Remix This.

When thinking about remix, don’t envisage a dank studio where songs are distorted to repeating tempos. Instead consider a vastly adapting, ever expanding culture, one of mass proportions in terms of product out-put, historic significance and prosumer involvement. By definition it “is a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new product.”

Just take a look at the group Walk off the Earth, who, through a form of collective intelligence at work remixed 2013’s top charting hit ‘Royals’ by Lorde.

Remix gives us a new way to identify cultures based on historical and social elements adding value to our digital society. It creates a sub-culture of its own allowing anyone with any level of creativity to become their own DJ, no longer bound to old rituals of the music industry. However there is the question of how far culture jamming will occur, referring to the loss of specific cultural identities through the morphing and contribution from different cultures. In this, it is important to be aware that multiculturalism will always shape societies, however intrinsic attributes will always allow the culture to remain unique and dynamic.

Remix can also be used to alter the original message of a text, it is an intervention on the flow of meaning and can change ideologies. It can be used to subvert old texts and create politically aggressive messages, something that has been done long before the arrival of Youtube (here).

Pentatonix, an A cappella group, created a compilation of Daft Punk’s music to create a new idea. The message presented is still in sync with the original, however, new audiences are reached, adding to both the phenomena of remix culture and creating a new hype for the original artist. This is where the success of remix comes from, taking an idea and shaping it to create new levels of exploration that others have not achieved.


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