Is it ever acceptable to remix a classic? - Comment - Mixmag

Is it ever acceptable to remix a classic?

Set highlight or set killer?

  • Funster
  • 9 March 2017
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On the surface it's pretty heinous. It's a wild and unrelenting blend of things that by themselves are good but together sound like someone's thrown up a few well worn samples and some big kick drums and been happy with the result. 'Blue Monday' is an anthem that doesn't really need remixing though, it stands up on its own two feet as one of the best there ever was and ever will be. Why bother trying to make something like that your own? Some hodge-podge gimmick is indulgent when in 99.9 per cent of cases the original will suffice. New Order knew what they were doing when they made it, so did the rest of the seminal acts who are responsible for the best of the best, which brings me neatly to my next point.

There are some acts that should be plain untouchable but that hasn't stopped numerous daring and brave producers throwing caution to the wind and risking turning legends into liabilities. Radiohead commissioned their official 'King Of Limbs' remix album which had the band's seal of approval from the off. Acts like Four Tet, Caribou and Jamie xx all offered up amazing new edits and that's fine, because they were official. However some of their classic tracks like 'Everything In Its Right Place' have been butchered by a few wayward minds.

A band as intricate and complex as Radiohead often lend themselves to be edited, but in the right context. Take the 'Gigamesh' remix of the Kid A classic. The trashy, tech-house edit of the masterful original has an unnecessary gloss and an almost cartoony feel. Like it's been beefed up for meatheads to consume in their droves. The combined plays on YouTube of the track go over a million and it begs the question, why do people enjoy hearing something that's just not as good as the original? Fair enough if some people like it, but if you prefer it to the original, then I feel sorry for you.

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