History repeats itself, that’s a given fact. In the political world it is not always revered in the same golden light as it is in the musical world, however when applying it specifically in the form of remixes it’s a cause for true celebration.
Time is a funny concept, we’ve all been dropped into this world of ours at different points of the “life timeline,” months and days apart, but whole decades and eras too. With that we overlap our music histories and it becomes a beautiful mess of who was where for what, who got to live an album release and which of us had to sift through our parents dusty records to hopefully come across the same one.
This industry is a gorgeous beast and with that a total insomniac. It never sleeps and (thankfully) never stops bombarding us with deep breaths of new beats and creations, feeding us sounds we’ve never heard before and feelings we’ve never felt before. It’s magic. Having said that, I think that with all the excitement and constant shower of “new new new” it’s so easy to look forward to what’s coming next and harder to look back, back into song history to listen to legendary artists and bands that reside somewhere before our time.
Thats where the beauty of remix culture comes in.
Technology has now allowed us to cheat time itself and loop worm holes through it mending past and present, eradicating need to sift through countless old albums yourself when artists will gladly do it for you. Gramatik has done it with The Beatles, Kygo with Marvin Gaye, Neon Steve with Jimi Hendrix, and it’s almost impossible not to get down to a Slynk remix of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music”.
“My dad is a very enthusiastic music collector and always played heaps of funk and soul as I grew up…One of my earliest memories was linking arms with my brother and dancing in the living room,” recounts Slynk, and it’s since then admittedly played a part in his unique sound which is often infused with classics then weaved into originals. Even Electroswing in almost all it’s entirety are sounds that have been pulled from yesteryear and been turned into favourites today.
Of course, there are issues with copyright. Soundcloud is closely regulated and warns artists they “need permission from the original creator and any other relevant rights holders” before they can upload and publish any remixes online, violations of this are plucked off the site and some accounts even threatened to be taken down all together. But, amazingly we all still bathe in a musical world of hundreds of remixes, and they’re going to keep coming.
My sisters and I grew up in a house of Rock N Roll, we had a full drum kit in the living room instead of a couch and on road trips our car was a classroom for Classic Rock to see how many albums we could get through before reaching our little campsite destinations. Exploring genres outside of Rock’n Roll though was left to our own curiosity, and for me very far from a chore. Last summer, I had my younger sister in the car and a Fleetwood Mac remix began to feed through the stereo, she’d never listened to or even heard of Fleetwood Mac until that very moment. The next time I saw her I caught her playing their pivotal album Rumours and when they were announced to perform in Vancouver she wanted more than anything to see them in concert. At 15 years old. Wow.
It is the amazing nature of how we now have this whole new realm of musical exposure at our fingertips that connect our day in age with moments in history that so many of us wish we had lived through and would otherwise never have known existed. It’s a beautiful romance between the artists that live and breath for the classics that inspired them and those who don’t have the time or exposure to get to them. It’s meant to be, and like Aladdin and Jasmine say, “a whole new world.” I consider that a classic, I’m just waiting for someone to remix it.
WORDS: Murphy Gold