Happy May, folks! I hope everyone is well. This month’s review is one of the coolest ideas I’ve come across so far within this community. While it does contain some pretty catchy elements to listen to, what really drew me to this particular release was the idea of two artists remixing each other’s work. Projects like this can be inspiring and educational and, if done right, can open a lot of doors for the listener, and maybe even potentially get someone out of writer’s block!
That said, I present to you: ‘Trainwreck’ by tiasu & bignic.
I hadn’t heard of either bignic or tiasu previously to this, so I had the privilege to go in with no idea of what to expect. Remixes can be incredibly interesting; the composer’s main ideas are showcased, while the remixer displays their own take on said ideas while melding them together with their unique thought process and production techniques. The listener is left wanting to dig in a little deeper; are those deep synth lines more of one artist’s technique or the other’s? Who chopped up the drum samples? What got the remixer to create one way, as opposed to how the original composer wrote? To me, this is both a review and the start of a future research project, as I’m curious to hear more from both artists.
Released on April 8th, 2016, bignic & tiasu take on the responsibility of battling each other with sharp vocal lines, cut up samples, chip elements, and different perspectives. The album begins with big synth sounds emulated from the world of dance music, and naturally compliment to the build up of chip driven solos. With drums that sometimes give up on snare accompaniment, the artists both leave room to showcase dark, melodic roots.
My personal favorite track was ‘fault/burn’ by tiasu, remixed by bignic. The album holds catchy synth lines that are mimicked by chip harmonies, and a steady, strong beat to go along with gorgeous male vocals. This track kept my ears focused with different types of ear candy: the track melts string lines with galloping bass, and just makes everything acoustically work. I love space in a track, I love darkness, I love instrumentals and fitting vocal lines. This track has all of that and more, and it’s easy to hum along with.
One thing I felt necessary to do when hearing this remix and trying to get a feel for both the composer’s feel and the producer’s twist and to dig back to find what the original track contains. In the original of ‘fault’, we hear a more calm intro, but still heavy, crunchy bass synths.
And then digging back to a previously released track by bignic, I got an idea for how he shaped in more sounds, based on his stellar taste in sound design:
Bignic’s track ‘la luna’, remixed by tiasu, is much more fast paced, and heavily driven. Crunchy, with interesting vocals stuttering in and out, and with the occasional chip arpeggio, this track is yet another display of stylistic treatment from one artist to and alternative creative decision making through the other. I can almost picture both artists smiling as they compete to outdo the previous track.
What’s interesting to me, is how cohesive the entire album is, despite containing tracks from two different projects. I also love that there was more than just chip there; one of my favorite parts of this community is, obviously, how people love to record on note trackers and circuit bend, but also when they take all of these parts and mix them in with other types of music and musical instruments that are, more often than not, a bit alien in this large community. This release had some really great aspects that fed my sound design obsession and I think there is room for growth in one’s self whenever working with another artist is a viable option.
To me, the name of the album is clever; two oncoming forces colliding is, of course, accurate, but what is created is beautiful chaos. Do yourself a favor and listen to this release. I always try to review records that can be educational; what is the history of remixing? What can you do to embellish your friends’ tracks? Would you, yourself, want to create your own ‘Trainwreck’ inspired record? I hope you all found this release to be as educational as I did, and I look forward to digging a little deeper into figuring out what tiasu & bignic offer with their future and past releases.
Till next time,
The Unicorn Princess