Title: Mirage Remixed
Artist: Radioactive Sandwich
Release Date: 2014 Dec 16
Genre: Downtempo Electronica
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Self Released
The original Mirage release from Radioactive Sandwich came out in 2012, and has been one their strongest releases. It fused many of the world, psychedelic and electronic elements the duo had been working on for several years. Now at the close of 2014 they decided to revisit it with a remixed sandwich mirage.
Remixed Sandwich Mirage
I was reading on another blog recently a musician stating his opinion that remixes are generally not something that should be considered artistic. He hates how remixes tend to have weird, non-sensible subtitles. He hates what he feels is the minimal amount of work that goes into remixing a track (changing the IQ, chopping up a few bits, maybe changing the tempo, etc.) He went on at length to explain why he hates remixes.
Ironically, as I read his opinion, I couldn’t help but agree. There are a lot of cases where remixes don’t really live up to the idea of containing any real transformation of the original material. Or, worse, in some cases the transformations that are created are, in my opinion, abominations compared to the original releases. One of the worst of these abominations I ever heard was an exceptionally produced chill / lounge release that was transformed into techno / hard house style, keeping only small bits of the original release. It was so bad that I found it hard to think of it as really having any relation to the original.
Now, you can counter this by saying there are a lot of remixes that actually improve on the original. And, in fact, many producers today take material that was originally not all that well done and make something completely new and different from it that is interesting and much mere listen-able. I won’t disagree one bit, I have, in fact also heard releases that were remixes that were so much better that I couldn’t listen to the original.
But, with such extreme positive and negative experiences with remixes, I find myself often being more skeptical about “remix” releases. Especially if I look over the titles and don’t recognize the remixers that have contributed to the release. This release, for example, only had two names that I knew on it: Radioactive Sandwich and Kurbeats.
But, fortunately, Radioactive Sandwich has a sense of taste and style that seems to allude other producers / artists in the realm of electronic music, while still maintaining an ear for things that are really different takes on their work.
For example, Audioglider’s remix of ‘An Echo is the Shadow of a Sound’ was a bit of a surprise. He opens the piece with a more 80’s style sound, eschewing the congas and the original percussion for a clap-track and a bouncy analog bass instead. And yet, somehow the track takes on a new character and personality all it’s own. It doesn’t compete with the original, it’s almost it’s own piece instead.
I was looking forward to hearing what Kurbeats did with Sigogglin, and I was not disappointed. The original has a very middle-eastern feeling to it. Kurbeats manages to maintain much of the feeling of the original, while giving a bit more of a dub feeling, and adding a few of their signature touches to the song.
And that’s what is really excellent about this release. While many of the tracks maintain pieces of their core identities, they are transformed into unique pieces. The transformation is so complete that it’s possible to play Mirage and Mirage Remixed back to back, and not feel like you are listening to the same release over. And yet, there’s enough similarity to make these mixes worthy alternatives to the originals in DJ sets.
I am often very skeptical about remix releases. There are some that are done well, but many more are merely an exercise in knob-twiddling, or go too far and ruin the material that they are based on. Radioactive Sandwich has gotten the remix release right: they’ve gathered a series of mixes that do their original works justice, while transforming them enough to be their own standalone works. If you are a fan of Mirage, give the remixed Sandwich Mirage a spin.