Remix culture refers to the adaptation of intellectual property in order to draw new meaning from the work. The term ‘remix’, originally associated with music culture still exists majorly within the medium; mashups, covers and cutups each act as a form of rehash contributing to music cultures and genres.
Andrew Whelan(2014) presents that remixes involve critical engagement with texts in order to change their intended connotations. Specific references to this notion apply in Fearless Record’s ‘Punk Goes…’ series, in which popular rock bands cover songs from numerous genres. Within recent instalment; Punk Goes Pop 5, metal band ‘Like Moths to Flame’ cover alt pop giants ‘Fun’s ‘Some Nights’.
Through adaptation to the Hardrock genre, ‘Some Nights’ has been transformed from a philosophical search for identity into an aggressive outburst towards ambiguity and the unknown.
The proliferation of ‘Punk goes’ remixes has resulted in the creation of a music subculture existing within modern rock communities. These covers have also influenced audience adaptions, or ‘covers of covers’.
This refers to Bruns (2010) notions that ‘artefacts’ (remixes or mashups) exist in an ongoing stream of adaptation and user engagement. Thus songs are ‘unfinished’. Increase in technologies such as music editing software and social media has allowed participants to portray their message “side by side with conventional publishers” (Bruns, 2010, pp. 1). This however contradicts the analysis of Lessig(2008), claiming that musical cultures have shifted from read/write (listening to music and then recreating it) into read only in which the audience is contempt with consumption.
In regards to the common property aspects of produsage, boundaries between what is/isn’t acceptable in remix culture are blurred. Individual songs as a form of intellectual property are susceptible to copyright laws and policies. Despite this, according to the ASCAP, an artist is not required to obtain legal permissions for ‘remix’ unless a monetary motive is present.
The beauty of remix culture is in its ability to transcend boundaries. Cultures are both combined and created through this concept, providing the audience with re-constituted material, altering both personal and social perceptions.
Bruns, A 2010, Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage, accessed 3 May 2014, <http://snurb.info/files/2010/Distributed%20Creativity%20%20Filesharing%20and%20Produsage.pdf>.
Lessig, L 2008, Remix: making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, accessed 3 May 2014, <http://ia600204.us.archive.org/13/items/LawrenceLessigRemix/Remix-o.pdf>.
Fearless Records. (2012), Punk Goes Pop 5, Fearless Records, accessed 3 March 2014
Fun, (2012), Some Nights, Fueled by Ramen, accessed 3 March 2014