Saturday, January 28, 2012

Codes of Ashes - Era Origin Decoded

When I think of Tennessee, I tend to think of country music or the typical rootsy singer-songwriter artist. That all changed when I was introduced to Codes of Ashes (aka Brett Beach). At the risk of pigeonholing Codes of Ashes, the best description that I can think of to describe Codes of Ashes' music is electronica. Is it your typical electronic-based music? I don't think so because it takes the best of IDM (beat-wise) and trance (melody-wise) to create something unique; but I think that is for the listener to decided. Codes of Ashes encourages its listeners to interpret his music as they hear it with their own two ears.

Codes of Ashes' latest project is a digital EP called Era Origin Decoded. Era Origin Decoded is a collection of remixes based on the song "Era Origin". Last year, Codes of Ashes had a remix competition where he had people submit their remixes of the track. The best remixes would end up on what the very EP you are reading about right now, and those whose remixes were featured on the EP would get a premium Soundcloud account of their very own.

The end results of the competition was quite impressive. Every individual whose remix was featured on the EP maintained and respected the integrity of the original version of "Era Origin" but yet added their own flavor to the song. Judging by the high quality in each remix, it is obvious each individual took their time in crafting a distinctive and unique remix of the song without destroying the original composition. The Codes of Ashes Destruction Mix is a densely layered, wall of cacophony noise. The KMA Mix is a little noisier but as the song progresses on I can't help but hear a bit of electroclash in the pulsating beats. The song is slightly repetitive in the beginning but eventually the build up leads to where the song made this listener want to dance. My personal favorite remix is the Monz tha Illeet Mix. When I first saw the name, I immediately thought "Oh great. A hip hop remix". Boy! I couldn't have been any more wrong than I was at that moment. This remix mixes classical, traditional Asian, and modern dance music, creating a stunning masterpiece in my book. The other remixes Luio Under the Sun, The Bs of D Melodic Monolith Mix, and Tweaker Ray mix reminds me of some of my favorite '90s techno acts like Future Sound of London, Moby (prior to his album Play), Carl Cox, The Prodigy, and Leftfield. I really felt like I was taking a trip down memory lane to the '90s when I was listening to techno music.

As someone who has a love/hate relationship with remixes, I have to say that the remixes for "Era Origin" was truly fantastic. The six individuals heeded Brett Beach's request to keep the integrity of the original composition but at the same time took the song to a new level. It is not easy for remixers to be able to balance between creating their own composition out of someone else's work. And it is also not easy for this music fan to really enjoy remixes and not end up being bored but somehow I did really enjoy all six remixes. That is a rarity definitely well earned by Code of Ashes and its fans who contributed to Era Origin Decoded.

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