Leafcutter John has a remix contest going on. The source material is the five constituent parts of his slocore folk tune “Big Black Eyes” (MP3), available for downloard as an archive (ZIP). The segments consist of a guitar and vocal tone; the background vocal of atmospheric syllables, with a Tropicália vibe; deeply echoed piano; sparse slide guitar; and the proper vocal, with quieter guitar. As of this writing, there are over two dozen entries, and the contest runs through April 30.
Among the highlights are the Bluermutt mix, which extends the instrumental introduction, introducing light electronic patters (MP3, myspace.com/bluermutt). The Hardy Tree added scratchy vinyl and chamber-music instrumentation (MP3, myspace.com/thehardytree). Rotted Karma makes the effort to cut up and reconfigure the piano into a more solid harmonic line, and also plays with layers of vocals (MP3). Seabuckthorn puts the vocals and guitars into some rapid reverberation (MP3, myspace.com/seabuckthornmusic). Fabio Keiner‘s is more demix than remix, slowing down the various parts, for a morguey soundtrack of drones, Tuvan vocals, and slack guitar (MP3, jamendo.com).
Sunken Foal‘s is perhaps the most thorough re-imagining thus far, with bent synthesized tones, a chaotic rhythmic undercurrent, an elevation of the chorus, and an appreciation for how the various instrumental moments, notably the piano, can be employed to dramatic effect (MP3, myspace.com/wesunkthefoal).
More details, including an ongoing list of entries, at leafcutterjohn.com.