This past weekend, I went back to enigmatics and started remixing the first, second and fifth tracks. (I’ve already done the third and fourth.) Any sort of remix project is revising history, and it’s fascinating to compare what was done years ago with what you intend to do with it now.
"enigmatics V" was one of those tracks that was complete enough but never really finished the way I would have liked. When I first wrote it, I didn’t even have a fraction of the tools available to me now — just the sequencer and an RCA cord to my computer. So the clavier part was really intended to be a guitar part, and that drum beat could have very well sampled Soul II Soul, if I actually had a sampler. I had also wanted that solo synth in the middle section to sound like something off of a Wayne Horvitz/The President album.
So 13 years later, I did what I set out to do. I replaced the drums with an emulated Roland 909 (thank you Battery!), replaced the clavier with guitar samples in Reason fed through Guitar Rig and passed the solo synth through a Guitar Rig distortion plug-in.
Now the track sounds closer to what I had imagined, which is different from the one that was actually released.
George Lucas has been getting a lot of flack for revising the Star Wars movies every time they get remastered for a new format. I can almost get his urge to tinker. He revised the original trilogy because the technology wasn’t around to let him do what he wanted. I’m revising my tracks because I now have the right technology to do what I intended to do — or at least closer to what I intended.
Of course, the big difference between Lucas and me is that way, way more people notice his tinkering. I can pull back the original enigmatics — which I may do at some point — and replace it with the revised version, and few people would notice.