As much as the global pop culture audience seems to be enamored simply by the idea of remixes, it is our humble opinion that more often than not the rework of an original piece fails to succeed in unearthing something new and exciting while keeping a balanced vision respectful of the first score. In a DJ's defense, a remix's biggest critic is always going to be the audience of the original, and it is rare that such an audience is going to find an outsider's edit more appealing than that of their favorite artist. But, there must be a balance struck by the audience as well. A certain expectation must be curtailed that the remix is going to play to the same strengths as the original. No artist has the identical set of skills or creative vision of another, and so, a new style, a new sound, or a new underlying theme is always going to be created, for better or worse.
When it is for the better, the remixer, whoever they may be, utilize their particular sound as a cohesive blender combining the elements of the original with the elements of their own style, to create something new, bold, and unexpected. The product should draw the remixer's audience to the track without scaring away or making angry the audience of the original artist. And when all goes as planned and a remixed work becomes an inspired and innovative bi-product of both artists involved, fans belonging to the bases of both sides will expand their horizons and become fans of the other.
When it is for the worse, a remixer often is suffering from a lack of creativity, a lack of time, or too big an ego. They loudly splash their sound onto the other without finding a balance between the two. They don't do their research on the original to discover just the elemental structure capable of being dismantled and rebuilt. And often most of all, they are too enamored with their own sound and style to give any respect to the original that inspired their remix in the first place.
The finished product becomes sloppy, clumsy, and rude, and yet, simply because of the weight that the title of 'remix' holds, it might become a hit, spreading poor music, injuring the reputation of both artists, and giving remixes everywhere a bad name.
There is no track or project that cannot be re-edited by some artist in some style differing from the original, but by no means does that dictate that every remix combination should be attempted or even considered. The process is, like most things in life, about balance. A practiced producer of the remix kind has developed a definitive style somehow able to transcend the different styles of artists whose work they has reworked, while still remaining respectful of the original pieces. It is an incredibly touchy series of balances to say the least, which is why so many remixes and producers fail in their attempts, or simply don't have the creative mindset to make it all seamlessly come together
A bold, unique, and innovative style hangs over the entire canon of producer, sober rob, who somehow finds the balance necessary to simultaneously highlight the talent of the artists - usually vocalists - with whom he collaborates. Their sounds become instrumental tools within his work, exploding and evoking emotion as willingly as his daring electronic composition. His style is a unique one. Bred of booming horn notes and elated synth chords, Sober Rob's signature sound speaks foremost to energy, secondarily to positive emotion, and thirdly to a touch of mystery and intrigue.
Though he's been a name on the electronic circuit for years now, he has recently unearthed something particularly special and ultimately unique that has led to an explosion of success in the singles he has released over the past 18 months. He has the rare talent envied of all producers throughout history to draw the very most from his vocal features, and without losing himself in the process, is able to create a track so form fitting to them, that it's easy to forget that he himself is often a solo artist and not simply a piece of the puzzle behind the scenes of production.
He is the equivelant of one-man production label who has proved with a smattering of career original singles and remixes that he has what it takes to sit somewhere atop the electronic circuit. And yet, without the release of a full-length project, and only a sole EP throughout a career spanning nearly a half-decade, he has never been able to take that next step.
We know exactly what form that debut full-length project should take, and just who he should collaborate with to make it happen.
Canadian dreamwave duo, Purity Ring has for years been one of the most bizarre, innovative, and addicting acts in all of music. Fronted be a lead vocalist with a crystalline set of pipes that dance themselves overtop some of the most ingenious and creative electronic composition in the game, Purity Ring has earned a well-deserved global following that extends far beyond the reaches of the electronic spectrum. They have arguably been the most moving force behind the Dream Pop movement in recent years, seamlessly blending clear and powerful vocals, poetically Poe-esque lyricism, and a one-of-a-kind instrumentation born of welcoming chimes, ghostly sampling, and explosions of emotional keystrokes. It all comes together to immerse the listener in a deeply accurate emotional dream world brimming with a palette of undiscovered colors and long-forgotten memory.
It is in no place more apparent and appreciated than in their debut album, Shrines, which is to this day, their masterpiece. Not to say their more recent work hasn't been innovative and inspiring in its own right, but Shrines was simply so flawless a project and inspired so many new avenues across music's boundless breadth, that it will forever be nearly impossible for any other release to hold its weight.
Unless it were perhaps revisited by an artist with the balanced approach necessary to give it a makeover neither improved or disproved, but rather equivocally intriguing and innovative. Enter sober rob with his established track record of working within the confines of his talented collaborative vocalists. The parallels between early Purity Ring and a current sober rob are obvious. Both utilize their dreamy auditory aesthetics to paint in vivid color their respective dream worlds; both have a knack at accurately representing raw human emotion through the avenue of electronic composition; and both are innovative and versatile enough to extend far beyond the grasp of their native genres.
Though both sides have what it takes to deliver a balanced and creative collaborative project from scratch, a better route to take would be to embrace their talent and host a clinic on the gentle intricacies of remixing. Remake Shrines in its entirety from the ground up, utilizing the same key vocal foundation, but with a modernized take on the production blending the elements of both Purity Ring and sober rob.
The finished product would display the boundless possibilities of revisited and re-edited originals, while perhaps creating in the process a project as innovative and influential as the original.