It began as Phoenix Bay, a stripped-down groove with a lot of 'tude and li'l bit of funk. While I dug some of its qualities (including the name, inspired by Jean Grey's experience in Jamaica Bay), it didn't resonate with me. It felt too minimal.
Determined to not abandon the framework, I built upon the foundation of Phoenix Bay and added extra layers, amping up the funk and rechanneling the flow. And thus Remix the Phoenix was born.
The most obvious addition was a heavy coating of frantic percussion, making the song feel twice as fast as before. I also decided to rework the melody, something which was seriously lacking in the original. And that's where things got interesting.
See, I wasn't happy with all of my new melodic synth performances. In fact, I recorded several different versions because I was having a hard time picking a favorite. And that's when a mistake turned into inspiration.
Any musician who multi-tracks can relate to what happened next -- I left on both of my synth performances by mistake while replaying the reworked Phoenix Bay... and I liked what I heard. Two similar-yet-unique synths swirling back at me, challenging my brain to a game of "Can You Follow the Melody?"
INTERMISSION! Remix the Phoenix on SoundCloud:
Instead of trying to pick one single melodic line, I decided to use both. It was a trick I'd learned from listening to Pavement as a kid. Often, their guitarists would solo at the same time, creating an experimental and sometimes exciting sound.
After a lot more editing, I finally had something I liked. Phoenix Bay was saved! But in the process of my rescue, I'd created a different body of work. So I changed the title to indicate its remixed status. And that's how this song was born.
NEXT: How falling asleep on my keyboard led to some interestingly long results.
Psssst! Here's a secret.