Monday, November 30, 2009

The Remix Phenomenon

I’ve noticed a trend popular with indie musicians recently. It is what I’d like to call “the remix phenomenon”. Remix albums have been around for quite some time, but I’ve been noticing this trend resurfacing lately. The way this works is a band will release an album, then they will have other artists remix tracks from that album, then they will release an album of remixes of that previous album. For example, Phoenix released Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix May 26th and less than five months later they released the remix collection on October 13th. This collection of remixes features artists including Passion Pit, Yacht, and Devendra Banhart. Bloc Party did this with their album Intimacy earlier this year and Kings of Leon is reportedly releasing a remix album to follow their latest Only By Night sometime in the near future. I can see some potential marketing benefits in doing a remix album. It gets people excited about the album again. What I mean is that it stirs up they hype again. Phoenix got a lot of attention with their Wolfgang album. After a few months, the storm settled, and the release of their remix album got people talking Phoenix again. Also, there is the benefit of expanding their fan base. The artists who remixed Phoenix’s songs weren’t just some Joe Blows, and therefore fans of say Devendra Banhart may not know Phoenix and may buy the album because of the Devendra remix. Both parties in this case have the opportunity of sharing their fan base.
Another example of a remix project is Chicago’s Hey Champ who just released a remix album of remixes they did other artist’s songs. This is the reverse of what Phoenix did but equally as beneficial for an artist that isn’t as widely known. I’m assuming that we will see more of these types of remix projects in the future because the music consumers are getting harder to please as time goes by, therefore exclusivities and rarities such as these remixes will be sought out by music lovers.

Erin Schwaba

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