Trackademicks: A Future, Remixed

Welcome. Glad you made it.

Shout out to my first Mirror entry. It hasn’t even been a year into my web3 journey and so many great things have already happened. I’m super enthused to be apart of the inaugural FWB Fellowship Cohort and to have this project included in their collection. All of this growth, newness and change is very welcomed.

Over my career, I’ve used my propensity to remix to allow different musical scenes and genres to interface with each other and occupy the same spaces. More often than not, it’s about building bridges between communities.

So, for my genesis NFT Editions drop here on Mirror, I had to pay homage to all of the remixes and tape singles studied and learned from. I wanted to highlight the leading tracks off of The [Re]Mixtape Vol. 6 by minting a double-sided NFT cassette single, or “cassingle”.

The A-side contains a song called “Pleasure is the Destination”, the instrumental version of my remix of SWV’s “Anything”.

On the B-Side we have “Rider” (Midnight Mix), an instrumental version of my vibe’d-out remix to Mereba’s song of the same name.

NFT Details

***The A-Side and B-Side are separate NFT editions, each with 25 available***

Holders of one edition will be able to: 
-stream and download the upcoming, unreleased [Re]Mixtape Vol. 6, as well each individual remix and the video artwork

Holders of both editions will be able to:
-stream and download the complete [Re]Mixtape Series, Vol. 1-6, along with all of the individual remixes, and artwork
-gain free entry to the project’s release parties
-access extras perks that have yet to be announced


Nothing Remains the Same

Some call it an improvement on the original. 
Others consider it painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
Regardless of opinion, the fact remains that in order to progress and move forward, some form of change, transition, or remix is inevitable.

Sometimes it’s a deliberate “mash up” of opposing sensibilities (think Kogi tacos) where the original ingredients shine through in familiar and recognizable ways to augment the existing experience. When it comes to music, these remixes often fall under the “re-edit'' category, where the song parts  are rearranged and rhythmic components of the song are ramped up or replaced to usually create a more dance floor friendly version. Examples of this are the extended “Dance Mixes” and “House Mixes” of the 80s and 90s, and this whole mixtape.

Other times, elements of the original song, when coupled with new sounds and textures, can create a whole new context. This is much easier to accomplish with cover versions or reinterpretations of a song, because the new work isn’t tethered to elements of the existing work’s recording. Chord progressions, arrangement, and rhythmic disposition are all open to reinterpretation by the remixer. When a remixer manages to create an entirely dissimilar listening experience with respect to the original, something truly unique can emerge.

Birth of The [Re]Mixtape

While spanning numerous genres, the [Re]Mixtape series has always been rooted in my love for R&B vocals and dance music culture. Vocal production techniques used throughout the years of Soul and R&B are unmatched. You don’t need backing tracks or accompanying music to fully feel the depth of a song that, when stripped down, already has ear-worm inducing melodies and raw, honest, pitch-perfect vocal performances. I’ve also always been drawn to music that, while sonically progressive and left-of-center, has a strong pop sensibility. Coupling this with constant rhythmic exploration in dance music culture, I’ve had a wonderful time creating and curating the series.

The precursor to my [Re]Mixtape Series was a 10-track compilation simply called The Remixes. This project was an amalgamation of all the remixes I’d produced to date. Shortly after dropping The Remixes, DJ Tap.10 and I decided to do a dj-mixed version, simply called The [Re]Mixtape. At the time, Tap would give me acapellas to remix— anything from Raphael Saadiq to Amerie. Back then I was doing all the production and arrangement on my Ensoniq ASR-88.

By the time Vol. 2 and 3 came around, I really got into doing covers and remixes for the tape, incorporating a lot more “breezy synths” and rhythmic variety into the productions.

Vol. 4 and 5 really began to bring into focus my love of all things dance. The remixes on these tapes were primarily house-inspired, with tinges of UK dance styles— heavy, peak-party jam energy.

The [Re]Mixtape Vol. 6 continues my if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it formula of “pretty & jammin’” remixes. This time around, I chose to remix songs that already had those buttery future soul chord progressions, exploring everything from Amapiano and Afro-Beats to Nu-Funk and Drum & Bass.

The Next Version

Once again, I’m looking forward to the evolution of remixes in the future. Ever since the decline of physical music sales and the rise of streaming, the availability of commercially released acapellas has fallen off dramatically. I have definitely felt this over the years I’ve been producing and remixing. I’ve had to change and evolve my methods to continue to do what I love.

I’m particularly interested in how web3 will reshape remixing. If you think about it, the whole entire space is a remix, built on existing protocols, forked code, collaboration and the idea that things can always be changed and ultimately improved. I would love to see musicians embrace this ethos widespread. Creating with the intent to inspire other artists as we collectively build new worlds to explore.

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