A remix (English remixing ) is a new version of a song based on the original multitrack. The concept of the remix is mainly used in electronic dance music , hip-hop and contemporary R&B . The remix is not to be confused with the DJ mix , where a DJ mixes, connects and manipulates existing sound carriers ( scratching ) as in turntablism .
A remix arose out of the need to vary the additional playing time available on sound carriers with a long playing time ( maxi singles or extended play on records or CDs ) by remixing existing sound tracks as a musical alternative to the original. There was either a remix with special rhythmic accents (“disco version”, “ dancefloor version”), versions made for airplay on the radio (“radio version”) or emphasis or suppression of individual musical instruments such as guitars, basses and drums or temporally extended versions ("extended version").
The title can only be varied slightly based on the available soundtracks ; however, more extensive interventions up to a complete revision can also be carried out. Often existing audio tracks are completely hidden and new audio tracks are added. The range of changes made by the remixer ranges from adding or removing sound effects , adjusting the speed , rebalancing the volume , recording additional instruments to completely dismantling and reassembling the original material.
Club mixes tailored directly to clubs usually have the following structure: instrumental intro, middle section and outro. The intro and outro make it much easier for the DJ to mix clean transitions including beat matching.
Studio experienced disc jockeys are generally entrusted with remixes , as they have a good feel for how a track can be edited for the dance floor. Today it is also common to entrust this work to musicians who are friends or known musicians of a certain style in order to steer the remix in certain directions from the outset. Musicians often exchange their pieces of music or their soundtracks with one another in a targeted manner. The respective remixer is usually given a completely free hand in the implementation, relying on his skills.
Basically, in terms of sound, one can differentiate between two remix concepts : A careful change that is relatively close to the original, the sound and the structure e.g. B. perfected for the dance floor or a completely reinterpreted collage , which mostly only contains the vocal track or even fragments of the original original.
Remix as a culture
At least since the end of the 1980s with the development of the club culture , a remix culture also emerged. The remix was no longer just a piece of everyday music , but has become an art form in its own right . The remix plays a very important role in electronic music and hip-hop . Most 12 inch maxi releases contain a remix on the B-side . It is also common to remix entire albums or publish entire remix collections as work reviews (such as Kruder & Dorfmeister : The K&D Sessions from 1998 ).
The forerunner of remixing is the so-called dubbing of Jamaican reggae musicians: Dub versions of a reggae song are remixes in which the vocal track is deleted or faded out and reverb or echo effects are added.
The first real remixes came up as a so-called disco version in the disco era of the 1970s. These new versions should make known titles compatible for the dance floor. Today this procedure, which is still used very often, is usually called dance mix . At that time, it was quickly recognized that the discotheques are a marketing tool that should not be underestimated . Companies called Remix Services (e.g. Razormaid, Disconet and Hot Tracks) began to remix titles for the dance floor at an early stage . Special record pools were set up, distribution networks through which free promotion mixes or DJ-only mixes by subscription were sent exclusively to DJs in small editions. The remix as a recognized art form of its own only slowly established itself after the disco era. Leading the way was especially the hip-hop - subculture . Another important step was the publication of the first remix albums, which brought the art of remixing more into focus and thus helped to overcome the stigma of the mere accompanying phenomenon or dance floor sound. One of the first remix albums in music history is, for example, Love And Dancing by The League Unlimited Orchestra from 1982. This album contains instrumental versions of well-known Human League titles mixed by Martin Rushett, the producer of Human League .
Remixes have enjoyed commercial success in pop music, especially since the 1990s. Todd Terry (with a house version of Everything But The Girls' “Missing”), Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim (with the big beat remix of Cornershop's “Brimful Of Asha”) and Boris Dlugosch (with the house remix of Molokos “Sing It Back”) impressively proved that remixes can be more commercially successful than their underlying original. Even the Grammy was awarded to the best remixer from 1997 onwards. Some rather unknown producers from electronic music achieved a high level of awareness through remixes for well-known pop stars . For example, this made it possible for William Orbit and Mirwais to produce an entire album with Madonna and thus spice up their sound with new trends. The best-selling remix album of all time is Michael Jackson's Blood on the Dance Floor - HIStory in the Mix (1997).
In hip-hop, dub , techno , house and all electronic music, the remix has been an integral part of music culture since the late 1980s and is a recognized means of artistic expression. In addition to the widespread 12 "single here and the B-side , which often contains remixes, remix albums from top-selling albums have been almost mandatory since the late 1990s. The time-shifted or simultaneous release of several remixes of the original by established artists on an additional 12" - Single is common. In the commercial pop music remix, where he often only as a stopgap on likely CD - Singles leads a shadowy existence, with the gradual disappearance of these recordings become less important.
A more recent remix phenomenon, which emerged around 2005, are networks of musicians who collaboratively create pieces of music via the Internet by placing their works under free licenses (e.g. Creative Commons ) and expanding the works released by others in this way through editing . The band Tryad , which consists of more than 20 musicians from all over the world who do not know each other personally, became particularly known for this way of working .
Remixes that were originally computer tunes, for example from the Commodore 64 or Amiga , are also distributed over the Internet . Hobby musicians remix these chiptunes so that these melodies are not forgotten . But commercial successes were also achieved with it, for example Kernkraft 400 from Zombie Nation , which uses part of the soundtrack of the C64 game Lazy Jones . The production celebrated some chart successes at the end of the 1990s.
- Bruce M. Gerrish: Remix. The Electronic Music Explosion. EMBooks, Vallejo CA 2001, ISBN 0-87288-740-5 .
- Tim Prochak: How To Remix. Sanctuary Press, London 2001, ISBN 1-86074-337-4 .
- Eckart Voigts: Mashup and intertextual hermeneutics of everyday life. On the presence and performance of the digital remix. In: MEDIENwissenschaft , 2015, no . 2, pp. 146–163, full text