Welcome to the Remix Competition Results. Today: 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 Alk-e-d “Shining Bright” are below the artwork. Slight change in plan – this competition was too hard, so I ended up giving the top 7 remixes to Alk-e-d for the final decision. 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 which is another reason that I got Alk-e-d’s help, and then we had to be pretty picky as far as production goes, and then go with what we 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 Dj JePh who will join a big name as yet to be confirmed and a KF / KFA artist as yet to be confirmed on KF66! Here is the front sleeve…
1. Dj JePh remix – KNITEFORCE RECORDS VINYL RELEASE
A very short intro leads into a mash up of the vocals over a very reggae styled breakdown, with bleeps and pings adding to the overall feel of the track. And then we slam into a big drop amen workout. Like a few of the other remixes, this is leading with cleverly done amen editing, and it is superbly executed. There is a chaos to the arrangement and a brilliant bit of vocal editing midway through, making the vocal sound like its rolling its tongue. Everything is crystal clear and the production is wonderful. This was so tough to choose – Alk-e-d and I went back and forth between this one and the two runners up as to who should feature where, but in the end, this one just had the edge with its clever vocal editing and old skool vibe but new skool production.
2. Abyss Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE
Serious jungle anyone? Thats what the intro says to me. Nicely cut up “You Best Listen” break and some light eastern horn effects…followed by the vocal on its own and then BAM! Full on amen work out. This one is very good. Heavily processed and edited drums make this a standout and its absolutely worthy of a vinyl release. If anything, it is just the tiniest bit too modern. Hardly matters at all, except that the competition was so close…
3. Shadowplay Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE EXECUTIVE EDITION
Half speed breaks and a 4×4 kick trigger this one, and its a nice intro for it. Crystal clear breaks and some real depth in the production. The first breakdown is very Acen-ish – little bleeps and a sine bass line and floating strings. Its almost a shame when the piano from the original comes in, but it works well with the atmosphere this remix is creating. Yeah, this is a very different style, dark and head nodding rather than punishing. Its rather impressive actually. It reminds me of both Acen and Dj Solo – another Production House artist. A little later on, we get some twisted sound effects and mentasm / hoover type stabs, but its very subtly done. Very nice work. Alk-e-d loved it for what he calls “the pirate radio scratch” lol, but that certainly adds to it! Definitely a winner!
Remix Competition Entries:
Triple X Remix
Well, this is unexpected – the first remix of this is full on 1996 styled kick drum lead hardcore. I was all geared up for a D’n’B work out as well lol. Having said that, this is very tasty. A really good piano riff and the ragga samples work surprisingly well over it. It also has some nice time stretch effects and everything sounds well balanced and carefully positioned. Yeah, this is a good one!
Al Wilson Mix
I am immediately transported to the home of reggae right from the start with this one. Full on dub intro, lots of echoey reverb and delay on the vocals and a nice soft skanna intro. Very cool. This is a really deep, rolling version of the track. I have’t smoked for nearly a year, but I immediately want a spliff lol. This is really great, a really different vibe, taking the original to a whole new level. Its not right for a Kniteforce release, but its an amazing remix in its own right.
Ant To Be Remix
Ant To Be did a lovely remix of Ool Lortnoc, so it will be interesting to see what he does with this one. Starting with strings and some dreamy effects before dropping into rolling amens. Very nice. And then, surprisingly, a very nice piano line, sounding like something from a 1989 house tune. I would not have expected it. And some clever editing of the vocals to link everything together. Really cool, good rolling vibe, and then it takes a sudden left turn into hoovers with the ragga vocal, sounding like a Brain Records release or something. This is really good, if a little all over the place. I think this would be a better tune without the Shining Bright samples in fact – a wicked female vocal instead of the reggae vibes and you would have a proper good old skool breakbeat piano tune!
This one starts just like the original, only fatter and better made – which is as it should be considering its 2016 not 1993 lol. Very clean, rolling drums, and some nice little edits and effects for the Dj to play with. When the vocal drops in, its over some fairly simple breaks and bass until a little further into the track, which is when the Amen comes in and rolls all over the place. I get to hear a lot of amen editing, and this is really impressive work. Lots of pitch and time stretch edits, reminding me of Amon Tobin, of all people. I think its the dark long bassline with the heavy editing and darker vibe. Its very clever. This is a great remix, well produced and well made, if a little linear in its concept. Still, I have no doubt this would tear up the dancefloor. Cool little Kniteforce vocal sample at the end too!
With a few little changes and a lovely lush string, Danbwoy has changed the intro into an almost heartbreakingly sad thing. It builds into a fantastic jungle workout. Its weirdly effective…subtle drum edits and strange distant sirens and snippets of the vocal swirl about, all the while pieces of hoovers wrap around the entire mix and risers rise in the background…and then it turns it up another notch and we get some classic jungle. Oh man, this is great, really great. It gets better as it goes forward. There is an emotional depth to it, and that only adds to the power of the rest of the track. Very good, very very good.
Similar to the last one, strings and piano are dominant in the intro But instead of a sad feel, the amen comes in almost straight away, in a staggered rattling sort of pattern. Its pretty wicked actually. It makes me excited to hear how it drops…the Shining Bright vocals are riding some big wooshy sounds, and a nice 808 pattern. Here we go…Fat amen work out. I thing a few people will have gone with this idea, and the trouble is, it makes it hard to choose one over another because it always sounds marvellous, so I don’t blame people for choosing to go that way. Who doesn’t love an amen workout? This has some really well edited breaks, which get steadily more insane after the second break down. A little bit of filtering, and some nice pitch shifts on the end of each 8 bars. Yeah, this is another great remix.
This one uses the intro piano but reverses the notes, giving it an unstable feel (in a good way) before bringing some original break beats into the track. Nice and head noddy – I find myself almost dreading the amen coming in and going all crazy lol. This one is light, sweet, and has chrystal clear production, but it does lack a little…depth I suppose, in that there is little in the way of background music or effects to fill up the tune. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. I bet this would sound great on a huge system.
That is a creepy name for an artist, so now I am expecting a creepy remix. And the intro certainly suggests thats what I am going to get. Slow string intro, increasing in volume, and the piano playing over it is deliberately out of key. The drop is dark as hell. This is wicked. Like, wicked = good and also, I expect something literally wicked to happen. The breaks shuffle along while little sharp beep noises make a riff. Meanwhile the bass pulses underneath everything. As the tune goes on, it moves from sinister to thoughtful, but still, an unexpectedly strange remix. I like it a lot, but I don’t think it is right for the vinyl, unfortunately.
Paul Bradley Remix
Another entry by Mr Bradley. His remix of Shining Bright is a little on the mellow side, although it has some nice amen work. I think it may be a production issue – the amen needs to be higher in the mix maybe? Or compressed or brighter? Still, very nicely done, good chopped beats, everything in its right place. Yet another remix I could happily put out without and qualms about it being welcomed to the Kniteforce family. Plus it takes the brave step of doubling the speed of the vocals later in the mix, which is not to everyones taste i am sure, but I think its great!
Pursuits remix is a little slower than some of the previous entries, and seems to be going for a more 1992 /1993 feel, which it achieves hands down. Lots of drum elements fading in and out on the intro, which is something you don’t hear very often. This remix is much more on the head nodding tip, and works well, but gets a little repetitive – which can be a good thing, especially when its as driving as this one is. Still, it feels a little unfinished to me!
Silent Shift Remix
This is immediately different. Slower paced than the last few, and it has a heavy 4×4 kick along with dark falling stabs. Even so, it somehow maintains a reggae style vibe. This is a really unusual take on the track, with the kick and a 303 style riff. Its a very unusual mix of things, and I am not sure it all works, but 10 out of 10 for a very unique approach. In some places it almost reminds me of The Orb or one of those ambient artists that occasionally dabble in the techno world. Its not for Kniteforce but it is a very interesting remix!
Master Mash Remix
Reverse piano’s seem to be popular on this remix. This one ups the ante by adding reverse drums on the intro and letting the piano ping both forward and backward. Timestretched sounding but not actually time stretched vocals lead up to the main breaks drop and Dj friendly mixable intro. Theres also some clever work with the pitch of the “original bad boy” sample. The main drop, after the vocals have played a little, is very peculiar, a sort of pulsating “wah” noise. I can hear a lot of work went into this remix, and the production is nice with everything in the right place, but for all that, this one is a little too strange for me!
Dj OKey Remix
Once again, starting with the piano line. But this one quickly builds up to the vocal with a heavy 808 and rolling amen. No waiting around, this one is in your face immediately. Quickly dropping the piano and adding the “Bad Boy” sample makes it and even more furious build to an 808 lead drum and bass styled section. The rhythm is also very drum and bass – there is nothing wrong with that. Its a really cool style, but its not really what I am looking for for the vinyl, unfortunately. Still, a strong remix with its own sound!
Shaun Armstrong Remix
I think Mr Armstrong entered this competition with all three tracks. And once again, his obvious skill with sampling and clever ideas seem to be held back by production. This is a real shame. This is once again a really fresh sounding remix but it just isn’t of high enough quality. Shaun, if you are reading, I think you have real potential and your remixes are full of great ideas, so do not be discouraged by not winning. Its like you are almost there, but you need to really work on the way your tracks sound more than the content, because the content is excellent.
Dj Toucan Remix
This one seems shockingly fast, but I don’t know if thats what it sounds like because the last few have been slower or if its really very fast lol. Some very interesting messing about with the horn reggae stab, turning into an almost creepy vibrating noise. And the when the vocals come in, they are sliced to pieces. Yeah, this is cool. I mean its certainly not to everyone’s taste, but its totally different to everything else I have received and it gets a big thumbs up for that. The low 4×4 bass noise used as a kick drum is also interesting, giving the whole remix a darkened intensity. It does need some work on the production side, and is a little…monotone I suppose? It does change but not enough. Still, good work, very unique!
Blackcat Tracks Remix
Hi hats and a little clicky stab make this ones intro a little different to all the previous remix entries. I am wondering what is coming, 4×4 or breaks? Breaksit is! But very d’n’b style, quite empty and head nodding rather than furious. Okay, i think this one is going for a liquid style or something – I am not well versed in d’n’b, but I have to say, this one is not for me. I dont know enough about this style to know whether it is good or not lol, but its not what I am looking for for the KF vinyl, sorry!
Dead Hand Remix
Heavy as hell half speed breaks to start with, so thats always good. They are also quite edited, making them almost slide along, with the dun styled bassline and vocals…definitely got a lot of atmosphere with this one. The main drop is nice, but while the beats are brilliantly edited, the eq sounds muddy and the bass too loud. What? Can a bass be too loud? Well, yeah, but in this case its only a little bit. But it takes away from the impact of the breaks, which is a shame. Its a tight bit of work in other respects though. Good job!
Dj Owl Remix
Ha! The piano has become ye olde harpsichord! And it works, funnily enough. This turns it into some sort of almost music box sounding intro. I like it, although I think many would find it too peculiar. It also has timestretched snares clanging away, giving it a weirdly metallic feel. When it does drop, it does so with various industrial whirrs and bleeps spinning around in the mix. I like this a lot. I mean, its not right for a Kniteforce release, but I like the originality of it.
Gothika Shade Remix
Lovely intro on this one. Tight rattly breaks and a nice distant piano, plus plenty of very dun / reggae styles bleeps and swirls, giving it a genuine jungle feel. Yeah, this is good – it reminds me of X Project releases. The breaks aren’t too heavy, but there is a sort of chaos to the dub elements that bounce across the remix as it rolls along. Very well produced, and a good use of stereo which most people don’t seem to both with too much. Hmm, this is tricky. On the one hand, I think this is a great remix. On the other hand, I am not sure how many other people would agree with me. It is a subtle piece of work in some way, and much of jungle is very obvious. Definitely one to think about for me!
And that is all the remixes of Shining Bright. Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to everyone who entered, I really enjoyed listening to your remixes!
Chris / Luna-C