If you are fan of industrial rock, especially instrumental music, you probably like Celldweller (even if you didn’t know it.) Celldweller is actually made up of one guy, Klayton, who plays guitar, keyboard, percussion, handles vocals and programming of the studio tracks. You have probably heard his music already since a lot of it is used uncredited in movies and commercials. I’ve read that every song on his debut album has been licensed at least once for a movie, video game or another form of media.
Another really cool thing he has done is release his raw material and let other musicians remix it into brand new songs in his Take it and Break it contests.
The latest contest (Round 3) has revolved around one of his most famous songs, Switchback. If you go to the contest site, you could listen to all 179 (as of today) remixes, but I’m going to make it easy on you. If have sampled (I think) all of them and have picked the top nine tracks. So, in the best listening order I could think of (updated Jan. 8, 2008 @ 3:35 p.m.):
- *NEW* 3F05Q – Morning Beats Remix [Revision] – This is a late comer that I found just recently. This is a great one to start with, mellow with big booming bass and a funky beat. The lyrics mix-down is excellent with funky half- and quarter-beats that end up meshing perfectly. From USA
- BloodSexDrive Opera House Riot Mix – This is a quiet starter that begins with whispered vocals and lovely piano that sounds like it is in a big opera house, very orchestral, then it follows with percussion and big electronic bass licks that remind you of the sound of the marching Transformer robots. Backed with electronic cello strings, it has that big and important feel. From USA
- Drop’s Wave Mix – Heavy guitars mixed with lots of wah-wah and a good dance-floor beat. Follow that with some double kick drums and an almost Damageplan guitar sound in the chorus, it’s good stuff. It purports to be metal, but I’d say more like modern rock nearing industrial. From Switzerland
- Fryon’s Jack in the Pulpit Mix – This has a dreamy, almost smooth calliope sound with big beats. It’s good to chill to; to relax to; to chillax to. From Spain
- In-Tranzit Tribal Fusion Remix – Banging metal sounds and strong techno synths, but not too fast (as in, not Dance-Dance-Revolution). Very Matrix-like, plus an interesting placement of lyrics, kinda half-timed. Also has a great bridge where the vocals are brought to the forefront with percussion and some synths. From Australia
- Kube – s-WitH BcKk [The Aftermatch] – Starts with the growling, almost whispered version of the lyrics, followed by a slow but heavy march and synth that builds. You can’t help but bang your head to this one. Good mix of the screaming lyrics near the end. From Poland
- Sintax – Switched Up Dubstep Mix – Okay, I had never heard of dubstep music until I heard this mix, but I like it. Slow, heavy in bass and drum. Way cool for a slowed down and mellow mood, very deep sounding with a dreamy vocal mix. From UK
- Subunit Solid State Mix – This one picks up the pace a bit, more industrial rock like the original, with a harder thump. Yes, the beat is like what you would hear in Night at the Roxbury but the riffs are harder. From USA
- Synthetic Killing Unit Zero Gravity Mix – (Where do they get these names?) Starts slow and soft with wistful lyrics, then jams it into gear with a great guitar riff and a great beat. The lyrics mix is original and quick with lots of syncopation. Definitely a dance-floor mix. From USA
- Zephs Remix – This one is great to end with because it is very similar to the original with a harder-edge and a great scream in the lyrics. It starts low, building and building until you get to the crashing chorus. I dare you not to bang your head to this one. Plus, I like Zephs comments on his own version: "This is the way i want to hear Switchback." From Sweden
So, those are my picks. What do you think?