Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - and the winner is...

...there is no one winner, we actually have quite a couple;)

First things first: let me express how overwhelmed I am by the sheer number of contributions! With Pesto being the small label that we are, I would have expected maybe 20 or 25 remixes at best. We had 50 in our inbox - wow, you guys are effin amazing! Hats off to you for putting time, effort and love in your reworks! I'd also expected to have like 3 or 4 decent remixes, hence the licenses for the first two winners for the awesome softsynths "Discovery Pro" (worth 149EUR) and "Discovery" (worth 75EUR), sponsored by makers of fine software synths discoDSP. But no way, we have way more than 3 decent remixes!

A word to discoDSP: I've also contacted other manufacturers of plugins, which I won't name here, that replied "your Alexa ranking doesn't look good, I expect some additional promotion from giving away free licenses". Note to self: don't buy at this company anymore. There's a german saying that goes "other mothers have pretty daughters as well" - other developers have proper compressors, too;)
So let me take the chance to say a big thank you to discoDSP, namely head of the company George Reales for getting back really quick and on top of that being very nice and generous. Make some noise for discoDSP, please! Usually, it says "our proud sponsors" but in this case we're the ones being proud of the sponsor. ¡Muchas gracias!

Where were we? Ah, the winners. Hang on, I need to say something about being biased first. When going through the list of winners, you'll find quite some people that are either Pestoleros (=artists) already or are somewhat closely related to us. I tried to be as objective as possible but, in the end, choosing remixes from a contest always is a highly subjective issue. I did not look at the names, I did not care for the genres provided - I think I proved I wasn't biased by publishing detailed feedback on your contributions. In fact, there are quite some Pesto artists who submitted remixes that didn't make it among the best 10. If you feel my rating of your remix is somewhat unfair or you don't understand what I meant, feel free to drop me a line via the contact form (I'll be off next week, so please allow 10 days for a reply).

Here are the first two winners of the Pesto Remix Contest 2011 for my "Aegean" tune:

1. Ilias Katelanos: like I said in my review, Ilias has home field advantage being from Athens. The emotions I tried to pack into "Aegean" were in fact triggered by a lot of stays and DJ gigs in Greece, not limited to the Aegean sea. If you know me a bit better, you know that I love Greece, I love Greeks, I love greek food, I love the mediterranean sea. And even though the mediterranean sea has lots of lovely spots and lovely people all around its edges, Greece will always remain special for me. I've made so many outstanding experiences in Greece, namely on some island in the Aegean sea that I was simply impressed of how well Ilias translated this vibe - even though we've never met in person (yet).
Like I said, this remix is "like a sunrise in the Aegean when the starry sky fades and all the shades of night grey are replaced by intense colours". It's also masterly and beautifully crafted, it's obvious that Ilias has a lot of experience in making music and that's what sets his remix apart from the others. Congrats mate, you've just won a license of "Discovery Pro" - hope it adds nicely to your sound arsenal:)

2. snapd/Science Associates: similar issue here. What strikes me is the highly professional level on which this rework was created. It seems to be very easy and accessible but this is achieved by applying lots of very smart and subtle details. The sound selection, the balance of the mix, the overall sound/production - all that is very "official" and I would not hesitate to spend money in order to get such a remix. I already said in my review: it is indeed trancy and it is a bit cheesy. But it's an amount of cheesy that's not only tolerable but Phill (aka snapd) managed to stay on the edge in a very elegant way. If I heard this on the radio, I'd say "if there were more tunes like this on the FM, I'd finally try to listen to the radio again". It's not that David Guetta-in-your-face-cheese, it's a well matured Pecorino with truffles.
Congrats also to you Phill, you've really more than earned that "Discovery" license!

So, these are the winners of the softsynth licenses. Problem: we have more - not only decent, but really proper - remix submissions. I've selected the ones I digged the most and, including Ilias and snapd, got a list of 11 remixes I consider worth releasing. Some of them may need a few tweaks here or there for the final release and they'll surely all get a proper mastering. At this point, I'm a bit undecided how to handle this issue. For the Aegean single, we already have a remix by Miami's Andrew Chibale next to the original and the first two. I think that's enough tracks for a release.

So I thought, we could make some compilation that will go on sale via the usual channels (Juno, iTunes, Traxsource, Beatport & Co) but I will discuss with all artists if there's maybe another way. Maybe donate the income to a good cause (I mean 100%) or offer the compilation as a Pesto FreeBee so that the remixers will get maximum exposure. If listeners enjoy what they hear, we could still set up a donate button or pay royalties to the remixers. Let's see;)

Why are you still here? Ah, the list of runners up. Here you are (in no particular order):

- Leaking Shell (UK/Germany)
- Nick Fay (FYROM)
- Chuter (UK)
- Alex Semchuk (Ukraine)
- Simon Tappenden (UK)
- J Kar (Greece)
- Paus & Darang (Sweden)
- Fair Play Knight (Russia)
- DJ Jem (Greece/UK)

Once again, thank you so much for all your great contributions, to discoDSP for the great prizes, to Sarah Haswell at SoundCloud and Ronnie at rekkerd.org for supporting the contest! I've wanted to test drive that remix contest thingy but now I can assure you there will be another one in 2012!