I first became a fan of surf music as a teenager in Europe. It seemed to communicate California sunshine and beaches and that was something we’d dream of during stormy and often rainy days by the North Sea. I had just begin to play a little acoustic guitar, and my brother, sister and I had just started to make music together. One of the songs we loved doing from back then was an acoustic cover of the Beach Boys version of Sloop John B, since we we loved to sing 3 part harmony.
Quite unrelated to that, many years later in 2006, now living in Canada, just after I discovered the joy of remixing and remix culture, but just before discovering ccMixter, I had bumped into a talented musician from Texas online and we decided to write and record a couple of songs together. And the band name we came up with for that project was “A Minor Theory“. Not surf music, but remember the name!
I should also mention, that for decades I had given up playing the guitar in favor of synthesizers, before somehow being inspired by Dick Dale’s glorious surf guitar version of “Miserlou” in the late 00s, which I’d end up practicing for hours. That ended up being a key moment in getting inspired to pick up playing guitar again including putting together a pretty nice guitar setup over the next few years.
Fast forward another few years to 2016, and … I’m hearing about a fabulous surf guitar band from New Jersey who released the individual tracks of some of their songs for remixing at ccMixter. Their name?
Whoa! — That band name, surf music and remixing at ccMixter!
It was almost like fate or whoever controls things in our universe had sent me a very personal message, that I should do another remix, just when I was about to step back from remixing and also from the Spinmeister persona.
So I downloaded the individual tracks to a song named “Hay Burner” and started cutting, pasting, slicing, dicing, adding a few musical ideas of my own and created an electronica instrumental called “Burning the Micro Waves”. I was a little worried about the reception it might get – especially by the original artists, since I had taken their song into quite different territory.
Less than I day later I received a friendly email from Steve Rabeler, the mastermind behind Blue Wave Theory and the Blue Wave Theory remixing project. Mentioning that he liked my remix and if I’d be ok with it being on a compilation album of remixes, he was considering. And he mentioned that I was the first person he contacted about this idea. My answer was an enthusiastic: Yes, of course, I’d be honoured to be included.
And after Blue Wave Theory uploaded another batch of songs for remixing, Steve sent me an email, asking if I would create a remix from something in this second batch of their songs.
That led to my remix of their song “Huckster” which I took even more musical liberties with, including adding vocals by a group of “Robot Mermaids from Japan” singing a Haiku a created just for this, calling the song “Mermaids in Japan”. I’m grateful, that one got honored via a coveted Editor’s Choice on ccMixter.
And then 3 of other ccMixter artists created remixes using my remixes. How cool can it get?
The ever amazing Madam Snowflake built lyrics, melody and a glorious vocal performance around my “Burning the Microwaves”, resulting in the memorable love song “To the Mountain”, official lyric video (created by the multi-talented Kara Square) here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QuVXqw0fDw)
Alex Beroza slowed it right down, resulting in the ultra chill “Wake Me Up”.
And Platinum Butterfly remixed my “Mermaids in Japan” into a dance floor pounding techno anthem.
Fast forward again to April 2018 and the Blue Wave Theory compilation album is released by ArtisTech Music and one of my remixes and three remixes of my remixes are on the album. Funnily enough, the remix that started it all (“Burning the Micro Waves“) isn’t, but the “Japanese Mermaids” are on the album along with the 3 remixes of my remixes mentioned above. So the artist formerly called Spinmeister celebrates a last(?) hurrah thanks to Blue Wave Theory, Steve Rabeler and ArtisTech Media.
Check out the album – it’s great fun! Especially tracks 10, 15, 16 and 20 🙂
(“Sing Along with Blue Wave Theory” is available now on iTunes, Bandcamp, Jamendo, and Spotify.)