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Slightly Less Under Wraps

Friday 01/05/2007 1:54 AM

For the last few minutes my mind has been racing. I want to share, but if I was thorough it would take forever to write it all out. So I'm going to use broad strokes.

I'm doing music again.

Peter's career in a paragraph. Was a nightclub DJ in college. Got into music production work. Graduated from college to just do music. Lucked into a state job that was supposed to be temporary. Turned out it wasn't, but I kept doing music. A series of disillusionments occurred just as the whole internet craze was taking off in '95/'96. Over the next few years, I shifted my energies from one vocation to another until I was just doing web stuff, which is my main gig these days.

When I was doing lots of music and planning my career in the music industry, I did not dream of being an artist. I wanted to be a remixer. A remixer is essentially someone whose job it is to take a previously existing song and change to achieve some purpose (artistic, commercial or otherwise).

You know what a cover song is? When one artist performs a song originally written/performed by someone else. Think of a remix as a sort of cover song. The remixer is given the keys to the kingdom in the form of all the isolated elements of the song so he can re-create (or remix) the song in a different form.

Remember, I'm keeping this short.

I've done about a dozen remixes with varying success, but no commercial success (though I one my remixes was almost released by EMI Records — Twice!).

Even though I stopped doing music work, I kept thinking about it, analyzing songs, planning out new mixes in my head. I have strategies in mind for more music work should the opportunity present itself.

Several years ago another remixer who had started releasing his own music featured a remix contest to remix one of his songs. I set aside some time and created a great mix that I still enjoy listening to today. Unfortunately, I didn't win.

Then late last year when I was reading a web site devoted to the rock group Nine Inch Nails, I found out about a new remix contest that was right up my alley. Years ago, Trent Reznor, the lead singer of Nine Inch Nails, was involved with a group (supergroup, actually) called Pigface and contributed his vocals to a song called "Suck."

This new contest gave me a chance to work with acapella track of a Trent Reznor song. Awesome for me! So I filled out the paperwork and a couple weeks later got the CD in the mail. I started working on the remix at night and on the weekends. I sent it in at the last moment and waited impatiently to see if I would win.

I didn't.

But I did get some encouraging words from record label owner and industrial music artist extraordinaire Martin Atkins. He said he rated my mix an 8.5 out of 10 and that it was easily in the top 20%.

Ooooo... feedback! The extrovert in me really digged that!

Martin decided to follow-up the Suck remix contest with not one but TWO more remix contests. The deadlines are tight (have to be postmarked by January 12th), but I've made some really good progress in a small amount of time.

I have essentially finished one remix: Pigface's "Everything". I've got a great piano riff/loop written out for the other song and I'm going to turn it into some type of demented old school party jam, which is kinda ludicrous when you hear the original song. Good thing I'm having fun!

Ever the creatively vigilant (and easily bored), today I created a mock album cover for my remix of "Everything." I really love my remix. The original is this loud, obnoxious techno song. After listening to it a couple times (I had not heard the song before the contest), I realized that the lyrics were really beautiful and needed more attention. So I created a very stripped-down, minimalistic remix that I'm in love with. Your image of the day is my mock cover for my new favorite remix that will probably never be released.

Oh, and if you're wondering about the name of the remix (rhymes with Rice Chunky)... that's my poker handle. If I am lucky enough to get it released, that's what the remix will be called. Why do I not want to write my poker handle here? So some yahoo I bust at the poker tables doesn't Google my handle, find this blog and figure out who I am.

Oh, and if you're curious about what the cover is all about... all those blue and green lines are the top half of the shape of the soundwaves of my favorite part of the remix. I made the left channel blue and the right channel green, then overlapped them a bit.

And to think this was the super short version of the story.


File Under: Music; Remixing
Music: David Bowie "Outside"

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