“Music”, John Miles once said, “was my first love and it will be my last”.
Well maybe I wouldn’t go as far as that, but music has always been a huge part of my life, despite my being about as naturally musical as a bucket of spanners falling down the stairs.
But as anyone who has been following my particular brand of nonsense for a while will be aware, that hasn’t stopped me from dabbling with Sound and Vision for a few years and my skills are gradually improving.
I’m always playing around with remixes for my own entertainment; forcing together tunes which are almost certainly not supposed be combined, foisting them on unsuspecting friends on Facebook and sending them all to my old friend, Ho, the inexplicably eager guinea pig for musical experimentation.
Obviously it’s gratifying when somebody likes the result of my sacrilegious sonic noodling, but I’ve never laboured under the misconception that any of my amateur offerings would get an official release by a proper record label.
Until now, that is.
Only the other day I told you about my cousin, Rich Thair, founder member of the globally successful Red Snapper and more recently side project, (with bandmate Ali Friend) Number. Well, when they released their single Face Down In Ecstacy, their label , Sunday Best Records decided to run a remix competition. It was to be judged “blind” so that the band would not know whose mix was whose and mine was of course submitted under the moniker dalecooper57.
The prize was the chance to have the winning mix released on an exclusive Bandcamp EP and I just could not resist entering.
I never expected to be in serious contention, competing as I was against people who knew what they were doing when it came to dealing with things called “stems”, for example.
These stem files were what I was sent by the record label (essentially, the component parts of the track to be remixed) and I had no idea what to do with them and nothing with which to, since as with everything else I do, I was using my phone for the entire process. So in the end I used the album version of the track, which I had purchased on its original release and informed the label that I just didn’t have the technology. They were very nice about it and basically said, do whatever you want, so I got to work.
This was about the time it occurred to me that all my previous attempts at mastering the remixer’s art had involved the aforementioned splicing together of songs, which I couldn’t do on this occasion because of copyright infringement issues.
But…wait a minute…that didn’t apply to using my own musical compositions, if you can call them that, for the additional mixing elements, did it?
Aha, the game was afoot.
So I sat down on a sunny afternoon a few weeks ago and, using one of the tunes I’d created with my Korg synth app during lockdown, I got to work on my remix of Face Down In Ecstacy
I submitted the completed mix a few days later, crossed my fingers that at the very least they wouldn’t reject it out of hand and waited…
To my amazement, the deadline for submissions arrived and I received an email saying my mix had indeed been entered into the competition and they liked the “spacey feel” I’d given the track.
Ok, so I wasn’t going to win, but I’d had it accepted by a real record company for serious consideration, that’s pretty good, right?
And on Friday, I found this momentous message in my inbox;
“Hi Guy,Thanks again for your remix entry.The band have decided to release a remix EP exclusive to Bandcamp, which includes your remix. The release is a 7 track EP which consists of some of the entries from the competition and the original ‘Face Down in Ecstasy’ mix.The release will be published on Number’s Bandcamp page on Monday 21st September. I’ll send over the release link once published!Thanks so much again and hope you have a lovely weekend!Cheers,Sunday Best Recordings”
Yes, it’s official, dalecooper57 is now on the same record label as David Lynch, how cool is that?
I am, as I’m sure you can tell, extraordinarily chuffed about this turn of events and I would now like to suggest that you click on the image at the top of this post, or USE THIS REALLY OBVIOUS LINK to navigate your way to your listening pleasure.
Right, back to the turntables, who knows what’ll happen next…