Here at Bassrush, a lot of the staff are musicians as well, and as such there’s an interest in tech and process as much as mood and vibe when it comes to how releases are made. Yes, we all know Noisia’s The Resonance I is out today Friday December 13, marking the true beginning of the end for these D&B legends and spanning the length and breadth of their discography. We know it will be iconic just like everything Noisia do.
We know Noisia’s final shows mark a shift in D&B culture, and we know that as individuals, Nik, Thijs and Martijn will still be part of that culture. Noisia can neither be created nor destroyed; it only changes forms. But what of the current form? How was this last chapter written? The answer, as is so often the case with Noisia, is in the tech.
Noisia’s work has been poured over since their inception in 2003. Writers, other artists and Noisia themselves have analyzed and spoken about theory, process and tech on these tracks for years. With The Resonance series, however, there’s a unique opportunity to look at it from the perspective of the remixers. Posij has worked with Nosia on the Vision and Division imprints for years and knows the group likely better than anyone. He remixed an obscure classic from Noisia’s early days, the breakbeat hit from their Hustle Athletics side project called “Lekker.” Skylark, on the other hand, came into The Resonance project relatively green. He took on a huge challenge by remix the relatively more recent and infinitely iconic “Floating Zero,” the original for which borders on experimental and was made by both Noisia and Phace. Talk about pressure.
Bassrush sat down with these two remixers on this first chapter of The Resonance to see what the process was like for them, and they ended up being two very different perspectives. While there we differences in experience, both Skylark and Posij came away with some excellent perspectives and now these tracks will resonate along with the rest of the Noisia catalog in perpetuity. Check the tech below.
How did you and the Noisia guys decide on which tracks you would remix?
Posij: They asked me to choose from their vision catalog, so I could basically pick anything I wanted!
It took me a while to gather my thoughts, like, do I want to make a D&B remix, or something else?
Is there a classic I would like to teleport back to 2021? But then one day it hit me, my favorite non-dnb Noisia aka Hustle Athletics track, “Lekker.” Everyone pretty much agreed from the first second on that one.
Skylark: Well for a rather funny reason, I was playing at let it roll save the rave with The Caracal Project the same day as Noisia. I was casually chatting about music with Martijn and we ended up talking about “Floating Zero.” I told Martijn how much I still loved this tune and he asked me if I wanted to remix it. Pretty cool I must say!
What did you find to be the biggest challenge in remixing the tracks you chose? Was there pressure because it’s such an important release? Any snags with the stems?
Skylark: I felt quite a bit of pressure because I really wanted to give this brilliant track justice but also bring my own vision. Also I think that “Floating Zero” is very unique tune so finding something new to bring with that original idea was very tough. I knew though that I had to use that famous arp (synth progression) from the original otherwise it wouldn’t be a “Floating Zero” remix.
Posij: There were definitely snags with the stems. It’s a very old project and some sounds just straight up did not load, including the bassline! The sample they recorded for it was still in the project, so I could re-program that sound to match. It was close, but far from as smooth and nice as they did it.
Then I figured I should let the song rely on its most important feature, the word “lekker” and just leave the bassline out of it. All the catchy sounds are higher mid-range and were available as stabs. The original bassline is very complicated, so I thought what if I use a very simple bassline? Just one note that repeats with the kick. The “lekker” vocal already spelled out the rhythm for the claps. I wanted to use claps because people would probablyexpect a stand-out snare from me, so I figured I’d try to do a stand-out clap this time (laughs).
Posij, You’ve remixed Noisia tracks before but not any of their non-D&B tracks. You’ve also been leaning towards breaks, techno and house in your own work lately. Did those things influence the decision to remix a track from the group’s Hustle Athletics incarnation?
Posij: It definitely did (have an influence) yeah. I wanted to make a tune that I could play it in a D&B set, but also in a electro/breaks or even house set. Maybe a little tool to switch between those comfortably. But mostly I wanted a song that could be appreciated by fans of all genres. I know this is impossible, but I have an idea in my head of what that sounds like, and I predict a future where genres really don’t matter anymore, you just come to hear what a DJ thinks is nice. Not 100% one genre or “the DJ is bad because I just wanna dance to a particular set of BPMs!”
Skylark, by comparison the track you chose feels like it might have been quite a big undertaking, since you hadn’t remixed a Noisia track before and now you were presented with remixing a Noisia and Phace track. What sort of unexpected stuff did you find in the combined stems that was surprising? How did you adapt?
Skylark: Absolutely! (Laughs) Both Phace and Noisia really influenced me as a producer and I also have a lot of respect for them as people so I knew I had to deliver. I focused on keeping my work around that main arp and the drums, while adding my sound to the mix.
What did you each want to do in your remixes to make them your own? Did the fact that this is likely the last Noisia remix album influence how you treated them?
Skylark: I instantly thought that I would try to do “me” (in this track) as much as possible, then I ended up thinking of this modern sort of flip to the tune.
Posij: Yes, that’s really why I wanted to swap the genre! I also wanted to have the intro in my remix as close to the original as possible, so the drop could be a surprise. I try not to let anything influence what I would like to do to the song, but as you could read in the questions before this one, I very much thought of how people would react to this in a club. So I guess I wanted it to be a possible club-certified-banger.
Posij, speaking of the genre-swapping of late, how is that going? What can fans expect next? Bass music or funky beats?
Posij: Yeah I’ve been releasing more 125-ish bpm music on my new label Okay. I will continue doing that, but I’m also planning on releasing more half-time and drum & bass music. I’ve been making it hard on myself to release all of this under one name, but it’s all me, so I wanted to release it all as Posij.
Skylark, you just came off your heavy-hitting Love & Hate EP on Overview. How did it feel switching to remix mode after working on that deep solo work? What’s coming up next for you in terms of releases?
Skylark: Coming off of my solo EP, this felt like the challenge I needed to push myself to the next level and improve my music. I always find remixing tricky so I had to do a lot of drafts to make sure I had the right one in the end.
Following this you can expect anything and everything from me as I’m gonna challenge myself again, try new things. Lots of music is already in the process!
You both have different experiences working with Noisia. What do each of you think fans should know from your experience and as they close this chapter?
Skylark: I think we should be grateful to have been able to be part of the journey, and now look forward to what theses amazing producer and humans will do on their own.
Posij: Hmm…people should know that Noisia has been very kind to me and everyone around them. And that I’ve made all their snares during the time of me working for them, they let me do that because I’m better at it than they are. This is 100% not a lie for comedic purposes, this is very very very factual information. Some of the snares that they are not going to use are being held in the vaults of the Vatican because one was so good, it created a connection between Fabfilter Pro-L and Consciousness itself. Very strange…