Here's a remix of a song by new synth pop act Class Actress. I'm not sure if Class Actress is a band or just singer Elizabeth Harper controlling all the keyboards and mechanical oojamaflips on her own. A few years back Harper released an eponymous solo album filled with classic pop songs, unfortunately somewhat neglected by the music press at the time. Happily the songwriting here for Class Actress seems as strong as ever, although predictably I must admit I prefer the indie guitar-based approach on her earlier material to the current synth-orientated 80s retro sound. I hope she still likes indie bands, because for the duration of this remix she's in one.

The instrumentation came together very quickly, and I didn't fuss over the recording, arrangement, or mix. It's just straight-up indie rock. How indie rock? Well, I recorded fourteen tracks of guitars and didn't even bother to tune up - that's how indie rock! It's got fuzzy tremolo noises, varying amounts of overdrive and distortion, spring reverb, that kind of thing. The remix breaks no new ground, but if you liked my earlier mix of Metric's 'Front Row', consider filing this effort beside it on your hard drive.

Class Actress's debut album comes out next month, and you can purchase it from Amazon here. The Elizabeth Harper album is also available to buy here.

Class Actress - Weekend (James Merrifield remix)
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If there was any justice in the world, this remix would accompany the closing credits to the upcoming John Carter of Mars movie. I mean, its suitably anthemic and rocky, the lyrics are all about space, and the guy is even named Carter, for heaven's sake. Clearly it's what Edgar Rice Burroughs would have wanted.

Space has certainly been a fertile subject matter for pop songwriters over the decades. Some would have you believe that it's best represented by some noodling, ambient twaddle that goes on for hours. I guess if your ideal space movie is 2001 then perhaps that's true; but thankfully we now know that space is actually filled with X-Wing fighters and beautiful green women. I propose, therefore, that the sound of space is really a bunch of noisy, effects-laden guitars and synths in a melodic pop song played at a hundred miles per hour - and that's what I've done my best to deliver for you here.

As you may be aware, Nick Carter has a famous boy-band past, but we won't hold that against him. Instead, let us trust that this remix will lead him along the path to indie rock righteousness. Click on the link below to download the MP3. Oh, and for something to read whilst you're listening, may I suggest this...

I'm Taking Off (James Merrifield remix)
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Even though progressive house is not my genre, it's easy to see that Morgan Page is a guy at the top of his game. All the stuff I've heard from him is really well produced, crisp without being sterile, and he obviously has a far deeper appreciation of melody and structure than many of his peers. The guest vocalist on this track is singer-songwriter Lissie, whose own recordings are more in the acoustic rock and pop vein, but her voice clearly also lends itself to Page's material.

This indie-rock remix was entered into a contest last year, and I actually won a prize for it - a big DJ vinyl bag or something. Unfortunately the combined forces of Royal Mail and Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs contrived to see that I never received it, but it's the thought that counts.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the remix, which you can stream or download below. The original version of 'Fight For You' can be found on Morgan Page's Believe album. Seeing as 'Fight For You' was released as a single, there's also a video for it - although the woman singing along doesn't appear to be Lissie, which is perhaps a little strange. Lissie's debut album Catching a Tiger is also available to purchase here, currently at the very reasonable price of just under a fiver.

Fight For You (James Merrifield remix)
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My third Metric remix. This time it's 'Front Row', another song taken from their excellent Fantasies album. This remix is a shoe-gazy, reverb-soaked, melodic indie-rock song, with glockenspiel, triangle, slide guitar, and various shakers, all sprinkled over layers of echoey guitar fuzz and tight, methodical acoustic drums.

I slowed the original down a little, so despite all the noise it now feels quite laid back. Combined with Emily Haines's soft vocal harmonies, I think it captures quite well that hazy vibe of a summer's evening. Listen for yourself below.

Metric - Front Row (James Merrifield remix)
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This is a remix of a song by Swedish artist Helena Arlock. It's a spritely little indie-pop number, ideal for the forthcoming spring sunshine. I recorded this remix some time ago, and it was in fact the first musical thing I attempted during my recovery from surgery, which is part of the reason why there isn't much guitar on it. The other reason is that it sounded just fine the way it was; the dominant synth line and synth bass you hear on the track are both from the original song, and only the guitars, glockenspiel, strings, drums and percussion are mine.

Helena Arlock's 'Go Go Go' was released as a single back in August 2010, and you can purchase that from Amazon UK here. I haven't found any details of a follow-up album as yet, but an earlier six track EP called Old Dirty Hound is available, and at a mere £1.79 from 7digital it would be rude not to.

Go Go Go (James Merrifield remix)
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When I first started remixing the songs from Metric's Fantasies album, 'Gold Guns Girls' was one of those that I figured I probably wouldn't be able to do much with; the original was already the kind of indie-rock song that I might have wanted to produce, and the fast tempo didn't seem to lend itself to any other guitar-based genres. But as so often seems to happen, other songs from Fantasies that I thought would be easy flummoxed me, whereas this one, once I had settled on the idea of doing a Wild West tinged version, ended up almost arranging and recording itself.

There's quite a lot going on in this remix - tremolo guitars, acoustic guitars, distorted guitars, several types of shaker and tambourine, trumpets, strings, hammond organ, bass, drums... oh, and about thirty or more tracks of vocals! That's one thing I've learnt from having access to the Fantasies vocal parts: to not be afraid of layering multiple vocals on top of each other. Previously with my own songs I would, at most, double the vocal lead part, but many of Metric's songs have five vocal lead repetitions, and it really thickens and stabilizes Emily's recorded voice.

Anyway, that's enough technical banter. You'll find my remix below and on the Music page as usual. I hope you like it, and thanks for listening.

Gold Guns Girls (James Merrifield remix)
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If you've listened to my Metric-style remix of the Emily Haines/Crystal Method track 'Come Back Clean', you'll already know that Metric are one of my favourite bands. Several weeks ago Metric offered up all ten of the songs from their most recent album, Fantasies, for remixing, so I sweated blood to get as many as possible finished by the deadline. In the end I managed seven; the remaining three I'll no doubt complete in my own time, but for now I'm all Metric'd out.

So here is the first fruit of the last seven weeks labour: a remix of 'Twilight Galaxy'. This is one of the ones I'm most proud of. It's indie-pop with just a touch of Hawaiian surf about it (though unfortunately the waves that you hear at the beginning were recorded about a hundred metres to the right of the decidedly less glamorous Bournemouth Pier. Hope I haven't ruined the illusion). Overall I went for an organic vibe, programming some bongos and marimba - two firsts for me - and played a Roy Orbison-style twangy riff over some slide guitar. There's a kind of innocence about that sound which, although in direct contrast to Metric's wonderfully atmospheric synthesized original, actually complements the lyrical content quite well, I think. I hope you'll agree. You can download the track below or on the Music page as usual, so thanks for listening.

Since you're a music lover of discerning taste, you no doubt already own Metric's Fantasies album, but in case you've just landed from a twilight galaxy of your own, you can pick it up here

Twilight Galaxy (James Merrifield remix)
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I always mishear the first line to this song as "You grew wings on your hat". Clearly there's a dearth of songs about winged hats. I was going to accompany this post with an image of the Roman god Mercury with his winged helmet - but then I would have had to forego using that lovely picture of KT Tunstall.

This is another remix of the guitars-with-synths variety. The guitars pretty much played themselves, and I wanted the synths to sound like the basic, fairly clunky type that an indie band might use, as opposed to the slick, modern, professional sound you might get from an electronic artist who really knows their way around filters and LFOs (which is convenient, since not many would credit me with that).

The first ninety percent of this remix came together so quickly that I thought I might have it done in record time. The final polish, though, took way longer than I'd hoped. Did I nail it in the end? I'll leave you to decide...

KT Tunstall's original version of 'Fade Like A Shadow' can be found on her latest album Tiger Suit, which at the time of writing can be purchased for a very reasonable five quid here

Fade Like A Shadow (James Merrifield remix)
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Here is a remix of another Madeleine Bloom song, 'Zero Tolerance'. This one has recently been included on an album of remixes for sale on the Fixtremix website. Looking at their list of previous releases, Fixtremix's remit seems very focused on industrial metal and dark, heavy electronica - so naturally I chose to produce a light, summery, sixties-style pop track, and uploaded it along with a picture of a puppy.

If you happen to have a penchant for the darker electronic-type stuff, you can pick up the whole album for $9.99 at the Fixtremix store - but I'm giving you the MP3 of my track for free below.

To hear Madeleine Bloom's original version, check out her excellent debut album, Minutia.

Zero Tolerance (James Merrifield remix)
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Binary (Ash) remix 13th Oct 2010
Binary (Ash) remix

Like many of their fans, I first came across Ash when 'Girl From Mars' became a hit back in the heady days of mid-nineties britpop. The album which spawned it, 1977, was/is a great album, but if I'm honest I never imagined back then that that noisy teenage trio would have the staying power to still be releasing great records fifteen years on. But, happily, their writing is just as strong now as it ever was - witness songs like 'Arcadia', for example.

Me, I'd probably be happy if Ash just released ten variations on Girl From Mars every year, but through sheer familiarity it's understandable that they've recently tried to vary the style a little. Binary is one current track that incorporates a few electronic elements, swapping some of the guitars for synths. Lucky for me, then, that this was the song they offered up for remixing, since I was always going to want to swap those guitars straight back in!

So my version is a straight-ahead indie rock number. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it sounds a bit like Ash as they have always sounded in the past. Hope you enjoy it, and thanks for listening.

You'll find Ash's original version of Binary as track four on the newly released A-Z Vol. 2 which you can preview and purchase here.

Binary (James Merrifield remix)
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