Pional on remixing

London Editor / November 17, 2014

Spanish bass producer Pional was in London for a short stay, so we caught up with him right off the flight from Madrid to get his take on reworking Keep On Lying for the Jessie Ware Remixed project...

How's it going? 
I'm all good - I'm a little bit tired, I don't feel 100% with this weather change. Three days ago in Madrid it was summer, like 30 degrees and sunny and now it's raining and cold. 

So tell us about the Jessie remix you did - what was the thinking behind it?
When I heard the original for the first time I thought it was going to be a tricky thing because it's such a simple song, but I found how the vocals sounded very interesting. So I thought I could make my own version, my own point of view of how I see the song - rather than doing a classic 4/4, easy dance remix. 

It's got a really ominous bass line from the outset... very growly.
Yeah! I like it because I was trying a lot of melodies but to have just one bass note, not like a chord thing. I found this melody and it's a little bit dark but I like it. I also think it's a good contrast to the end which is more happy. The end has a crescendo with strings but he beginning is quite dark and then it gets happy. I don't like happy songs, I really don't. I like melancholy things in minor keys.

When you get a project like this, did you start with a blank piece of paper or did you use ideas that have been in your head for a while?
Blank piece of paper. I love to work like that, I honestly don't even really want to listen to the original song a lot. With Keep On Lying the original is very simple - it has a lot of vocals but not a lot of changes and melodies, guitars, bass and drums etc - it's pretty lineal. When I'm remixing songs I only want to listen to the original song to see if I like it. If I do then I won't listen to it again because I want to do my own thing. In the case of pop music I just want to take the vocals and leave everything else behind. 

You knew Jessie previously to this project though, when did you guys meet?
We have a lot of friends in common but I only actually met her for the first time a year ago at the Young Turks party in Mexico. We both play a lot with John Talabot and we're often at the same festivals but we hadn't had the chance to actually say hi! I really know of Jessie because of Devotion, I think that's an amazing album. I come from Spain and her music is completely different from what we have there. I think the first thing I heard of her was the collaboration she did with Sampha.

Do you find it easier if you know the person you're remixing?
If the song is good then I don't care if it's a friend or not. It's easier to work with a friend as you can speak to them directly rather than emailing their manager or their label or whatever. If I don't know them and I have some questions then sending an email to my manager to send to their manager can mean it takes like a week to get any feedback. If it's a friend it's easy. 

Did you enjoy hearing what other remixes were like?
Yeah! I love Nina's! All Nina's music is amazing. I love techno music and Nina is one of my favourite artists. It's a very Nina sound - it's hypnotic. It's a cool group of people to be associated with and all the remixes are amazing. My manager asked me if I wanted to be part of this project and I was like, "of course!" Then I heard who all the other remixers were and I was wondered, "wow! Why did they choose me?" The others are established artists so I'm really happy to be part of it - two years ago I would not have expected to be part of something like this, with this group of people!

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