Whether you’re a believer in fate or not, the story behind this next free download gets more surreal the more I think about it! Pull up a chair (which you probably already have) and let me tell the tale of how this remix came to be as it’s so much more than just a case of “here’s another track for you.”
From the beginning
When I first heard “York – On The Beach” about 16 years ago, it was the CRW remix on the Ministry of Sound Ibiza Annual (2000). I was really in to trance back then and instead of doing homework, I would be listening to these anthems, which was a lovely and welcome distraction 😛 The atmosphere of the breakdown, the use of the guitar sample from “Chris Rea’s – On The Beach” and the great energy it provided meant I was hooked on this song for many years.
Drum & Bass remix?
Fast forward to about 2011 when I started experimenting with music software, York’s On The Beach was one of the first songs I wanted to have a proper go at remixing. After having a long look around the internet, YouTube and SoundCloud, I couldn’t really find a drum & bass remix of this song, all I could find were club version remixes. I plucked up the courage to contact York after searching on Facebook and via his website (in 2012) and I knew it was a long shot asking for stems and getting a response from one of the big names in trance music but if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no, right?
To my amazement, I promptly heard back from him. He said he would try and dig out the stems but he made the original a long time ago and many computers had been used since then (with all the pc upgrades), so whatever he had left, he sent over. Of course, I was beaming with delight at this point and, using a combination of cutting samples from the CRW remix, the stems York sent and my own style, I had made something that I was pretty happy with but felt that the sound quality wasn’t right. At this point in my music production “career”, I didn’t even know what mastering was and I was using in-ear headphones to actually get the balance of sounds right… laughable now really!
Events outside of music (i.e. my PhD, yes THAT again) and inside the music scene dictated play for the next 18 months (up to the end of 2013). I was part of AirPlus Recordings and at the time, I wanted to see if I could get the remix released with this label. How naive! Unless you get permission (in writing) from the original artist, you can’t release a remix – copyright infringement anyone?
However, a new song evolved from it all. I was speaking with TigerPaw, the owner of AirPlus, and he said that he would make a guitar melody himself that we can use to put in the song, take out the “On The Beach” samples and I can slap in some female vocals from a royalty free sample pack. The remix had now transformed in to a collaboration, which we called “Something’s Missing” and it got released as part of my first ever LP – AirLove.
Rewind the clock
I later decided to leave AirPlus as it wasn’t right for me at the time to release music, though I am still good friends with TigerPaw. All of my tracks from the AirLove LP were uprooted and I decided to go back to that “Something’s Missing” track. It didn’t feel right as the foundations of the song were for the “York – On The Beach” remix. The core of the song was still there but now I had an amazing guitar riff from TigerPaw to play with. I asked if he’d be happy for me to use this still, I apologised to York for taking FOREVER to get back in contact and I started to work on it again.
Around the middle of 2014, I started getting my tracks professionally finished off by the Audio Animals and I could see the huge benefits of doing that. It wasn’t until September 2015 that I felt I had got the remix to a suitable point and TigerPaw was happy with it also. I sent it off for mastering and when it came back, I forwarded it on to York just before the new year. I thanked him for his patience seeing as it had been close to 4 years since I actually first contacted him about doing the remix! He downloaded the song and that was the end of it…. or so I thought!
Earlier this month (April 2016) I wanted to start something new on my website. I used to give my music away for free up until getting signed to Allowance Records (March 2015). However, as I am releasing my original tracks now, I thought I would look back at all the remixes I have made so far and give the power to the people to vote for which one they would like FOR FREE. The first poll has recently just come to an end (earlier today) and I want to thank all of those who took the time to go through the list and make your votes count!
Last night, the “York – On The Beach” remix was in the lead by one vote and it held out for the victory – see the poll results below. What I wasn’t expecting though was for York to actually post the remix up on his Facebook and SoundCloud page last night! I had no idea that was coming and I certainly didn’t get much sleep due to my excitement! He either knew the poll was running and the remix was leading (which is highly unlikely, let’s face it, I’m no mega star here and it was just a fun poll that I didn’t tell him about) or there’s some amazing things that happen independently and align themselves for a brief moment!
Thanks to everyone who got involved, I hope you enjoyed the story and the remix too!
Same again next month 🙂