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!

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 5

Here's the fifth and final part of remix reviews for the Aegean Remix Contest on Pesto Music this year. I was thinking if I should embed a video of Europe's "Final Countdown" but opted out since both you and me would have that synth riff on your mind for the rest of the day. Awww...damnit. It happened already.

So let's quickly get to the last ten remixes then, Final Countdown out, Aegean in - you can't explain that;)
I'll anounce the winners in a bit and in a dedicated blog post.

Lee Fraged Back To The 90s remix:
pro: cool bassline reminiscent of some Hardfloor, build-up simple but working
con: I find the organ sound to be a bit weak for that bassline, keeps the track somewhat low in energy
8/10

Frostbite remix:
pro: good implementation of the original hookline, proper arrangement, buildup in the break is awesome opens the tune width-wise, breakbeat part keeps the suspension, good additional sequences, has artist's signature, good adaption for this genre
con: could have a bit more energy or get a bit more driving when the straight bassdrum drops in, orchestra hit is a bit too cheesy imo
8/10

Daxxel Remix:
pro: nice vibe
con: arrangement has little detail, chords don't match base note properly, chords drop in too immediate and have too little variation
6/10

GREENKLOREF Remix:
pro: Oh hai, it's you!:) innovative use of the sequences to trigger percussions, best remix of the 5
con: I'm used to having claps on 2 and 4 and not on 1 and 3 but I'm trying to get the concept behind 1/3 claps, hihats/shakers too loud and too hissy, sequences too loud compared to the beat, still lacking focus but much better than the other contributions, a bit too long
4/10

Roberto Conforto Remix:
pro: good use of the original sequences, simple but effective beats, detailed arrangement, signature, bent drone/F1 car passing by sound
con: a bit weak in the bass section compared to the energy level of the rest: screaming sequences require a solid fundament imo
7/10

Paradisebird Remix:
pro: interesting use of the sequences by shifting them timewise, build up good
con: lacks bass severely (especially noticeable after the break ends), too wet, bassline sound too deep for the screaming hooklines, lacks focus
6/10

Fair Play Knight Electro Remix:
pro: this guy knows his shit regarding punchy drums, proper arrangement, signature, nice harmonies
con: lacks focus a little and therefore creates a more floating atmosphere, which I find a little irritating considering the "harsh" timbre of the sounds used
8/10

Jai Lyra remix:
pro: that's what I call a clubby bassdrum, good groove, proper build-up, detail, very DJ-friendly arrangement
con: that sequence after 04:09 doesn't really sit right with the base notes although I like the idea
8/10

Ωti Drug's remix:
pro: interesting soundscape, if it did not have beats and was a bit shorter, it could make for a cool ambient track
con: lacks focus (or the focus is too much on swooshes), too wet and washed out, arrangement lacks, is a bit undecided whether being a dance or chillout track (and yeah, I know some people have invented the Chill House subgenre but that's not that)
4/10

DJ Jem Remix:
pro: awesome chopping job, very detailed arrangement, focus, cool build-up throughout the whole tune (remember the remixes I critized for having two parts not being connected enough? Here's an example of how to do that)
con: maybe a bit too many breakdowns although that creates a lot of variation, the last part after 05:44 is a bit lengthy and could have more variation
9/10

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 4

Here are ten more reviews, to be followed by another ten tomorrow. I'll anounce the winners in another post tomorrow afternoon CET. In case you missed the former parts (plus a little explanation of what I mean by certain words), check out part one plus glossary, part two and part three. Here are the remixes I'm reviewing for you to listen to: http://soundcloud.com/groups/pesto-remix-contest-jon-silva-aegean/tracks

Tuchy Frunk Remix:
con: the histrings are running the whole track - not good for my tinnitus, way too dry, sounds are not balanced, too heavy on the treble, the sidechain ducking is more annoying and tears the whole tune apart, the sounds are a bit too generic/weren't programmed with dedication, no DJ-friendly arrangement
3/10

by ramplin:
pro: nice drum grooves
con: a House tune without a bass line? Let me think if there is one at all. Not going to work, you could also make a track without a bassdrum, the delays are too loud (they are badly clipping), arrangement hardly there and way too raw, some funky plug ins won't make up for a missing basis. Actually disqualified because downloads are still enabled despite sending several messages
2/10

Full Of Beans - Baked Mix:
pro: it's something original and not just a reconstruction close to the original tune just quoting the remix parts
con: the intro is too long and has too little variation, a proper bassline is missing
4/10

GreenKloref:
pro: 4th attempt, never giving up. I take from the discussion page that GreenKloref is really new to using a DAW and this one is already much better than the other three mixes, the groove is much better than on the other submissions
con: like said earlier, better focus on making one fat thing than sending four mediocre reworks, this one also lacks focus and dramaturgy, the sound selection is wrong for me, some of the sounds remind of GM synth modules - definitely not the sound source for a dance track
3/10

TrikAtak Remix:
pro: nice chopping of the original parts, really cool buildup, liking that drone bassline in the first break giving it a new harmonic context
con: histrings way too loud, after the first break at 02:50 the energy level drops when the beat comes in again, that's the part where the energy should be max with a big boom, when the drone's cutoff is open, it's too loud and drowns the rest
5/10

Carl D Remix:
pro: creative use of the parts to make something new, solid beats, proper & detailed arrangement, suitable sound selection
con: not the kind of stuff I play but that wasn't what I was asking for, so it's not really a con
7/10

Christian G Chugg 2011 Remix:
pro: nice use of the samples, great deep & reduced atmosphere, liking the bassline in the beginning, nice details such as the drum rolls
con: lacks a bit of substance/flesh, the intro is a bit too long or the bassline could kick in earlier
07/10

ExteRix remix:
pro: creative use of the parts, bass heavy
con: break is way too long (it's nearly one fourth of the whole tune), sidechain ducking of the bassline takes away too much energy of an otherwise properly working team of beats and bass, 04:14 throughout 05:54 too hissy
6/10

Paus & Darang Remix:
pro: bass heavy, great groove, well balanced mix, good use of the original sequences, proper arrangement with detail, loving the disco toms,
9/10

Fair Play Knight Remix:
pro: quality production sounding very punchy, good arrangement, nice arpeggio line
con: not a big fan of the lead sound although it's one with good recognition and suits the rest so that's a minor con only
8/10

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 3

Yes, I know that going through reviews of remixes is a bit of dry reading if you haven't done any of the remixes yourself. Still, I believe the remix artists deserve some feedback on their submissions and that's why I will post reviews for all 50 remix entries here until the winners will finally be announced. In case you don't know which remixes I am talking about, they can be found here: http://soundcloud.com/groups/pesto-remix-contest-jon-silva-aegean/tracks

In case you missed the former reviews, try part one and part two.

J Kar Remix:
pro: another one with home field advantage;) If the original is a big-breasted blonde with too much make-up, this is her little brunette sister who's more subtle, more intelligent and a girl you won't regret having spent a night with. I like brunettes, btw.
9/10

Andy O' Donoghue Remix:
pro: very dubby and reduced, cool groove
con: the pad coming in at 01:26 is a bit too dominant/loud imo, arrangement could be a bit more detailed and a bit more focused
7/10

As remixed by Science Associates:
pro: arrangement and sound are very radio-ish, very stringent arrangement, nice details, great harmonies. Slap some vocals on it and it's played in radio stations on the Balkans or some mediterranean islands. It IS trancy and a bit cheesy, but it's the kind of cheesy I really love. Reminds a bit of a Soda Inc. remix from "Inner Vision" times. Proper!
10/10

Qbican@remix:
pro: dreamy atmosphere
con: the sequence coming in at 01:47 seems to be out of sync, the dramaturgy lacks a bit and the arrangement is missing some detail and focus
5/10

Ville Nikkanen Remix:
pro: nice reconstruction of the original sequence by turning it into an arpeggio
con: lacks a proper bassline, pretty heavy on the mids and treble, the part after 06:27 is a bit of "too many ideas" or too many melody lines playing at once, making it lose focus, arrangement could be a bit more DJ-friendly
5/10

Sava Boric Remix:
pro: I like heavy bass drums:)
con: track loses focus after 02:57, it sounds like a new track is playing that has no connection with the part from before, the arrangement lacks detail and is too linear
5/10

Scerbas Remix:
pro: nice chopping up of the bassline in the beginning
con: the new bassline doesn't fit, arrangement lacks detail and buildup, too linear
06/10

Kirk Jones 2011 Progressive Remix:
pro: really digging the beginning here until 02:01 when the groove totally changes
con: it's a bit too long, if it was like 07:00, it would be easier to keep the suspension but this way it remains a bit flat and feels lengthy
6/10

Kyka Remix:
pro: completely different vibe than the original in the beginning
con: the vibe changes during the tune (which is not necessarily a bad thing) but here, I also find the parts to be a bit disconnected as if it was a mashup of two different tracks
7/10

Dj Miss Gwen:
pro: a lady producer - that's always to be supported, nice strict groove
con: a bit too dry and direct, too close to the original, the break is a bit too long
5/10

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 2

Following up on yesterday's part 1 of the remix reviews, here is part 2 with the next ten contributions.

Freaking Wildchild's IDM-n-glitched mix:
pro: totally different approach, adds some signature (which the Andy Moore mix lacks), really liking the sharp drums and that strict groove, lots of detail in the arrangement
6/10

Paul Greenway Remix:
pro: what I said about Freaking Wildchild's mix, this has the signature of the remixer all over it, drums are damn smashing in your face, new harmonic context
con: a bit short but that's something that can be fixed
6.5/10

Scandalo De Lux by Macduda:
pro: the beats and the bassline are full of energy as well as the trancy peaktime/big room stabs
con: that first sequence. It is, umm, it is really cheesy and sounds dated. Retro is all cool and that but this thing is such an essential part of the remix, it just doesn't do it for me
5/10

Leaking Shell Remix:
pro: that bass, that groove, that sound, the buildup in the break
con: antiphase noise effect, this will cancel on a mono PA but that's easy to fix.
8/10

Nick Fay Remix:
pro: there's one thing Nick Fay is good at - deliver. DJ-friendly arrangement, nice details and FX sounds, cool re-interpretation of the original bassline, nice buildup & layering towards the big break and when the beat drops back in after, sounding very solid (and I don't mean that because it's louder/mastered but because it sounds very compact)
con: the histrings are a bit too loud
9/10

Chuter remix:
pro: usually, using "interesting" is not a good sign but in this case, I mean in in the best sense of the word. That's something totally new and innovative, it's just inspired by the original and uses the percussion loop, the rest reminds me a bit of the things you can do with a looper, creating dense atmospheres and layers of guitar riffs.
con: it lacks some bass percussion - the way it's now, it's more kind of Ambient Rock if you will, adding some breakbeat aka Prodigy or Chemical Brothers could turn this into a massive bouncer
7/10

Semchuk RainyDay Remix:
pro: putting the original parts into a new harmonic context is something I really like, nice details in the arrangement, sounding very solid also, while the original is a summer tune, this one has a cold quality, indeed reminiscent of a rainy day
7/10

Ilias Katelanos Remix:
pro: it's a bit unfair maybe but Ilias being greek and well familiar with the Aegean Sea definitely seems to have an advantage here:) The suspension is constantly built up until the Aegean theme drops in at 02:00. At 02:49 you'd think that was the tune and it's going done again but that's not happening. It goes higher and higher, like a sunrise in the Aegean when the starry sky fades and all the shades of night grey are replaced by intense colours. A great bridge track for DJs going from deep to more housier stuff.
10/10

Simon T's Dark Lantern mix:
pro: did I already mention I like putting things in a different harmonic context? Here's a dark and techy re-interpretation with lots of detail, dubby delays and lovely sound selection. Simon's signature all over the tune
9/10

Brandon Villa's earthrumental mix:
pro: nice atmosphere, quite chill
con: pitches don't match, lacks focus
2/10

discoDSP present: Pesto Remix Contest 2011 - the reviews pt. 1

So, the Pesto Remix Contest 2011 is closed. We have 50 contributions, among them some really great ones. What's left to say at this point? First of all, a big thank you to all artists who remixed "Aegean"! To be honest, I did not expect such a massive amount of reworks and even if I don't rate yours that high, I still appreciate you taking the time and putting some effort in finishing one (or more) mixes. That was awesome!

Also worth a mention is detailed feedback I have for all you remix artists. I went through the tunes a couple of times, made notes, changed my mind sometimes, made more notes, came up with a grade for your rework. I thought if there's a total of 10 points, both you and I would have a good scale. Since I'll also publish detailed feedback here, today starting with part 1 aka the first 10 remixes in chronological order of their submitting, I'll also need to explain some words/terms I'm using.

Here's that "glossary":

detail: Detail is used in terms of arrangement. Imagine, you have a track of 06:30 running time and from beginning to end, the same drum loop is running without any variation. That means the "detail" rate is zero - no changes, no variation. If you're using filter sweeps, mute the bassdrum or any other element for short breaks, add crash cymbals, sweep FX and the likes, you're adding detail to the tune. I know a couple of tunes that have nearly zero detail but because the main hook is so detailed by itself, the track is working. On a sidenote, you can also add too much detail which causes the tune to fall apart and make it sound confusing. Detail often goes hand in hand with...

focus: You have the beats, a bassline, a lead/hook, pads, strings, another piano line. The human ear (or the brain for that matter) can only focus on three melodies playing at the same time. A producer's task therefore is to decide which elements are important and thus will have the focus put on. If it's getting too much, you cannot focus or the tune lacks focus. This can both be an engineering issue as well as an arrangement/composing issue. If you have five different melody lines playing at once but you lead the listener's focus to just one or two of them, the other lines will be considered less important or accompany. If they're all equally prioritised, the listener feels getting lost. A listener CAN focus on one thing though and listen to just one of the melodies but since the producer is the captain, it's his/her decision on which part to put the focus on. A producer is leading the listener.

signature: Does it sound like the latest XYZ sample pack or is there some element that sets the tune apart from others? No problem with using sample packs at all but if you just utilise premade construction kits by somebody else, the outcome will sound like a tune by somebody else and not you. Signature can be very subtile or very obvious. Obvious examples are Stock/Aitken/Waterman, the producers of Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Bananarama and many more back in the 1980ies. Totally different artists/performers but the tracks always had the same "sound", the same feel. Or Björk: different producers, yet all her tunes share a similar quality. You can listen to a Björk tune and know immediately it's one of hers, even without hearing the voice. A good example for subtile "signature" is Trevor Horn: what does Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Seal have in common? At first sight, not much but the closer you listen, you discover similar production techniques being used.

Another thing that's important for me when it comes to remixes: I'm fully aware that "remix" in its original form stems from a different time. Usually, it was an engineer having 24 or 32 (or more) tracks from tape laid out on the console. The faders were set to certain levels and so were the equalizers and FX. A remix in the 1960ies or 1970ies simply meant a different mixdown of the same tune, just with altered levels creating an alternate version in a technical/engineering sense (very roughly speaking). During the last 20 years of Dance music, the term "remix" has more turned into "use some of the original tracks/stems and put them in a whole new context or make a completely new tune out of the remix pack". I like that more creative approach and I'm usually making remixes following that philosophy. A good example is my "Babe-A-Pella" of Soda Inc.'s "Night Fever". I was heavily involved in making the original but a few years later, I took the original stems, looked at them from a new perspective and made a remix that could be considered a "new original". The remix stayed on top of Beatport's deep charts and remained in DJ sets a couple of months during the summer of 2007 BECAUSE it was, in fact, a new tune, just making use of some of the original elements.

Today, remixers are being asked to rework a tune because of their signature. You have this tune but want it in ABC flavour? Ask ABC for a remix. What would it sound like if DEF had the same vocal to work on? Ask DEF for a remix. You get the picture.

Enough introduction, here are the reviews for the first ten Aegean remixes:



Coce Remix:
pro: nice cutting up of the stems, same sounds put into new context, nice groove
6/10

Miguel Libre Sundown Remix:
pro: completely new vibe, goes into a more organic direction, creates new harmonic context
con: Aegean hook line coming in at 02:00 doesn't fit the harmonies, arrangement a bit too linear and flat, not too many highs and lows
4/10

beaTTrate 118bpm Remix:
pro: simple but effective groove, nice chopping and re-arrangement of the original parts
con: chord stabs introduced in the second break (after 04:00) don't correspond with the other sounds that well, sound a bit alien in there, the two beaks are a bit close to each other, making the tune lose a lot of energy
4/10

beaTTrate 122bpm Remix:
pro: pretty similar setup as in the 118bpm version but the arrangement works better for me
con: chord stabs see 118bpm Remix
5/10

Trogers Liquid Housemade Deli:
pro: bandpass-filtered bassline sounds interesting, also liking the different (break)beat.
con: loops not in sync at 03:11, hats a bit too hissy, definitely lacking bass, too long or arrangement a bit too flat
5/10

GreenKloref minimal Remix:
pro: bassline sound at 03:44 is cool
con: the pitches don't match, sounds a bit like the parts were wildly thrown together, "too many ideas" for one tune, heavily lacking focus
2/10

GreenKloref down remix:
pro: definitely more focused than the minimal Remix but still sounds a bit confused
con: if you make music, get the pitch straight, some people do not notice when things don't go together (or are off by a few cents) but I do
3/10

GreenKloref Ayobaness Remix:
con: same beat as in the former two remixes, sounds nearly identical except for some exchanged patches, sounds odd again and too flat arrangement-wise
2/10

GreenKloref remix:
pro: fourth try, more focused
cons: the sounds again, you should ask yourself if you would play such a tune or if you would buy it. If the answer is "no", then start over and try once more. Rather than doing four remixes, focus on doing one fat one
2/10

Andy Moore Remix:
pro: arrangement to the point, could have a little more detail though such as risers and downers/boom-ish FX or crashes or something with a similar function
con: sounds a bit like the whole tune was recorded in a bathroom - could be Logic's Modulation Delay plug in that can be used to broaden the sound, doesn't sound good here for me as it subtracts a lot of the punch, the overall sound is very dry, too little variation in the arrangement, a bit too close to the original for my taste.
5/10

discoDSP present: the Pesto Music Remix Contest 2011

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If you follow Pesto Music's activity, you will surely have noticed a lot of remix business going on. Be it either remixes by other artists for Pesto or Jon Silva remixes for other labels.
So far, these remix arrangements were done by personal contact or asking Pestoleros for a favour. You usually do not notice much of the work that's going on behind the scenes. Today, we'll make an exception.

We are happy to announce the first open remix contest on Pesto Music! #prmx

The tune in question is Jon Silva's "Aegean", first released back in the summer of 2007 on our very first 2.0 compilation. Now, we're looking forward to releasing a remastered original along with brand new remixes. Any genre goes, the parts/stems are a free download and on top of that, you can also win a free license for a softsynth.

logoddsp big


Our sponsor for this contest is Spain's discoDSP, makers of outstanding software synthesizers - with the "Discovery" plug in being their elite product. Please check out discoDSP's web site to see their product range and buy a license in case you're not among the first two winners;)



Here's the quick pitch:

track to remix: Jon Silva - Aegean
prizes: first winner receives a free license for discoDSP's "Discovery Pro" synth plugin (worth 149EUR) plus a release on the "Aegean" remix single on Pesto, second winner receives a free license for discoDSP's "Discovery" synth plugin (worth 75EUR) plus a release on the "Aegean" remix single on Pesto, third winner gets a release on the "Aegean" remix single on Pesto plus fame
rules: contestants must be 18 years or older
deadline: 18th June 2011

Please find the remix parts/stems and more details on our dedicated remix! page.

Selected links #003

http://abduzeedo.com - "The blog's name means abducted in Portuguese. I changed its spelling to add ZEE (my design company) instead of abduzido" Fabio Sasso says in the about section, great source of (graphical) input and inspiration from Brazil
http://doddiblog.blogspot.com - "Quality, Not Quantity is What Really matters", one of the best blogs around covering downloadable DJ mixes, really eclectic selection but it's all about electronic music
http://www.thepiz.org/mralias2 - a dirty beast of freeware synth, this one's available for all major platforms - don't get distracted by the GUI, Mr. Alias 2 kicks major arse
http://www.macosxhints.com - great ressource for OSX noobs but also some hints that you did not know of despite you've been using Macs for ages
http://kvraudio.com - anything plugin or audio software goes here, if you don't find it on KVR, it probably doesn't exist - well worth signing up there and the forum is also a great source of information

Use the board, young Skywalker!