The Remix

The remix is defined as ‘a piece of media which has been altered from its original state by adding, removing, and/or changing pieces of the item.’
A remix can be used as detournement, where a message is completely changed to conflict with its original intentions. Guerrilla semiotics are a prime example of this being utilised in an ongoing war against consumerism

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A recent example of detournement can be found in Kendrick Lamar’s recently released album ‘Damn’.
The album opens with BLOOD, an intro track that wraps up with a sample of Geraldo Rivera, a Fox news presenter (Not Gerald of Rivia), who criticises Kendrick’s lyrical content, and ‘remixes’ his original message of hope into one that suits Fox’s interests – Hip-hop artists being everything wrong with America.

In return, Kendrick has sampled the presenter at the very beginning of the album, using him as an example of everything that he sees wrong with America, and setting the scene for one of his repeated themes – systematic discrimination against the African-American population.

Remixes can be powerful tools, but they can also be utilised in less serious formats. In this case, I remixed a lecture with the goal to entertain. Something I learnt here was that Audacity is a very clunky program, and (unfortunately afterwards) there are more effective ways of quickly remixing content.

– Loud noise warning –

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7 Replies to “The Remix”

  1. Hey Sunny! Firstly, HOW GOOD is the album? Secondly, this blog post rocks. It’s awesome that you’ve been able to pick such a recent example to talk about. It’s one that can easily be dismissed as ‘just an album’ but, in reality, truly reflects our current socio-political environment. Nice.

    I think it’s really interesting to consider that the reporter sampled is now forever stuck in the context of this Kendrick song. This could have an effect on listeners and society for decades. Which brings me to the idea of hauntology. We discussed it in the lecture, but you can take a read here: http://boingboing.net/2012/10/12/hauntologists-mine-the-past-fo.html

    Think about it: How long will the reporters (pretty lame and outdated) words live on?

    Finally, if you hated Audacity, never use GarageBand. RIP me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sunny! Firstly, I’m super glad you clarified that Geraldo Rivera isn’t a character from the Witcher. Good reference!
    Second, I love your remediation; it subverts the lecture to create something new and capable of giving someone a good giggle. Subverting (detournement-ing?) existing messages makes for great content all round, and this doesn’t just mean music; the classic Uncle Sam “I Want You” poster has had its fundamentals reorganized countless times, from marijuana legalisation to same-sex marriage. Its a remix, but not musical. Love your work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my God! This was such a well written blog piece, I’ve been a little behind on my weekly blogs and I was seriously stuck on this topic. Not that I didn’t fully understand but rather wasn’t sure where to take it. You explained this topic in a very sophisticated, articulate and unpatronising way. People like me who needed a little extra clarification really benefited from the way you explained and communicated this topic. I also really liked the way you started off by talking about guerrilla semiotics, because it showed us that the remix culture isn’t just limited to the musical community. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. yoooo i am with you, DAMNNNNN that album is good, bit underwhelmed by theneedledrop’s review if im honest but i dont feel guilty listenin on repeat, sick post mr sunny realy good take on the weeks topic and i like how you utilised good examples and brought in terminology (referencing guerilla semiotics was cool), i’d recommend improving remixing skills but come on with the stupid programs we got it is DAMN hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. God damn you, god damn us all. What an album, and a great blog to go along with. I never thought of sampling as a means of simply remixing, I always thought of it just simply cutting and mixing, or just chopping other tracks. I have seen all the samples on his album though, and there are many in abundant, to go along with each song on the track. Overall a really well structured blog, and being a fan of the album myself, I thought it was a great blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Sunny,
    Nice post. Those examples you have used are just wonderful, great album. Interesting choice of examples, as well as a great explanation, good use of hyperlinks to further information as well. Maybe you could have also discussed graffiti as remixing as you did use a picture of some, but I understand there is a word limit. Otherwise great post.
    Thanks, Daina.

    Liked by 1 person

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