Once upon a time, I had time to delve into fan remixes. For a while I was a big fan of the DJ Masa mashups, especially the Girls’ Generation–Muse mix of “Run Up Run”. Nowadays, I don’t have time to find them. It’s something I wish I had the resources to devote to, but alas, a reviewer’s dilemma.
And then this came across my radar. James Turnbull, of The Grand Narrative, loves electronic dance music, to the point where he prefers the Areia mix of After School’s “Bang” over the original (which I disagree with). It wasn’t a surprise that he would tweet (@jamesturnbull) about Trance Blossom’s take on the 2NE1 track, “I Love You”, and long story short: I was surprised by my reaction.
I am not a fan of the original; it vacillates too much between house and trance, two styles I love, that fall flat in “I Love You”. Trance Blossom corrects this imbalance, veering straight into trance. TB puts on the classic trance loop, an intensely fuzzed drone that matches better to the girls’ mournful singing than the thump of the drum machine. The remix even hits harder on the drop, something necessary in dance tracks.
Trance Blossom did something here that k-pop producers might seek to learn from. By focusing “I Love You” in one direction, the song is more compelling and, dare I say, more emotional. Remixes aren’t meant to be better than the original; they’re meant to bring a different take, but Trance Blossom’s remix not only changes the original, but makes the track go from middling filler to a dance floor stand out.