In a day and age where getting noticed or receiving recognition within the music industry is a struggle, upon releasing material musicians enter a battlefield. For established musicians, those with a loyal fan base, recognition isn’t necessarily a problem but for musicians attempting to “make it”, it is. There are a number of ways in which a budding musician can increase their chances of gaining recognition and one of the most common attempts comes in the form of the remix. Musicians, primarily working in dance, electronic or hip-hop genres remix tracks of already established musicians in a bid to target and get recognition from the audience of the already established musician. This is not to say that this is the only reason for the remix; I will expand on different reasons later. The term remix, for some, conjures up certain connotations and too much of the time these connotations are bad ones, often centring on plagiarism and theft or perhaps more pointlessly based on arguments of unoriginality. These arguments aside, releasing remixes is clearly an acceptable way for any up-and-coming musician to gain notoriety, particularly in the blogosphere.
Looking back at previous musical generations, to a time before the remix, in its place one would have been presented with the notion of recomposition. More often than not recomposition of another composer’s work took place to pay homage to the composer, although in some cases recomposition was practiced as a form of analysis. This is not to say that modern-day remixes are never there to pay homage to the artist being remixed, because in many cases they are.
So, is there a difference between remix and recomposition? Are they not purely nomenclature or terms for what is essential...
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...mix and recomposition being synonyms. I feel that I have demonstrated that Four Tet, a musician who dubbed his track a remix, has done no less composing than a musician who has dubbed his, a recomposition. And secondary to this I hope I have demonstrated one of the main reasons a musician reworks pieces of the past; the desire for a musician to explore the past and at the same time express themselves.
Even though both musicians treated the existing pieces in infinitely different ways, I think it is apparent what both musicians were trying to achieve; self-acceptance. Both musicians were searching for an affirmation of their own individual style. By looking back at musicians previous to them they were able to satisfy their need to pay respect, not only, to what others have done but at the same time develop their own style and, even if subtly, push the envelope.
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