly in the ambience department.

    As for dub mixes, I don't see the point myself, but I would agree that there are some decent remixes being done by a few people - though none come to mind at the moment.
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    moby comes to mind. i heard a dub-mix for one of his songs and i really liked it. it just flowed really well. but i don't know if he personally mixed it or just farmed it out.
     
  9. gene c

    gene c Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,849
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene
    The first re-mix I heard was Spirit In The Night by Manfred Mann in '76. First released in about '73, it was re-released after the success of Blinded By The Light. It wasn't a major re-due, just enough to make a difference. I knew something was done but at the time I'd never heard of re-mixes. As a rule, I don't care for them. Do it right the first time. But they do seem popular to others.
     
  10. John Milton

    John Milton Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    0
    9 times out of 10 I hate a remix. I'll never understand why they're popular. There is one remix that comes to mind which falls into your third category that I actually like a lot. However it doesn't sound the slightest bit like the same song except for the lyrics.
     
  11. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    1
    Cornelius aka Keigo Oyamada is another fellow who does fine remixing work. Again, he has released entire albums featuring nothing but remixes. I highly recommend his CM2 album, featuring his re-workings of songs by Towa Tei, Blur, k d Lang, Bonnie Pink, Beck, Moby, Denki Groove, Sting (of all people! [​IMG] ) and the Crue-L Grand Orchestra. MAGNIFICENT!
     
  12. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thanks for the replies, guys. I guess I'm not the only one after all. I should have perhaps said that my question was prompted by listening through my collection of Pet Shop Boys remixes. Up to about 1992 the remixes are in category (2) and generally well worth listening to. At worst they're the original song with a bit more bass and at best they are a clever and witty retake on a familiar song, bringing details to the fore that you didn't realise were in the mix. But then after this date the remixes just plummet in quality IMHO. It's not that these tracks are simply dub mixes (which are basically the original tracks 'bass-ed up' and minus vocals) but mediocre new tracks with the occasional vocal and snatch of melody from the original and they just don't make sense. All I can assume is that this sort of thing appeals to someone who is heavily into raves and similar.
     
  13. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    13,078
    Likes Received:
    765
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    Funny, I almost mentioned the recent PSB singles as an example of pointless remixes. Many Erasure singles are just as bad.

    I'm first and foremost a fan of the vocal/song. So once you lose the vocals, I'm no longer interested.
     
  14. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1


    These are for clubs.

    The most annoying such remix of all time has to be the dance remix of that 4 Non Blondes song What's Going On. With that singer's caterwalling, it was already obnoxious, but putting it on top of a robotic techno beat makes it King of Annoying Songs.
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    andrew, do you have the reissues ("further listening") of the psb albums? the ones that have all the bonus remixes? i keep looking at them and thinking about updating my collection. i already have all their albums, plus their b-sides, so i wasn't really sure if it would be worth the jump.

    i totally dig pbs. i'd probably put them in my top 5 bands...
     
  16. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12


    Ted, yes, got them all. They're worth getting even if only because it saves constantly having to change vinyl singles every few minutes. [​IMG] If you have their standard issues or have used WinMX or similar you'll have all the stuff on the bonus discs, but it's nice to have it in a neat package. Plus the sleeve notes are well worth reading and are genuinely informative. Don't forget to get 'Alternative' as well, as this picks up some B sides that aren't on the further listening discs.

    FWIW, Neil and Chris are planning to release a similar double CD pack of Nightlife (not my favourite album, I've got to confess) this autumn (sorry, I mean Fall). Also slated for release is a DVD of the full 'Performance' concert. I was at one of the concerts they filmed and I'm longing for this as the VHS version wasn't very good. A full length commentary track by the boys plus other extras are promised as part of the package.

    Incidentally, there have been recurrent rumours over the last year or so that PSB may offer a subscription service or similar offering absolutely *all* their official remixes (including the incredibly rare ones purely offered to a handful of club DJs) on a long series of CDs. Given that a bootleg collection of official remixes, demos, etc, that have never been made available to the general public runs to at least 30 discs (not that I have ever seen such a collection, you understand [​IMG]) that would be one heck of a size.
     
  17. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,731
    Likes Received:
    1
    I like when some musicians give their fans access to versions of the multitracks and have contests to make the best remix. That produces some trippy stuff.

    There's also the neccesity of producing shorter, swear-word free, quick-start/quick-ending versions for radio use.
     
  18. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,762
    Likes Received:
    12


    Mike, what have I ever done to you that you had to remind me of that song? I'll not get it out of my head all evening now.

    Okay, you asked for it - the Hamster Dance, The Birdie Song, The Macarana. If you can plant a vile song in my head, I can do the same back. If I'm going down I'm taking you with me. [​IMG]
     
  19. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2000
    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best remix I ever heard: 45 RPM version of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." It was about a minute or minute and a half longer than the CD version, and featured a vocal intro that would be familiar to fans of the long live version. The choruses were also slightly different. Otherwise, it was very close to the CD version, but was more like a "director's cut" of the song.

    Sadly, I've been unable to find this particular version on CD or online anywhere. [​IMG]
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    12,013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Referring to #3: I was gonna say, aren't they for DJ's who mix songs together? They usually will provide a few different types of remixes so that the DJ has a few choices to "mix" (i.e. cut up) the song into whatever song he/she needs to.
     

Share This Page