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   Home      The Remix
 The Remix
Today, remixing involves "repositioning" an old hit to suit the present-day musical tastes amidst digital drums, synths, rap sequences, and so on. Nothing is blasphemous in a remix, with diverse musical styles and languages making for an unorthodox concoction. "Remixes are new arrangements and textures based on a primary, full-length theme. New lead instruments may be used, instruments may be pulled out of the mix, or entirely new melodies may be added," goes one definition of remix music.
This takes us to a realm beyond our judgment about the banality of remixes, to the cultural context in which they emerge. Remixes, clearly, emerge at the point of interaction between two worlds — a hallowed musical tradition and the New Age hip-hop. Remixes, perhaps, reflect a yearning or an anxiety to be "cool" even while not letting go what one chooses to identify as one's "heritage". It is significant that Bally Sagoo, who could well be called the guru of the genre, is described as a "guy of a new attitude for a new age, an artiste at home with various cultures, yet very rooted".
Talking about the many layers of "appropriation and cultural exchange" one sees in Hindi remixes and what they signify to the Indian-American youth, Peter Kvetko, a scholar, writes: "The playful re-appropriation of the past is also a yearning for more immediate connections to a time that may seem better, more meaningful, more genuine... The effect is to allow the listener to reclaim the past for the purpose of the present, not simply to imagine what it was "then" but to participate in the "then" by actually performing it... Diasporic cultural production takes place at the intersection of multiple social, historical, and technological fields." This, perhaps, can be extended to a multiple-rooted generation within India that is keen on an Indian beat that leads on to an international sound.