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Remixed feelings

SHALOO SINGH, an aspiring advertising professional, turns up the volume on her take on the new avatars of `Kanta lagaa', `Kaliyon ka chaman', and the like


DID YOU ever think a meeting of the BeeGees and Kalyanji-Anandji was ever possible? Even if the two haven't even heard of each other, we see some dudes and lasses gyrating to the invigorating cocktail mixed, or rather, remixed by Desi Boys. Like it or not, remixes rule among indipop and film music today. Recipe: Take old song, shake it up with percussions, add a Western song to taste, season with rap, garnish with new models in a music video and serve hot.

Over to Shaloo:

"Remixes and experimentation. That's the scene in the music industry now. Even before a film is released, its songs are all jazzed up with tub-thumping beats... take "Kambakht ishq", for instance. The remixed version did really well on the charts. It's a very clever way to ensure some monetary returns if the movie flops. About remixes of old songs, I don't see why anyone should have any complaints about them. We get to hear fabulous numbers from the past in a form that suits today. When I watched the movie Shalimar, I didn't even notice the song `Hum bewafa' in it. After I heard Shaan singing it in Instant Karma's version, I was bowled over! We wouldn't have been able to appreciate so many songs if not for the remixes.

"Of course, there is a difference between remixes and remakes, but that doesn't concern me. You might say that copyright issues are involved. But hey, the chap doing the remixes knows what he's up to. If nobody wanted to buy these new dhin-chak versions, why would he even bother making them? And if the original composers have a problem with it, sorry, go change the law. And people who are offended about this method of making music— you have a choice. You don't have to buy the remix tape or CD if you don't approve. Because as long as there's demand, there will be supply.

"See, generally, not many know about sur and taal. All that we want is good, melodious music at a good price.

"Nobody is stealing anybody's due here. It's like this... the original music director made the song in a certain way and got credit for it then itself. Today's remix chap might not put in that much effort, but he knows what people now like to hear. And he dishes that out. If he robs the original composer of his credit, that's definitely wrong. But all he's doing is sharing the glory.

"I think most of the noise and complaining is about the music videos that the remixes have. There is a thin line of difference between revealing and appealing... most videos don't see that line. Some just go overboard, so much so that you don't even remember the song! Only the woman who dances on the table stays in your mind. In one remix... errr... "Chadthi javaani", I think, one of the models squishes her butt! Ugh! And all three models (who are supposed to be angels) are wearing just lingerie! Angels of the new day, probably. These things generate hype and controversy. And we all know, controversy sells bigtime. There is an audience for this also.

"Oh, you might say that many models are making careers after appearing in these remix videos. But Meghna Reddy and the like will last only as long as the song does. That's it.

"I'm thrilled that people are getting to hear the kind of music they like because some remix chap thought he'd make a quick buck. But one thing is annoying: remixers who mix English songs with our old Hindi ones in the name of making them peppy. I don't see why this has to be done. Our lyrics and tunes are amazing enough to stand on their own. But what remains in the people's mind is that stupid, meaningless nonsense that a fake African-American raps out. Why go to a foreign language in the name of improvement?

"You can hear remixes everywhere — in discos, pubs, restaurants, dance and music contests... It's all about packaging. When someone nicely gift-wraps an old thing and gives it to you, you become inquisitive. You rip the package open, dying to see what's inside. That's what's happening right now.

"I give the remix industry five to six more years. By then, all the old songs will be exhausted. There is no scope to remix today's songs because they already come with the techno beats and bang-bang."

(As told to ROHINI MOHAN)

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