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October 4, 2013 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Grapevine (The Reflex Stems ReVision) is a deeply funky version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's version of Heard it through the Grapevine remixed by French DJ Reflex, using just the original stems.

On The Reflex's soundcloud page there are quite few more songs he has given this treatment to. Some of my favourites:

Town Called Malice
Living for the City
Ain't No Mountain
Once in a Lifetime
Love Rollercoaster

There's also a complete set of all the stem revisions if you have a spare hour or two you need to fill with music.
posted by MartinWisse (28 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Rock With You and Lucky Star are also both really great as well. Thanks for this.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:51 PM on October 4, 2013

Putting this up there with Pilooski and Whiskey Barons for hottest remix style of the century so far.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:06 PM on October 4, 2013

Think about it, we now have the ability to make new CCR songs ourselves. We are literally time traveling. Fuck yes future us.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:08 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]



There's a lot to love about this remix, though.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:09 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Glare at your self chronolaggard. I'm off to recut Casablanca.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:11 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ugh this version of I Wish may be better than the original, sorry Stevie.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:14 PM on October 4, 2013

I just enjoyed a CCR song! Not sure that's ever happened before.
posted by vespabelle at 1:16 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

So somebody explain to me about these stems. Is this some sufficiently-advanced-technology that can separate the bits and pieces of the song out from the finished recording, or is it that there was a forward-looking packrat of a sound engineer preserving the separate bits and pieces all these years?
posted by ook at 1:43 PM on October 4, 2013

And how does one gain access to these stems?
posted by Windopaene at 2:06 PM on October 4, 2013


Much as I can see that CCR mix shaking up a dance floor, it left me kind of cold just listening to it at home (not too quiet, but not shaking the building either). Some good ideas, some neat stuff isolated. But the original record is essentially a jam, a word class band chugging through an extended almost trance-like groove with various human dynamics live-in-the-studio ... all of which I'm not getting in this sort of dissected, then reanimated take. And I get the same from Once In A Lifetime.

Please don't get me wrong here. I'm no hater of remixes and/or mashups. Some of my best friends (as a DJ working a party) are remixes and/or mashups (and indeed, I will be seeking out that I Wish re-imagining). But I am concerned when I hear truly great records getting dissected, then reanimated ... with the original mixes more or less left on the floor, forgotten. Particularly when it leads to folks shouting about these new things being better than the originals. They're not. They're just different with a more focused arena of purpose (ie: the dance floor).
posted by philip-random at 2:10 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

So somebody explain to me about these stems.

they got leaked
posted by pyramid termite at 2:33 PM on October 4, 2013

and i don't think this is better than the orignial, anyway - he's following the generally effective rule of tension and release - but what made the ccr version was it was all tension - that and the great guitar solo

but this lady KILLS it
posted by pyramid termite at 2:39 PM on October 4, 2013

These take too long to get going. For example the "I Wish" remix doesn't bring in the kick drum until 0:55, and the bass doesn't join until 20 seconds after that. Only then does it have anything I would call a groove, and by that time I'd have left the dance floor to get a drink.
posted by rocket88 at 2:50 PM on October 4, 2013

What Rocket 88 said. The intro to the "Grapevine" remix is almost as long as the entire original CCR single, and not nearly as interesting.

I understand the idea of stretching things out to make them more DJ-friendly, but this just feels vague and bloated, without any of the spark of the record on which it is based. And why de-emphasize the song's signature riff to the point where it's barely present at all? I find that puzzling.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 3:07 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cliff Notes. It's all there, it just has none of the living tissue of the original cut. They are some very very clean lines. However if it brings new people to discover some incredible music...

Having said that incredibly not-nice thing, I'm still working my way through the tenth replay of "Living for the City" and re-imagining being 26 when Sylvester (SLYT, 12" LP) covered it.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:42 PM on October 4, 2013

Worth noting that the vocal track has been floating around out there for a while.

If that's done in software, it's the cleanest one of those edits i've ever heard. I have a feeling it must just be posted as a raw file somewhere.
posted by emptythought at 4:24 PM on October 4, 2013

You know, I make a point of not participating in threads if the FPP doesn't catch my interest, but I'm just here to say go gladys! AND the pips, damn!

And as long as I'm here, I'll also say that after listening to the I wish track, everything awesome there comes from stevie, and the only contribution made by the editor is to let us listen to the parts individually (which are all awesome). But by the time the main groove comes in, the performance cut into loops and pasted ad nauseum - dullsville.
posted by ianhattwick at 4:53 PM on October 4, 2013

I love the music posts in the Blue because the comment section inevitably has one or two links to some peripherally-related but awesome tracks.
posted by srt19170 at 5:29 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is OK, but the tension created in the mix is created by the "lack" of harmonic resolution for prolonged periods, with the listener looking for the gestalt once the harmony "comes together". The mix is totally dependent on the past memory of the listener, and would never stand on its own in the way it does it it wasn't for the greatness of the original. That's true of many mixes, but this one is "just ok" - imo, of course.
posted by Vibrissae at 7:00 PM on October 4, 2013

Michael Jackson on the ABC remix sounds like a mini prepubsecent James Brown.
posted by jonp72 at 8:23 PM on October 4, 2013

So somebody explain to me about these stems.

They’re sub mixes; a mix of just the drums, another of just the vocals, etc. Often you do everything so that when you add them all up you have something close to (but not exactly) the whole mix. They are done on almost all recordings today because it’s easy to do with computers and it makes going back and changing a mix (turn the guitar up for instance) trivial, you don’t even have to be in the original mix studio or situation, just add more guitar stem to the mix. It saves a lot of money and time.

They weren’t common on old recordings but most were done recently for Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
They either went back and made stems from old master tapes, or recreated the recording. Some of the recreations are pretty amazing.

That’s how you’re able to play along with the song and there’s no guitar unless you play it. The game is playing all the stems at once and you are controlling when your stem gets played.
posted by bongo_x at 8:36 PM on October 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

Doing that to Once in a Lifetime is an atrocity. The point of that song are the polyrhythms, which this remixing method obliterates.
posted by idiopath at 3:06 AM on October 5, 2013

I liked the beat. In fact, I played it loud!

? Did anybody else start at the beginning of the wikipedia "Stems" article and think wow, software must be good to be able to grab all the notes, strip the heads off so they all have the same lengths (quarter notes, I guess), and still get music out of it?
posted by surplus at 6:28 AM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I should just drop in here my favourite cover (not remix) of a CCR song: The Reels: Bad Moon Rising

I almost feel that if this doesn't get one hair standing up on your neck, you might not be a mammal.
posted by nonspecialist at 7:08 AM on October 5, 2013

[note: the video is nothing to write home about; play the track in another tab or, better yet, with the monitor off in a dark room]
posted by nonspecialist at 7:11 AM on October 5, 2013

Just adding my favorite cover of Bad Moon Rising by 16 Horsepower.

posted by Asbestos McPinto at 9:36 AM on October 5, 2013

These take too long to get going

A big part of DJing is learning about your music; some are long mixes, some are short. This one would definitely be long - all of that intro ought to be layered over something else, IMO.

An awful lot of the music I buy I don't particularly love listening to song-by-song - they only truly shine when they're dancing with other tracks.
posted by flaterik at 1:05 AM on October 7, 2013

I like those long intros Reflex creates, especially on Grapevine and ABC, but than I'm perfectly happy listening to the same thing being repeated over and over, as long as the sound is good or at least interesting.

(I'm also not sure if this was actually made to dance to, rather than as a demonstration of the dj's skills.)
posted by MartinWisse at 1:32 AM on October 7, 2013

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