It came to him in a dream…
As far as cheesy clichés go, it’s perfect: Panda Eyes woke up with Seven Lions’ massive 2012 emotional bass hit Days To Come in his head and he had to remix the ish out of it.
“You know when you have these melodies in your head and you know you know it, and you know you once knew what the name of it but you’ve forgotten it?” asks young Swiss bass buck Panda Eyes. “Well I had that with this. I woke up from a dream and had it in my head. I was like shit! I know this! What is it? After 10 minutes of intensely interrogating my brain I remembered it was Seven Lions and I also remembered there was a remix competition of it because I was going to enter it years ago!”
He didn’t enter it. And he didn’t save the stems. But he did have Facebook…
“I searched for ages for the stems but couldn’t find them,” he explains. “So I reached out and asked. One guy had the vocals. Another had the atmospheres. They sent them over and that was that. I didn’t want to upload it without clearing it so we sent it to OWSLA and they agreed to it. Then you guys uploaded it. It has been a dream for me!”
A dream that was inspired by a dream. Living the meta dream… But don’t go expecting Panda Eyes to start reworking loads of modern day or cult classics.
“It’s a dangerous game when you rework something that’s so important to people,” he says. “I’ve already seen some comments about my remix, saying it shouldn’t have been done. People are very attached to music but they don’t realise that when producers are remixing them they’re not trying to make it better… they’re see what they can do with it, how it all works and how they can interpret it. People either think you’re trying to cash in on the original hype.”
Speaking of hype, we asked Panda Eyes for his five favourite remixes. He’s picked some serious belters. But first, his two personal golden remix rules….
Originality: “It’s all art so who am I to judge? But for me a perfect remix must have a lot of originality as well as elements of the original. So not just using all the stems and re-arranging or tweaking them with different drums but taking it in a whole different direction and making it as original as possible. Like taking something dark and making it light. Or switching the genre.”
Quality: “How the artist has managed to blend the mixdown of the stems to their own mixdown or whether they’ve adapted their own mixdown to complement the stems. Either way, the overall finish has to be perfect.”
Panda Eyes’ Top 5 Remixes
Kaskade – Eyes (Alvin Risk Remix)
“Alvin Risk was one of my biggest inspiration – the god of complex producing, using sounds no one else thinks of. This starts off so pretty and trancey then it just goes off! Bass everywhere, vocal cuts all over the place – but so organised and beautiful. Controlled chaos. It still blows my mind now.”
Monsta – Holdin On (Skrillex & Nero Remix)
“SUCH a well produced remix! It’s the only time Skrillex and Nero came together and made something that actually got released. It works so well in both D&B and dubstep parties. Some dubstep parties I drop drum & bass and it either kicks off or people don’t get it. I can drop this every time and it always goes crazy. The mixture of Nero’s mainstream sound and D&B knowledge and Skrillex’s hypey lazery bass – it all came together!”
Seven Lions – Creation (Soltan Remix)
“I have to shout out Soltan – he kills it! He’s all about the oriental and Arabic scales – so he made the emotional vocals with the oriental backdrop and context. All the rhythmic elements are so detailed and cool with the sword hits and Oriental cymbals. Asian trap craziness mixed with Seven Lions melancholy. It shouldn’t work but it does!”
Nero – Must be the feeling (Kill The Noise Remix)
“Must Be The Feeling is a classic. It’s one of those where it’s like ‘can you even possibly make this better?’ But he did! The sound design is crazy. Back then he was the only one using Reason and Malstrom and no third-party plugins. This gave him such a unique edge and sound. I love him.”
Kill The Noise – Without A Trace (feat. Stalking Gia) (Kill The Noise & Virtual Riot Remix)
“Virtual Riot is my big brother in the scene. He’s such a dude. I know this was a major thing for him to collab with Kill the Noise… So that’s cool from the start. The original was great but the fact that they made the tune in such a balanced way. They are both pioneers who excel in quality productions but neither of them outshine each other – they know what they’re doing so well they know how to complement each other. It gels so well. That beautiful first drop, the chill garage bit then going back into that super complex bit. It’s actually perfect.”