Welcome to the Remix Competition Results. Today: Ban This, and tomorrow Shining Bright! I want to thank everyone who entered for making the competition so amazing and fascinating – for me at least 🙂
The reviews of the winning remixes of Future Primitive “Ban This” are below the artwork. The winning remixes have no sound clips as they will be made available with the pre-sale of the vinyl. There are three winners – No.1 will be on the vinyl, No.2 will be on a digital release via KFA (which the vinyl buyers will get for free) and No.3 will be the Executive Edition of the KFA release.
Below the artwork and the reviews of the three winners are the reviews and sound clips of the other remixes. It was a very impressive selection, and choosing a winner was not easy at all. In the end I had to be pretty picky as far as production goes, and then go with what I liked best, and then see if the remix would compliment the other tracks on the vinyl. It was really tough, but very enjoyable! Thank you everyone!
One more thing…There is a very slight change in format for these vinyl remix EP’s. Each one now has a “big” name, the competition winner, and a resident KF / KFA artist…Other details, such as what other tracks have been remixed, will be revealed along with clips at the time of the pre-sale (likely early October). So without further ado, congratulations to Nicky Allen who joins Billy Bunter & Sanxion and Scartat on KF65! Here is the front sleeve…
1. Nicky Allen Remix – KNITEFORCE RECORDS VINYL RELEASE
The Nicky Allen remix has a very nice old skool vibe – it feels like it was made with the traditional equipment but I don’t know if it was or not. Probably not, but having made old skool with modern equipment, I know how tricky it can be to balance the old sound. Either way, very authentic and solid and it keeps true to the original track while emphasising its best parts. A remix in the traditional sense of the word, and I like this one very much. Especially cool is the main stab riff, which sounds both timeless and classic. This one hits the target dead on, and while the competition was stiff, it wins on sheer class.
2. Mannik Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE
This one is crazy right from the start. It was a surprise to me how completely in your face this one was. I am writing these mini reviews as I listen, and in order. And I am very impressed with this one. As far as the style goes, it sounds later, more 1996 or 1997 than previous entries. Mannik keeps the piano the same, but changing the track to a 4×4 rhythm is excellent. Then halfway through, flipping to breakbeat and jungle – but even that has stayed true to the era he has chosen, where the breakbeat is made of the kick drum. And it changes up yet again near the end. Plus bonus points for silly outro sample and robot saying “Knite Force”. A very good remix, very tasty, and if its not the winner, its a marvellous remix and deserves a full release.
3. Paul Bradley Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE EXECUTIVE EDITION
This one starts off with a very confident intro – of drums and subtle beeps. Oh, nice, a sample from The Warriors – thats gets points just because I love that. Hmm…Nice sample work, and a lovely lush piano. Replaying the original riff and tweaking it a little bit. Very good work. Also a nice balance between the 4×4 and the breakbeats, with the kick being a compliment to the breaks instead of leading them – again, very accurate for the time. Its a little hard for me to separate the personal liking of this from the label owner parts of me. There’s a lot of little sample quirks which are exactly the things Dj Luna-C loves, but when I am looking at releases for the label, Luna-C has to take a bit of a back seat because that dude likes some far out shit lol. But yeah, this remix is very good. One of the best I have received for sure, and I haven’t even mentioned the “adios” sample at the end nor the “oh oh” stab pattern, which I am a sucker for lol.
Remix Competition Entries:
Adding a 4×4 kick to this track was a risk, seeing as Future Primitive tracks are usually very breakbeat, hardly a kick to be found. This has a nice feel to it, kind of techno style in the oldest sense of the word. Its a solid remix, and has some nice work with the breaks, but it loses points for not having enough energy for my taste and the stab seems out of tune with the string section. Still, a good remix!
Shaun Armstrong Remix
This remix has some great ideas but is badly let down on the production side – everything sounds very muffled and uneven, which is a shame because both the format and the edits are cool. I can hear a lot of effort has gone into this remix, and there is potential here, but its just not quite there yet. Still, it is a solid effort, with original ideas.
This one starts off with some nice breakbeats, simple in style but well executed and with a nice flow. I think the intro switches up too much musically while the beats don’t switch up enough, plus the piano remains the same as the original, which a few remixes have done. This can work if there is enough variety in the rest of the remix, but this one doesn’t really break new ground until it gets to the first stab riff. Having said that. there is a definite potential here – to me it seems like it needs a producer to put things into a better order. The elements are good, just dis-organised and not well connected, despite some good work with editing. I have made the sound clip start a little later in the track so that it can play the thing that happens near the end of the clip – a weird distorted noise. This was my favorite bit – it doesn’t sit too well in the mix, but it is a really cool idea and should perhaps have been earlier on and more central to the remix.
This one is much more 1992 in style. A little slower and very fluid, reminding me of the early years of raving where ideas were simple. The Amen rolls along nicely with a proper old skool string sample. It reminds me of the early “E” label or Lenny Dee Ice “We Are Ie” or one of those darker tracks you would hear out and never be quite sure who made it.The piano doesnt come in until very late in the track, and its almost a shame that it does, although the change of mood is important I think, otherwise the track would go from rolling to dull. A very nice remix, not very “Kniteforcey” but very authentic and well made.
This one, like the Shaun Armstrong remix, is let down on the production side. It is a little too muffled and sort of distant sounding. But on the plus side, a nice change up with the piano work and some well edited breaks. Also, all the sounds are of the era, and in fact it sort of reminds me of the very first few Kniteforce releases as far as soun and style goes. Its a good remix, but its not quite ready yet.
Dj Toucan Remix
This one starts off with instantly tearing breakbeat. No messing about. Its also a very fresh take using the same sounds – changing the “round” stab pattern and cutting the vocals up in an unusual way. There’s some very fresh work with the breakbeats too. It also ejects both the main piano and the main stab riff, which is brave but maybe a little to the detriment of the remix. The result is a distinct bit of work, unlike anything else I received, but without any catchy elements – I was waiting for something bigger to happen and it never came. It also leaves the tune a little darker than the original was. There is nothing wrong with these things, I just felt like it could have done a little more. Still, it is a very solid and different remix and there is definitely potential in its unique style.
A very 1994 feel to this one. the intro almost reminds me of some of the Moving Shadow stuff by the lesser know artists – Oaysis or someone like that. It has a certain melancholy to its sound and also brings a nice added vocal, and a sort of dreamlike quality. However, the strings seem out of key with some of the other parts and the breaks are struggling with their time keeping. Even so, its an unusual take on the origianl, and it has a lovely light piano near the end which moves it up a notch. Good stuff!
Some very nice staggered drum work fright from the off on this one. And layered with some sharp editing of the “Bass Keeps Pumpin'” vocals. Ah! Very nice, a new piano riff. This is the first one so far that has dared to do a completely new piano riff with the vocals. And its a nice one too, warm and uplifting! The drop gets a little weird though, with a sort of seasick bending stab. In my opinion it isn’t suitable for the track. Its a very original idea and very well executed, but it sits uneasily with the previously warm atmosphere established by the piano. This remix is like two different tracks, and they are both great tracks, but they should not be the same track in my humble opinion. This is a shame, it feels like an opportunity missed, because all the work here is excellent!
Jay Darkside Remix
Hmmm, this is different. Much slower than the others so far, and with a definite darkness flowing through it. Menacing sound effects and atmosphere right from the beginning. This is really unusual. Vocals are playing backwards and forwards, and it has the feel of early Automation or 80 Aum. The piano sits uneasily in this track. I feel this would be better without it being a remix at all, in some ways. I like it a lot, but its not right for Kniteforce.
The Scuz remix starts off boldly, with a little stab riff that fades away to a 4×4 rhythm before returning in the intro. This one is a little tricky to put an era date on. But there is definitely some nice stab work for the first part of the track, with a few different riffs kicking in before the piano breaks down. The remix is lively and bouncy, although the EQ / production side is a little muddy. Nevertheless, this is a nice little remix with some unusual ideas and a different format to the obvious, with the main poano and breakbeats coming in very late in the track. While not every idea works, its definitely one of the most interesting that I received!
An old skool string and little breakbeat intro quickly becomes a nice amen lead up to the main piano in this remix. Unusually there is no drumless piano breakdown, it just goes straight into the drums and piano before switching to the round stab noise. I like this format, its a bit strange, and you have to wait until mid way through the remix before it switches up and goes jungly, which is a nice touch. This remix is definitely more comfortable with jungle elements I think. There’s some very clever editing / sound effects on the breaks, but the overall production is a little flat. Still, this is a solid remix, very cool.
Pressure Rave Remix
Another remix on a slower tip, and starting out with a very 909 hit hat techno sort of feel until the breaks come in. This sort of reminds me of early Rabbit City era, the white labels from around that time that you often never found out the name or artist of. This is a good remix, but a little slow and mellow for me personally. It has a lot of nice elements – there is a sweet little piano riff, and the remixer has added a new vocal which works beautifully. And also a clever little trick with reversing the “heeyyeeahh” vocal to make it last longer. Its well done, nice ad clean and well put together. So basically, very good, but not what I was looking for.
Sunny & Deck Hussy Remix
Back on a faster tip, this one starts off and rattles along at a nice pace. For some reason, it reminds me of early Mike Slammer & Dj Red Alert, in that its sort of…rough in a good way. It cleverly starts off with the stab riff which mimics the forthcoming piano. And when the piano does drop, its layered nicely with the round stab noise…yeah, this is good. Its a little messy sounding, although none of it is out of time. Its just the way things are layered. The more it goes along, the more I think of Slammin Vinyls early output. I like this one very much – it doesn’t do anything particularly outrageous or new, but it does what it does very well!
This one has some good ideas at work, such as choosing to layer the two different vocals rather than the standard playing one after another, which is a nice touch. Dropping into a string section first is a nice change too, and its a lovely string section, it feels almost like a live recording or some old skool trance back in the day when trance cared about that sort of things. It builds to a great staggered piano and has a nice warm feel to it, but is let down a little with some muddy production. However, musically this is great, with everything in key and lush sounding. Certainly a very good remix.
Systec & Sir Rice
This was the last remix I listened to – they weren’t in any particular order, but as I was listening, I was wondering when the weird one would show up lol. Actually, this isn’t so weird. Normally I get at least one off the wall, totally insane remix when I do this sort of thing, and I am a little sad I did not get one of those this time. Maybe with one of the other tunes? We will see. Anyway, having said that, this one is a little bit more out there than most of the other entries, but in a nice way, and it is definitely different which is always a plus in my eyes. Or ears. Slower than most of the others and it has a wonderful hoover noise in it which I would steal in a heartbeat given the opportunity. This one is much more chilled with an almost 1991 Ibiza feel to it, 5am on the beach sunrise music. Very nice, very interesting, but not what I was looking for for the vinyl. Still, it was a pleasure to listen to, the perfect “last tune” in a sea of variations. Good stuff!
And that is all the remixes of Ban This. Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to everyone who entered, I really enjoyed listening to your remixes!
Chris / Luna-C