Notes 60.3 (2004) 744-753
[Access article in PDF]
For information regarding the scope of this column, consult the headnote in the September 2003 issue (p. 227 of this volume). The following resources were frequently consulted when assembling this column: International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP; music.chadwyck.com/), Music Index (MI; www.hppmusicindex.com/), RILM Abstracts of Music Literature (RILM; www.rilm.org/), and OCLC WorldCat. All Web sites were accessed on 22 November 2003 unless otherwise specified.
Remix. Edited by John Pledger. Quarterly (through vol. 2, no. 4 [Fall 2000]); monthly (starting vol. 3, no. 1 [January 2001]). Vol. 1 (1999). Reviewed: Vol. 3, no. 9 (September 2001) through vol. 5, no. 10 (October 2003). Subscription: PO Box 2044, Marion, OH 43306. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. $35 U.S.; $50 Canada; $75 international; free online (http://remixmag .com). ISSN 1532-1347.
Electronic music production techniques have become mainstreamed into popular music such that Americans now hear electronic music almost every time they turn on a radio or television. "Electronica," a word seen as early as 1980 but coming of age in the early 1990s, is "any of various popular styles of electronic music deriving from techno and rave music, especially those having a more ambient, esoteric, or cerebral quality"; the word has evolved into both a generic and marketing term for electronic dance music ("Electronica," Oxford English Dictionary, dictionary.oed.com/). The music makes extensive use of synthesizers, electronic percussion, sequences, and samples of recorded music or sound; turntablism, including "scratching," can be a key component. Related or narrower genres include hip-hop, trance, drums 'n' bass, house, rave, techno, experimental, downtempo, and trip-hop. "Some genres are underground phenomena, but others, like hip-hop, are split between mainstream and underground scenes" (Chris Gill, "the envelope filter," Remix [April 2001], remixmag.com). This musical landscape, trying to stay underground, constantly redefines itself. Emerging over three years ago, the magazine Remix focuses on the remix culture and underground music production as perceived by the editors at the time.
Remix is first and foremost for people who make—or want to make—music in the styles covered by the magazine. It is secondly for fans of the music; and third, it is for scholars studying the music. This is not a fan or fashion zine. It is a slick, colorful, professionally produced magazine aimed at a professional (albeit younger) audience, but accessible to novices and interested amateurs. The text is clearly written and generally well edited, with occasional style decisions that cater to its audience. Remix spun out of a summer supplement (vol. 1, no. 1) in Electronic Musician (15, no. 7 [July 1999]: 126-46), forging its own, hipper style in recent months; it is more confined to its genre than Electronic Musician, which, in addition to electronica, covers popular music, New Age, and more "traditional" electronic music, though there is inevitable overlap. Remix talks about how the music is made, the tools, and the artists, focusing as much on the "process" and musicmaking as it does on gear or technique. As noted by former editor Chris Gill (cited above), because the focus is primarily underground artists, one is more likely to see articles on acts such as Massive Attack (underground hip-hop), Dilated Peoples, or the Roots than mainstream artists such as DMX or Eminem. (This author, of course, cannot quite overlook the irony and implications of a mainstream publisher promoting underground music.)
Each issue—about a hundred pages—contains in-depth features on remix artists and producers (including DJs), focusing on [End Page 744] their backgrounds; influences; studio production, performance styles, and techniques; artistic conception; equipment; and the influence of technology on the creative process. The magazine has both lengthy and brief product reviews that are knowledgeable, though perhaps not as detailed or technical as some other periodicals. For example, one might not find the same in-depth explanations of synthesizer voice structure as found in Electronic Musician or its competitor Keyboard.One will find more information about turntables in Remix. As with many other periodicals of this type, many of the products reviewed...