Author: Gerry Maravilla
Remix albums often seem like a cheap attempt at more money. Here to prove us wrong, the new Nine Inch Nails collection of remixes from this year’s concept album Year Zero offers something worth a listen. Entitled Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D (“Year Zero Remixed,” for those of you unfamiliar with Leetspeak), the album compiles a variety of different styles by artists who added their own personal touches to challenge and recreate the source material.
The album begins with artist Saul Williams adding his hip-hop poetic style over the instrumental “HYPERPOWER!” ModWheelMod’s slower-paced and eerie take on “The Great Destroyer” offers new layers of synth and blaring guitar to the once Atari-inspired track. The funky remix of “Meet Your Master ” by The Faint stands out as one of the strongest and easily the most danceable tracks found on the album.
Of course, there are a few mixes that might leave the listener with a bad taste in his/her mouth. The “God Given” remix spends 12 minutes experimenting greatly with the original track, but unfortunately fails to actually go anywhere. Sadly, it is often difficult to differentiate Bills Laswell’s version of “Vessel” with the original recording. The most inspired and overall best track on the entire disc is the string arrangement rendition of “Another Version of the Truth” by the Kronos Quartet.
By far the most interesting aspect of this release is the fact that it marks the final album that Nine Inch Nails is contractually obligated to release for Interscope Records. Reznor has already stated publicly that he has no intention of returning to any label at any time and will enjoy being able to independently create, publish and distribute his music any way that he sees fit. He will no longer need to worry about the RIAA preventing him from leaving flash drives in bathroom stalls with his latest material, as NIN has attempted in the past.
Ridiculous pricing in the international market that prevents fans from actually purchasing hard copies of the album will now be a problem of the past. There will no longer be stop and desist orders from the label to prevent Reznor from placing the source files to his music on the internet.
While the album has been released in three separate formats (CD, digital download and a special edition high-quality triple vinyl), fans that choose to buy an actual hard CD copy of the album will be rewarded. Accompanying the collection of remixes is also a DVD data disc that contains the master tracks and files for the Year Zero album. Each specific layered audio track on each song can be separated and manipulated through programs like Apple’s Garage Band, Ableton Live and Logic Pro. PC users are even provided with a free demo of Ableton Live. The new mixes that fans create can be uploaded and shared in a new online community at www.remix.nin.com.
Reznor’s alternate reality game that accompanied Year Zero proves the artist has plenty of ideas for taking his music and its marketing into strong new directions. Now, without the commitment of a record contract, Reznor will truly be able to use art as a form of resistance.
This article has been archived, for more requests please contact us via the support system.