Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we’re tackling a rather unique record. The single is ‘Make Me Free,’ from the duo Worldwide Groove Corporation. The two have been described as ‘Nashville’s electronic wonder twins.’ They just finished up their ‘Year of the Groove,’ an endeavor which involved a new release every month for a year. For this new release, they’ve put out five different interpretations of ‘Make Me Free.’ Four of the five remixes are by Worldwide Groove Corporation. Let’s check them out.
‘Make Me Free’ is a pop song at heart. The vocal performance is quite good, which is positive, because it’s the only common thread between the five remixes. The ‘Water Lily Chillout’ mix is an atmospheric dance number, accenting the lead vocals with electronic production and cinematic orchestration. It’s a fantastic way to introduce the song. Then, you get hit the ‘Black Orchid Deep House’ mix.
The ‘Black Orchid’ instrumentation feels more experimental, even adding a few other instruments into the soundscape. It still has that overproduced electronica style, though it’s a bit more sparse and tactful than ‘Water Lily.’ I’d actually argue it’s a better version of the song. I love how different the mix is. If you’re going to put out five versions of the same song, you better make sure they’re going to remain consistently interesting. Worldwide Groove Corporation succeeds on this front.
The ‘Portarius Melodic Dubstep’ mix is the oddball, the piece that wasn’t remixed by Worldwide Groove Corporation. It stays true to name: it’s a melodic dubstep mix. It feels a tad aimless, just building on themes that ‘Water Lily’ and ‘Black Orchid’ fleshed out a bit better. As you’d expect, though, this version includes massive drops and builds. In terms of translating the song into a dubstep context, the remix works. Other than that, it feels less interesting than the Groove Corporation’s attempts.
Returning back to artist interpretations, the ‘Hot Azalea Electro’ mix attempts to infuse an even greater presence of electronic influence. To be honest, this piece feels unnecessary. It sounds like a combination of the three previous mixes. With that said, some of the electronic nuances are interesting enough.
Finally, the release closes out with the ‘Sweet Jasmine Acoustic’ mix. By far, this is the best version of the song. It’s poignant, haunting, and makes the lead vocals jump out of the mix more than any of the other attempts. All of the sudden, a track that felt a tad emotionless turns into something deep and meaningful. If anything, it really shows how a new coat of paint can flip a song around entirely. Plus, that string section? Perfection.
‘Make Me Free’ is a nice track, one that is best suited by the final acoustic mix. The other, more intense mixes are pretty good, but there’s something magical about that final attempt that feels different and more powerful. Check out the recordings below on Band Camp, but if I were you, I’d work backward and start with that acoustic one.
Check it out: https://wwgroovecorp.bandcamp.com/album/make-me-free
Their Website: http://www.worldwidegroovecorp.com/