Remixes fail to strike a chord

It seemed the perfect recipe for success. But even a sensuous Kareena Kapoor, a sultry Sunidhi Chauhan and the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio could not recreate the magic of Yeh mera dil pyar ka deewana.

Nor, for that matter did Khaike paan Banaraswala. Popular yes, but chartbusters? No.

Remixes, though a staple in film albums, seem to be falling out of favour. And the reasons are not hard to find. The flood that started with Kaliyon ka chaman, gathering pace with Kaanta laga, Roop tera mastana, Kabhi aar kabhi paar and Bin tere sanam, has now turned into a trickle.

As Bhushan Kumar of T-Series says: “There was a huge market for remixes in early 2000, with Kanta Laga, Chadti Jawani and other hits. Three years ago, my company would release at least two remix albums every week, not anymore. Now we make remix albums once or twice a month.”

Remix was still a rage when Farhan Akhtar and Riteish Sidhwani first decided to remake Don. But the tide had turned by the time the film hit the marquee. “The biggest hit of the album is the title song, Main hoon Don, which isn’t a remix of the original, but is an altogether new song,” says Kumar, adding, “it was just the presence of Shah Rukh Khan that carried off the remixes, though not as much as we expected.”

Perhaps slackening enthusiasm for the done-to-death genre prompted Ram Gopal Varma to ask Ganesh Hegde to create a new song altogether, instead of remixing Mehbooba Mehbooba. “One has heard umpteen versions of Mehbooba. Who would have been interested in one more?” reasons Hegde.

Another case in point is HMV Sarega- ma, which brought out atleast four to five remix albums till last year, but released only one — Return of Crazy Cat — this year. “Listeners had enough of similar sounding remix albums, so we decided to cut down on production,” says Kanwaldeep Kohli, marketing manager of HMV Sarega ma.

Hindi film music got groovy with R.D. Burman, followed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Kalyanji-Anandji, who ushered in the era of electronic rock, providing Bollywood a whole new sound, which proved extremely popular when used to give old songs a new flavour.

But as a recent spate of run-of-the-mill remixes have proved, a few added tunes do not a hit make. As DJ Akbar Sami points out, even remixing calls for originality.

“Making a remix is an art which can never die as long as music is alive,” he says, adding, “Remix is like fuel in a car and it should be treated like that. But people here don’t know what it means. Just incorporating stuff in the original is no remix.”

London’s DJ Saahil says the problem with remixes is that composers are using the same songs, instead of looking for new ones. “One must look for unexplored songs rather than remixing the same set again and again.”