The Bon Iver remix contest has 1,617 entries: Our picks

Justin Vernon's Indaba profile pic.
Justin Vernon's Indaba profile pic.

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Bon Iver announces remix contest

Early this month, Grammy winners Bon Iver decided to harvest the stems to the ten songs on the Bon Iver, Bon Iver and present them to the remixing public for a contest. The creators of the best remix of each song will each bank $1,000 for their efforts and the honor of being featured on Spotify-released compilation. (Although ?uestlove expressed interest in adding his punch to "Perth," this has not yet materialized.)

Now the staggering collection of results is up for voting until September 13, and Gimme Noise wondered if listeners -- even among the most devoted Iver-ites -- will sift through all 1,617 songs to pick the true champs. We headed to the Indaba Music site and began some research, but admittedly haven't listened to every one just yet. If you enjoy Owl City, Chromeo, Laurie Anderson, chillwave, late-'90s drum & bass, and new age, this is a data set for you.

Entries: 245
Current Leader: The most popular song to remix of the bunch has the Polish Ambassador remix ahead at the moment. It completely removes the original's marching drums, and stays in a slow, ponderous haze of bleepiness -- and we're going to subtract points to any entry that runs significantly longer than the original song.
We Prefer: Brad Hale from local pop-punk outfit Now, Now has lent his hand to this competition under his solo project's name Sombear. Imagine the Notwist with Justin Vernon guesting. This also strips most of the original track away, save Vernon's vocals and closes with a buzzy guitar riff.

"Minnesota, WI"
Entries: 201
Current Leader: Edwin Organ combines a lot of ADD ideas here. None of them stick.
We Prefer: Another Minnesota act, We Are the Willows, gets into the game here. Nice string arrangements. Flair points to Mista Marcel for attempting a strange Moombahton remix and getting this song club-ready.

Entries: 240
Current Leader: No mellow acoustics in Skyler Young's remix. Handclaps, distorted kids voices, and forboding organ. Wintry, but not magnificent. Some songs aren't the easiest to be remixed effectively, and this seems to be one of them.
We Prefer: Benny Don't Stop's remix sorta has a little Chariots of Fire flair at the get-go.

Entries: 120
Current Leader: Ricardo Gutierrez's "i am genko rework" is another example of too many ideas, but aside from a little Chipmunk-y wizardry, not one we'll be humming later today. Starting to crave the original versions of these songs.
We Prefer: Yes, this was wub-wubbed into something entirely and gleefully irresponsible by Mawen.  

Entries: 102
Current Leader: Civil Dusk's remix is 11:16 long. Nice use of the bicycle bells, but not really worth the four-minute wait. High on ambiance, low on actual content.
We Prefer: Michicant Lionheart remix was one of the only things that we had any patience for. This song has a low entry count for a reason.  

"Hinnom, TX"
Entries: 114
Current Leader: Justin Vernon -- yes, he's weighing in too -- liked Ed Tullett's very minimalist remix enough to leave the comment at 1:02, "have travis barker start playing drums here!! just kidding. this is awesome dude."
We Prefer: The organ-soaked soul take by @ssic@. This is one of the best things of the competition, honestly. 

Entries: 168
Current Leader: Australian Olivia Gavranich (St. South) has a great take, which is basically a cover with a little piano and some Vernon-induced ambiance. Easy to leave this one on.
We Prefer: Gavranich. And looking at St South's Bandcamp now. Don't sleep on our local film impresario's Dan Huiting's remix with Adam Rucinski, though.

Entries: 170
Current Leader: This Geography's Slow Action Remix is largely an exercise in toggling the beat. Kind of annoying.
We Prefer: This Cillo remix was another one that got Vernon's attention. After hearing a lot of songs trying to hard, it's refreshing to hear something embracing a few simple keyboard tricks. A lot of great songs were made this way.

"Lisbon, OH"
Entries: 96
Current Leader: Lowest remix count of the whole competition -- the original interlude on the album's only 1:33 long. MetaTron mirrors the original and adds some slow mechanical beats.  
We Prefer: The mSelv and Richard Walker collaboration turns this into a spoken word piece. Weren't expecting that, were you? Also, local hip-hop extraordinaire give this some life as one of the six remixes he created. Check 'em here

Entries: 161
Current Leader: Ambient Mix by vøn Güerard is what would happen if Kenny G made his Bitches Brew. Kind of horribly amazing.
We Prefer: This one. Can't help it. 

In any case, it's fun to see how supportive this community is for itself. Many of the comments dotting each of the entries come directly from other remixers, and surely this was an attempt to get a lot more Indaba regulars taking part in the Soundcloud-y community. Keep us posted on your favorites as they emerge.

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