remix

They Fall Right Out Of The Sky (Mdavisto’s Mix)

Lauren Moore is, by her own admission, a huge nerd. But that’s a good thing – I like nerds.

Hailing from Indianapolis, USA, Moore is in fact a very special kind of nerd, in that she’s made her debut release a concept album based on the cult science fiction show Firefly, from everyone’s favourite cult show creator, Joss Whedon. If you haven’t seen the show, well, what is wrong with you? Go buy the box set, now.

Under the band name ‘Verse, Moore’s project is a collection of songs that, without being obvious, tell stories from the paradigm of the show, often speaking with the voices of the characters. The styles vary wildly from song to song, all experimentally electronic, with strong pop flavours, but all held together with Moore’s smooth, expressive vocals.

Whether you’re a Browncoat (a fan of the show), a new recruit (yet to watch) or an ignorant cretinous philistine with no friends and body odour (not a fan of the show), ‘Verse’s debut album is quite extraordinary listening. Her talents lie not only with beautiful delivery, but with lush vocal layering and haunting harmonies.

However, on this remix project, I took the very laidback “They Fall Out Of The Sky” and put it squarely in the club. Moore’s spacey lyric allows this. Bizarrely, that involved slowing the vocal down a little, even though the track is faster and trancier (in a sort of Dutch way).

Production nerds among you will be interested to note that this was made using the FL Studio 9.7 beta (the precursor to FL 10), and utilises the upcoming Newtone and Pitcher plugins. I used Newtone for adjusting the vocal timing (the original is swingier), and Pitcher for shaming my family and my honour by doing Autotune effects.

My take on the upcoming FL Studio version is that the expanded mixer does the same job it ever did, but is easier to view and use now. Clips user? You’ll love it. Blocks user? You’ll whine on the forums. Then you’ll grow up and learn to use clips.

Enjoy.

They Fall Right Out Of The Sky (Mdavisto’s Mix) by mdavisto

PS: Browncoats will recognise Kaylee’s perspective in this track.

Remix: TKZee’s Dikakapa (Mdavisto’s Mix)

In South Africa – in fact, anywhere on the continent – TKZee needs no introduction. They are arguably one of the most significant kwaito acts of all time, and certainly one of the highest achieving, with a career that spans more than a decade and a half. They’ve racked up so many awards that they can probably afford to use them as doorstops by now.

Outside of SA, though, the phenomena may need a little explaining. Kwaito is a form of dance music indigenous to South Africa, and is a close cousin of House music. In fact, during the 1990s many Kwaito DJs would spin International tracks, but would slow them down a few semitones, resulting in a more laid-back groove.

There are bigger differences, though. International House tends to emphasise the on-beats – the 1,2,3,4 of the rhythm punctuated by the kick drum. But Kwaito lives in the spaces in between, focusing instead on the upbeats. It also has a distinct vocal styling not found in any other genre of dance.

Dikakapa was the second single off TKZee’s latest opus, “Coming Home,” released on the back end of 2009, and you can check out the original music video here. Incidentally, if you like kwaito, you can grab a copy of “Coming Home” here.

I wanted to make it more accessible to mainstream club play, but still maintain a strong flavour of its origins that would permeate the palette of electro sounds I’d chosen to work with. I achieved this (at least, I hope I did) largely with the underlying structure of the bassline, and with a heavily pitch-bent synth tone that I put together to compliment Magesh’s vocals, a sound that serves as a responding voice to his call.

Play the track before I intellectualise it to death. This one is banging.

TKZee – Dikakapa (Mdavisto’s Mix) by mdavisto

Remix: Viltin ft Kitana – “Gyratory”

UK-based DL40 Records commissioned this electro-flavoured remix from me. It’s by a new artist called Viltin, and features vocals by singer Kitana. You can hear the original version of this song on DL40′s Myspace page.

It’s been an interesting project to work on – Viltin’s a very dynamic character with a strong vision of where his brand is headed; I expect big things from him in the near future.

If the woman in the image looks familiar, it’s because Kitana is an alter-ego of Kimberly Dayle, the singer and live performer. She’s well known for her high end impersonations of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilerra and, more recently, Lady Gaga.

Take a listen.

Viltin ft Kitana – Gyratory (Mdavisto’s Mix) by mdavisto

Remix: Jesta’s “Be Mine”

Jesta is a talented singer and songwriter based in London, England. I have to say, off the bat, that her personal taste and style is a lot harder than this remix suggests – she’s a big fan of the dirtier, more experimental underground dancefloor beats.

I typically ask my clients to list some tracks that they like in the genre we’ll be producing, but beyond that, I’ve also begun asking for examples of music they listen to recreationally, for their own pleasure – it helps me understand their musical headspace.

Well, Jess schooled me. She sent me a list of some of the most interesting, cutting edge beats I have ever had the pleasure of working my way through. Some of them I knew, others were a complete discovery to me and had me bouncing around the studio. If nothing else, Jess has markedly improved the quality of my mp3-player’s playlist.

But “Be Mine” is a gentle ballad. Much as I tried to coax this song into a hardcore format, it refused. It would impishly roll its eyes at me, smirk, and point towards the Beach. I discussed this with Jess, and she was cool to head beach-ward, so I gave in, and followed where the song led, which was all the way to Ibiza. The result is this fluffy, uplifting mix.

Jesta – Be Mine (Mdavisto’s Mix) – Radio Edit by mdavisto

Remix: Slide’s “Dime Store Queer”

Kicking 2010 off with a bang, here’s a kick ass remix of Slide’s new single, “Dime Store Queer.” This is the second remix I’ve produced for Slide, the electro rockers from the USA’s west coast, and follows on from the equally clubby “January (Feel Like Dancing)“, which recently garnered a Platinum Auddy award on uPlaya.com.

I’m really proud of how the Dime Store Queer remix came out – this one roars. There’s a lot I like about this song – not just the catchy chorus hook or the solidity of the bassline, but the fact that underneath its glitzy pop sensibilities it’s got a serious message: don’t let these bastards push you around.

Don’t let them hurt you, don’t buy into the vicious labels they attach to you. You won’t always be stuck where you are. Keep your head up and stay fabulous, because some day soon you’ll grow up, get ripped, and tear all their heads off. Kinda.

Have a listen to the radio edit:

Dime Store Queer (Mdavisto’s Mix) – Radio Edit by mdavisto

Remix: Aylos – I’m Beautiful

This is a mix that Terry and I did, under the our 3Headz moniker. The vocals and lyrics are by a singer from Durban called Aylos – I think she’s going places. This mix will appear on the new album from DJ Guffy (for the umlungu, this is inexplicably pronounced “Goofy”, just like the Disney character).

Aylos has a solo album coming out soon which will feature the original version of this song.

Enjoy the mix:

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Remix: Zos

It is the ZosThis is a club remix I did for up-and-coming Johannesburg artist Zos, whose album is into the final stretch of being mixed here in Studio 1 at SSI. The album version is more hip hop, a bit slower and has more words. And more pianos.

Obviously it’s unashamedly a party track. The original features some guest vocals by MXO that seem to have got lost somewhere, I guess I’ll check under the couch cushions and see if I can find them.

The rest of the album is nothing like this one, and there are some smoking hot beats on it, which I hope to post as we get closer to completion.

This is my full length DJ remix, hence the long build.

Update: Goggi took a copy of this remix down to YFM, and DJ Chilli M is now rocking it on the drive time show.

Listen:

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Remix: In My Head

There appear to be four of them This is my second remix for Canterbury-based indie pop band Artist.

I actually really like the original track, and it became apparent to me early on that this was never going to work as a thumpitty dance track.

But I still wanted to make it faster. This involved a fair amount of sample chopping, particularly to make the guitar parts work at the new tempo. However, even though they’re mostly playing different things, nearly 90% of the guitars in the remix are the original parts – just a bit scrambled.

In the end, I took the song from Indie Pop to Emo Pop. I beg forgiveness.

Clip of the original track here:

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Shiney new remix here:

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Remix: Fetish

Fetish were sizzling hot South African band in the late 90′s. I met them at the time through my friendship with Brian Sepel and Malcolm Aberdein of Riverside Sound Studios. I was skinnier then and I had a lot more hair.

The band’s sound is unashamedly dark – at the time we called it moody rock. Now it’s the sort of thing my brother and I have fights over wether it’s emo. (ducks to avoid brick and bottles)

So anyway, I was trawling through my drives yesterday and I happened across a folder I have not seen in ages, full of really dodgy 8-bit samples, soundfonts (remember those?) and general crap that had been on the phenomenally massive 2GB hard drive I had back in 1997.

Feeling all nostalgic, I started playing things, and discovered I had the complete vox for Fetish’s “Never Enough”. It was an ancient remix project of mine which somehow never got finished. Which is a pity. So I dusted it off, threw away everything except the vocal and one guitar sample, and reworked it last night.

10 years late, but here it is. This is the chopped down “radio edit”; any DJ’s out there who want the DJ friendly version, get in touch.

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Remix: Nighthawks

Artist the band I’ve not posted any music here in a while, partly because I’ve had my head up my bum, and partly because of running around organising projects. Several are coming to fruition all at once, so expect more posts like this in the coming days.

I’ve just completed this remix for Canterbury-based band Artist, aka Artist the Band, who have just released their first album entitled A Muddle and a Mess.

I went the sort of mellow House route, which is the cheezy way my brain works.

Here is a clip of the original song:

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Annnnd here’s my remix:

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