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MAHJONG MUSIC – REMIXING TEAM

Their remix credits read like a who's who of dance and pop music Kym Mazelle, Cissy Houston, Jason Walker, Amuka, to name a few. No strangers to the top spots on the US and UK dance charts, the Mahjong Music remixing team (including Mister Gone – Mahjong – Federico Conti – Sun & Soul Shades and Co.) are one of the hottest remix production team on the scene. Let’s have a chat with the Mahjong team during their busy schedule to talk about studio techniques and breaking into the remix act.

WHAT'S THE FIRST STEP TO REMIXING A TRACK SUCH AS "I WANT MORE" FROM AMUKA? Mahjong Team: Step one is determining the tempo of the original vocal track, and then determining where we can take it tempo wise from there. After that comes time-compressing and cutting vocals into phrases, then putting these over basic beats. From there we build up the elements of the chord progression and other rhythm parts.

HOW DO YOU TREAT THE VOCALS TO ACCOMMODATE THE EXTREME DIFFERENCES OF TEMPOS BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND REMIXED TRACKS? Mahjong Team: Some vocals have to be sped up and some slowed down. We experiment with both. The chorus might be slowed down for a half-time feel, while the verses are sped up-all to match a danceable tempo.

ARE YOUR PRODUCTIONS PRIMARILY MIDI OR AUDIO BASED? Mahjong Team: Generally speaking, everything we do is AUDIO. We do everything, including the vocal processing, in Cubase SX 3. Typically, we spend time equalizing to get the right drum sound. We generally don't use any stock sounds out of modules. We'll go to a club and hear a kick drum that we really like, so we'll get the record and sample just that kick drum. I mean, if we like the way it sounded in the club, it's probably going to work in our remix.

ANY ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO GROW THEIR STUDIO AND START MAKING MUSIC INSTEAD OF JUST PLAYING VINYL? Mahjong Team: I think, on the business side of remixing, there are two things to do: try to have your own sound, and don't copy anyone else. Start by making your own record-don't try to be a remixer first. If a record company wants a remix that sounds like us, then they go to the source they're looking for a particular sound. The record industry gets inundated with so many remixers and DJs, and the ones who are getting the work at some point broke out with their own record. It's typically someone who had an underground record that was huge that's what got them noticed in the first place.

You have to follow your gut and your instincts, and don't listen to anybody else.

 
 

 
 


 
 

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