Thursday, December 13, 2007

PLAYLIST: REMIXES AND MASHES

I'll let you guys on a secret. I hate remixes.

... No, you don't understand. Hate. They are almost overwhelmingly disappointing. After hearing raves for, say, 'The Magical Unicorn Big Beats in the Jungle' remix of an artist I love, I grab it and, upon listening, sigh. Not only do they not improve the song, they often make my favourites unbearable! It's annoying. However, recently I've begun to come around, like I did for instrumentals. No, I don't think those others are any better, they're still awful - but now I won't have complete certainty beforehand that a new remix will suck enormously.

Another type of song I despised until I encountered some good/amusing ones were mashups. I thought they were lame attempts to play with popular music, and in most cases they are. However, there are some that are either genuinely amusing or actually damn good music.

So, in honour of giving things second chances, a playlist.

Andrew Bird - Imitosis (Four Tet Remix) (Sendspace link)
A song I never paid much attention to, Imitosis is a song common in tone to Andrew Bird's style: darker, moody, lyrical. Four Tet's remix adds a beat to it, something that accentuates the darkness of the song and yet draws you in further. It once or twice steps on Bird's toes, but otherwise an excellent enhancement to the original.

Amy Winehouse - Rehab (Desert Eagle Remix) (Sendspace link)
When my sister was extolling the virtues of this 'brilliant' new singer she'd found, I was often uninterested in Winehouse's music. However, this remix sold me on Rehab, a song I'd previously been (and still am) not terribly in love with. The horns in the back, the added beat, it just gives the song a whole sense of style that the original lacks.

Dido - Here With Me (Lukas Burton Remix) (Sendspace link)
Where the original, an old favourite, went for atmosphere, this remix goes for a lower-key song with a darker beat added in. The changes, while negating the slow build and chaotic backing of the original, gives this version a whole new flavour. It's more low-key, with the added beat giving a sense of order to the background later in the song.

Stars - Your Ex-Lover is Dead (Final Fantasy Remix) (Sendspace link)
A radical edit instrumentally, this remix strips the song right down to a piano and some hazy effects, making Stars' lead singers sound sound almost as if they're singing on a radio in the background. It's really quite pretty, and though it's not an improvement (as the original is quite possibly my favourite Star's song to begin with), it's a worthy remix.

DJ Magnet - Love Comes Running Up That Hill Quickly (Placebo Vs. Pet Shop Boys Vs. Kate Bush) (Sendspace link)
This mashup is extremely unusual in that, somehow, all the elements combine to make something that actually sounds like a standalone song. The main difference is that, instead of transplanting Song A's vocals to B's music, the mashing is used to enhance the main song, that being Placebo's cover of "Running Up That Hill". Ghostly vocals from Pet Shop Boys' "Love Comes Quickly", along with a beat I assume is from that song, give this a new atmosphere, while transplanting a portion of Kate Bush's original "Running Up That Hill" makes her sound less like a mash and more like a featured artist. This, on its own, impressed me enough to make up for all the bad ones I've seen before.

Empulsive - Toxic Rehab (Britney Spears vs. Amy Winehouse) (Sendspace link)
This is another interesting mashup that adds something to both involved songs. The 'toxic' metaphor of Britney Spears' song mixes well with the topic of addiction in Amy Winehouse's 'Rehab'. It turns the songs from one about a destructive relationship and another about literal rehab into what feels like a song about others' reactions to the protagonist's destructive relationship. It's 'toxic', she's 'high and can't come down', but they 'tried to make [her] go to rehab and [she] said no, no, no'. This makes it a deeper mix than just throwing The Fray vocals onto a Beyonce song because it sounds funny.

If you like the artists, feel free to check them out elsewhere. And enjoy!

3 comments:

Karalalala said...

Dude I thought you promised me a new blog! Bah!

A.P. said...

Can you reupload "Love Comes Running Up That Hill Quickly?" It doesn't seem to be working.

The Alden said...

Will reupload! Sorry for not noticing sooner!