Re: remix?

Subject: Re: remix?
From: Ross Bencina (
Date: Tue Jul 13 1999 - 05:12:50 EDT

Larry Austin writes:
>A term that--for me--has taken on a
>new meaning is "re-mix".
>By extrapolation I think I understand the
>new usage. Rather than its former meaning
>as a verb--when a composer makes a 2nd, 3rd,
>Nth mix of materials for, say, a tape piece--it
>has a broader meaning these days as a noun:
>a re-combination of the materials of a
>piece--our own or even some other composer's
>or composers' (!) already finished piece(s).
>Have I got this new usage right?

It's funny, the meaning you first aquired was for me the second. The dance
music remix is linked directly to the nature of the dance music composition
process itself. As you say, the remix recombines various elements from the
original version (if there ever was one "original" to begin with) with new
materials. Often this involves restructuring the material and replacing the
percussion tracks with those of a different sub-genre. It's interesting to
see how much can be changed in a remix and still be considered the same
piece - sometimes a Vocal line as Kevin suggested (assuming there is a
vocal), a chord progression or just a single sample - usually it's the
"Hook." I remeber the track "Acid Man" from late 80's - it seemed like all
you had to do to qualify as a remix was to use the "Acid Man" sample.

Good remixes often gain status as "pieces" in their own right - especially
if they are better than the original. You could consider the original piece
as a template like a Jazz "standard" and the remix as a rendition. Different
remix artists have their own styles - these often hold more alure than the
pieces being remixed.

I'm not sure traditional "Tape Music" is particularly suited to the remix
paradigm - it might end up sounding like Malcolm McLaren's 'Mozart remix'
album 'Waltz Darling'... :)

Best Regards,


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