Sonntag, 31. Mai 2009
Glass Candy - Iko (Cosmic Rockers Remix)
DOWNLOAD the song here
A bit of self-promotion ... this is a remix I recently made of Glass Candy's "Iko" (2005). Glass Candy, consisting of vocalist Ida No and beat programmer/musician Johnny Jewel, have impressed the world with hipness and retro-chic for about a decade now - not only in terms of fashion & visual aesthetics, but also in the way they have been appropriating and co-opting past musical styles. Questions of authenticity and originality have become obsolete in their postmodern pastiche, a simulation/simulacrum that is openly synthetic, a copied version of ... well, of other copies. Their work is chock-full of allusions and references, but these signifiers have long disconnected from reality and taken on a life of their own, not referring to anything but themselves any longer. And that's not necessarily a bad thing: At least it deflects the dated yet still all-too-familiar critique of fakeness (vs. an ideal of true musical expression).
When Glass Candy started out, they went for a somewhat half-baked post-punk meets no-wave sound. In recent years, they began embracing synthesizers, drum machines and 4/4 beats, becoming one of the first bands of the ongoing Cosmic/Italo revival trend. Their most interesting period was in between, around 2004/2005. Synthesizers and programmed beats had just started to creep into their songs which were getting incredibly funky. Based on a solid foundation of dry bass and organic percussions, these tracks still had an experimental edge: mostly in their approach towards structure, melody and in Ida No's eccentric vocals. "Iko" could almost be called a pop tune if it weren't for the minimalist feel and some odd synth tapestries.
I wanted to give the track an electro funk remodeling without losing its stripped-down quality. This was tough cause it meant I had to restrain myself from going all bazerk and adding layers over layers of synths ... what I would usually be doing.
I sampled the famous Jive Rhythm Trax 122bpm for the subtle percussive sounds in the background. The guitar sample is a chopped version of a guitar sample in "Contract on the World Love Jam", which is the intro to Public Enemy's 1990 album "Fear of a Black Planet". Imo one of Public Enemy's finest moments:
Some more notes on remixes
Picking up an older post, here are some remixing rules we hold to be self-evident:
#1: There are certain bands that are not to be messed with. (I already violated that one with the very first track I made)
#4080: If you are not sure you can do better than the original: Don't bother trying.
I am probably guilty of that one too cause the original "Iko" is such a great song in its own right. Compare for yourself: