“When I remix a song, I like to totally reinvent it,” says Matt Medved (formerly known as Sicarii). Mission accomplished: His remix of SomeKindaWonderful‘s single “Reverse,” exclusively premiering on Billboard.com, shows the artist’s ability to take an alternative radio hit and make it into something wildly different. Listen below:
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SomeKindaWonderful released their self-titled debut album earlier this year; the single “Reverse” spent 20 weeks on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, peaking at No. 18. The original version of the song starts with a classic Ronettes beat and an attention-grabbing line: “she hung the phone up and said ‘fuck you it’s over.'” The conceit of the track is expressed in its title: “Reverse” tells a story from end to beginning. It’s swoony power-rock, full of guitars and strings.
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But one line in “Reverse” hints that it’s ready for a dance-floor update: “if I could do it again, I would do it again” is the kind of euphoric, care-free statement that has been central to club music for decades.
Medved tells Billboard, “I approached this remix like a surgeon. After slicing up the vocals, I recombined the snippets in new passages that meshed together before building a muscular bass groove beneath.” He stretches the song out past 7 minutes and shifts the emphasis at its core, chopping and warping Towers’ voice into a high, unintelligible moan that runs throughout the track. The beat is sturdy and driving, but the vocal sample adds pleasant ambiguity — does it signify pain or joy?
The song maintains a tight focus despite coming together in a number of studios: “It finds its origins in a Kreuzberg studio where I was experimenting with solely using digital recreations of classic analog synthesizers,” Medved says. “After getting the stems in Los Angeles and starting the remix in Seattle, I did most of the work in my hometown of Rochester before fittingly finishing it in Brooklyn. This song is a bit of a nomad like me.”
The “Reverse” remix collection will be available for streaming on Spotify Tuesday, December 16th. In addition to Medved’s version, Passion Pit and others will also re-work the track.