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Everything Everything - Arc - James Rutledge Album Remix

Everything Everything on January 28, 2013 14:40

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    James Rutledge Arc Album Remix

    Some words from James about the remix:

    Everything Everything are one of my favourite bands. I did a remix for them off the last album (Man Alive) but this time the intention was to try and do something a little different.

    I wanted to remix the entirety of the new album into one coherent track that retained the emotive punch and some of the thematic threads that run through Arc. To just build a song using disparate parts from the record.

    I've always loved tracks built from samples and musical collages/ bricolage, edits, tape splicing etc. but really wanted to create something contemporary rather than retroish.

    I was given the stems (vocals, drums, bass, guitar, keys etc.) for each track, initially working with approx 100 bits of audio in Pro Tools, so it took me a day or so just to scan through them. You quickly realise that no two parts from separate songs fit together - they're all in different tempos/ keys and it's just discordant chaos if you try and play one over the other.

    Not being sure where to start, I listened through the finished album once then played a few short melodic pieces on a piano, trying to remember the music I just listened to. I'm a terrible keys player so my ideas were vague - but one stuck and that's the melody that you hear at the start.

    I built the remix around that snippet and started chopping bits out of the stems that I liked, then pitch shifting them and altering the tempo. Noises, guitar notes, ambiences… With the vocals I went for things that resonated with me, as if I were the songwriter and had loads of lyric options.

    I was working in such a fervent, blinded way that I did some odd things like creating guitar lines out of parts from 5 different songs. That makes it very peculiar listening to the EE album now.

    Whilst I was working on it, I had a day where I had to travel on the overground to the other side of London. Steve Reich's Different Trains was in my earphones and I couldn't hear it too well because the tannoy announcements during my journey were so loud. As I flipped backwards between my rough version of the remix, the EE album and the Reich track I realised that I wanted the remix to sound like a serene and abstracted train journey where you glimpse bits of the album through the window and fragments of the tracks blow around in the dust.

    When I got back I re-worked the drums on the track to have more of a feeling of a train pulling off and gathering momentum. I even remembered that there was a slowed down locomotive whistle lurking in the stems. The weird plummy voice you hear at the end of the remix was made by chopping Jonathan's lyrics and having a computer announcer voice read them through a text to speech synth.

    I think the remix uses parts from every track on the album and barring the opening Rhodes bit, every sound comes from the original stems.


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