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sounds from my skull

January 17, 2011

As part of my ongoing quest to bring examples of work and creativity from my past to this website, I thought I’d show off one particular hobby that I’ve been dabbling with on and off for many years: the fan-made remix. You see, as long as there have been fanatical music fans, there have been a subset of them that feel compelled to make their own interpretations of the music they love and share it with others. Whether on mix tapes, dub plates, or bootleg CDs, it is an age-old tradition of customizing and trading music for the love of it.

International online connectivity has brought this to a whole new level. One can be in England — as I currently am, meeting up with people I’ve kept tabs on thanks to the Internet — while listening to and commenting on a version of a song written by an American, for example, but re-recorded in Japan or Australia or anywhere else by anyone with a decent computer and a broadband connection. One musician who has supported and encouraged this phenomenon is Oscar-winning composer Trent Reznor (wow, it sure feels weird writing that). His band Nine Inch Nails, belonging to an eclectic but technologically savvy blend of genres, released many professional remixes by different artists over its 20+ year lifespan. This inspired fans to take their own shot at reinterpreting the music.

Since 1999’s groundbreaking opus The Fragile, it’s been NIN’s policy with each album to release some of the loops, noises and even isolated instrumental pieces on the official website for fans to reconstruct and remix as they see fit. My profile on has many examples. I’ve been experimenting with primitive loop-based music almost as long as NIN has been offering content for me to play with — some more modest offerings exist on my Bandcamp profile.

This content can be streamed on any computer or downloaded completely legally and totally free of charge with an e-mail address. Pretty cool, huh?

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