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DJs - tape-editing - edit - mix - montage - 12-inch single

The mixing desk as an instrument and the DJ/remixer as an artist.


A remix is an alternate mix of a song different from the original version. It may incorporate elements of dance music. It is often used to create an upbeat version of a song for playing by disc jockeys in nightclubs.

In addition to dance remixes, many R&B, pop, and rap artists use remixes and alternate versions of songs with "featured" guest stars, in order to give them new life, or to make them a hit if they're failing.

In recent years the concept of the remix has been applied analogously to other media and products. In 2000, the British Channel 4 television program Jaaaaam was produced as a remix of the sketches from the comedy show Jam. In 2003 the Coca-Cola Corporation released a new version of their soft drink Sprite with tropical flavours under the name Sprite Remix. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remix, Apr 2004

Roots of modern remixing

Modern remixing had its roots in the dance hall culture of late-1960s/early-1970s Jamaica. The fluid evolution of music that encompassed ska, rocksteady, reggae and dub was embraced by local mixing wizards who deconstructed and rebuilt tracks to suit the tastes of their audience. In particular, producers and DJs like Ruddy Redwood, King Tubby and Scientist, and Lee "Scratch" Perry popularized stripped-down instrumental mixes (which they called "versions") of ska tunes using simple four-track mixing machines. At first they simply dropped the vocal tracks, but soon more sophisticated effects were created, dropping separate instrumental tracks into and out of the mix, isolating and repeating hooks, and adding echo effects. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remix#Roots_of_the_remix [Apr 2005]


A megamix is a remix containing multiple songs in rapid succession. Ultimix is the most well-known for these, producing at least one or two every year based on popular songs of the year. Each "flashback medley" is about 15 minutes long, usually with at least that many songs if not more. The "artist megamix" is also popular, with some of the more popular ones (Madonna, Michael Jackson, Pet Shop Boys) having more than one, usually from different remix companies. Hip-hop mixes are released under the Funkymix name. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remix, Apr 2004

"Disco version" or "disco mix"

So "disco version" or "disco mix" means primarily that the record is longer than the version released for radio play, though it may also mean that the cut is specifically mixed for a "hotter," brighter sound. Disco DJs are much more concerned with the technical quality of the records they play than their radio counterparts, rejecting otherwise danceable singles because of the deadness of their mix or their loss of distinction at high volumes. This passion for quality has had its effect: Both Atlantic and Scepter have put selected single cuts on 12-inch discs at 33 1/3 for best reproduction at top volume. -- Vince Aletti in Rolling Stone Magazine, 8/28/75 [...]

Musique Concrète

[...] It wasn’t long before the possibilities of tape editing were being explored to the full. In 1948 – by which time reel-to-reels were being installed in studios around the world - the experimental European composer Pierre Schaefferwas using vari-speed machines to loop, chop and re-edit sounds taken from the everyday environment.

From stage to studio

"...ever since Miles Davis and James Brown transferred their primary creative space from stage to studio, the most succesful musical form in the popular arena has been the dance-groove : where cycles of rhythm, circling ever back to their beginnings, allow for small shifts and changes within the structure to bring with them remarkable shock-force." (Hopey Glass in The Wire).

Beat mixing

Beatmatching is a mixing technique employed by DJs. It involves changing the speed at which a recording is played back so that its tempo matches that of the song currently playing. In this way, the DJ can simultaneously play two songs of different original tempos without their beats clashing or "galloping." The tempo of the recording can be changed through the use of specialized playback mechanisms. In the case of vinyl records, for example, the turntable would have a separate control for determining the relative speed (typically listed in percent increments) faster or slower the record can be played back. Similar specialized playback devices exist for most recorded media. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatmatching, Apr 2004

Tape Editing, from Reel to Reel [...]

Tape editing

What I say is that the first 'cut-ups' were by Walter Gibbons - the first great 'mixing' DJ. These date from 1974/5 and use funky records like The Fatback Band [building] up to latin percussion jams, cut up on reel-to-reel tape … and used to provide a continuous mix (sometimes 20 minutes plus) in the clubs of New York. A good example of this would be the 'looped up' 'break' (remember, nobody knew these terms back then!) from the Cooley High soundtrack album [‘Two Pigs and a Hog’]. First he used two copies [of the record] to capture the break, then did it on tape to be cut onto an acetate, thus saving the hassle of doing it live all the time. -- Colin Gate [...]

Dub [...]

Today the remix and dub version are commonplace in popular music; less widely appreciated is the fact that these techniques were pioneered in a tiny studio a Kingston, Jamaica district called Waterhouse. That pioneer of dub was an electronics engineer and sound system operator named Osbourne Ruddock, but to the crowds who flocked to his dances, and the countless singers and record producers who utilised his skills, he was known as King Tubby. --Steve Barrow via the liner notes of Dub Gone Crazy


  1. Dub Gone Crazy: The Evolution of Dub at King Tubby's '75-'77 [Amazon US]
    1. Champion Version 2. Satta Dread Dub [Dub] 3. Real Gone Crazy Dub 4. Exalted Dub 5. Dreada Version 6. No Love Version 7. Peace and Love in the Dub 8. Wreck Up a Version 9. Hold Them in a Dub [*] 10. Jah Love Rockers Dub 11. Step It Up in Dub 12. Dub With a View [*] 13. Dub to the Rescue [*] 14. Dub Fi Gwan
    Perfect introduction to dub

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