Jagwar Ma- Uncertainty (MissingNo Remix)

So, I’ve been listening to MissingNo’s remix of Jagwar Ma’s “Uncertainty” for a few weeks now. Now as some of you may know, MissingNo is a reference to a glitch in the first generation of Pokemon games, where you could find a “nonexistent” Pokemon called MissingNo. So here I am writing this review for you, and my CasaSwoop colleague, Nicolas Zuleta, decides to unearth his old Gameboy and begin playing Pokemon. That’s dedication. This original/remix duo sort of reminds me of Kulkid’s remix of Bon Iver’s “Flume” that was posted here a few months ago. The original by Aussie ambient electro group Jagwar Ma is a laid-back track that feels reminiscent of The Beatles at their most trippy (I mean look at the music video). Jagwar Ma are on Future Classic Records, along with Flume, What So Not, and Panama, so you know that they are at the front of the Australian electro scene. This track meanders between a stoic driving beat with a click track, rhythm guitar, and standard bass line and a more fluid multi-harmony vocal line and drawn out synth chords in the upper register. This contrast allows the song to really build to the climax at around the 2:30 mark. At this point, all of these crossing vocal lines lay on top of the rigid bass/drum structure and flow over it creating a track with some real depth. Suddenly, just as quickly as the track hits the high point, it completely deconstructs into reverb, feedback, and guitar, which leaves you sort of confused. They just give you a glimpse of the “final product” and then snatch it away (fucking tease). MissingNo, a.k.a. Anthony Guardino out of San Jose, takes this track and completely flips it on its head. First, he chooses to sample just a few parts of the vocal (like my favorite line “How can you look so gloomy, when you’re gloomy how come you look so good to me?”) and modulates them up to a higher register, giving the vocal an even more “tripped out” feel to it. The synth and bass lines are on completely different sides of the scale, with the synth staying bright and poppy in the upper register, while the bass sits very low with a lot of reverb. That contrast is taken from the original, but is more of an instrumental contrast than Jagwar Ma’s rhythmic and textural contrast. The biggest and most noticeable difference is how “trappy” this track is, the drum line consists of a lot of 16th and 32nd hits in the cymbals and a ton of trappy snare hits that are much more complex than your standard 4/4 beat. Couple that drum line with the bass and you have yourself a trappy electro track that honestly is completely different from the original. But isn’t that truly the mark of a good remix? Please listen to both tracks below and comment with your thoughts!

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