To Mix Or Not

The power went out halfway during the NDTV special on the so called “remix” scene India featuring all the usual suspects – Bappi Lahiri, Harry Anand, Khayyam, Luke Kenny, Sony/BMG head, Akbar Sami, the scantily clad babe who is featured in every other “remix” video and some other dudes who really did’nt matter.

When will one billion Indians and news anchors get enlightened on the fact that what they refer to as a “remix” is actually a “cover”???? This is like the Hacker Vs Cracker mis-education of the masses.


    A remix is an alternate mix of a song different from the original version, made using the techniques of audio editing. It may incorporate elements of dance music. It is often used to create an upbeat version of a song for playing by disc jockeys in nightclubs.


    In pop music a cover version is a new rendition of a previously recorded song. Pop musicians may play covers as a tribute to the original performer or group, to win audiences who like to hear a familiar song, to increase their chance of success by using a proven hit or to gain credibility by its comparison with the original song. They may also do it simply because they enjoy playing it.

    Anyway, I don’t see whats the big deal about remixing – its not like the original composers were exactly saints you know!!! As I see it, the Indian Copyright law does not require you to pay royalties or give credit to the original producers of the track which is older that 2 years and that is what is making the old timers see red. These guys are not hot anymore – every penny counts in their old age! Rather than lobby for a change in the copyright act, they would rather make a hue and cry on television. Duh!

    One thing which I do agree with is the quality of the remixes. God are they awful or what???? There is more to a “remix” than just add a house or a hip-hop beat to “insert your favorite old time Hindi song here”. The formula sells well, Joe Ramaswamy is quite content with it, keeps the record companies happy, keeps the wheels of the industry spinning. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it I guess!

    While on the subject of remixes, try the Essential Mix from BBC Radio1 at – the worlds biggest DJs, the worlds biggest mixes. The Evil 9 (damn I need their mixes on CD) mix should be available for a few more hours till Desyn Masiello takes over live from Miami WMC.

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    By Shanker Balan

    Shanker Balan is a devops and infrastructure freelancer with over 14 years of industry experience in large scale Internet systems. He is available for both short term and long term projects on contract. Please use the Contact Form for any enquiry.