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“Don’t Think” Remix Contest – And the WINNER is…

Strange Famous Records > SFR Blogs > Sage Blog > “Don’t Think” Remix Contest – And the WINNER is…

“Don’t Think” Remix Contest – And the WINNER is…

What kind of name is Joeypresents and who the hell is this character anyway? Well…whoever he is and wherever he’s from, Mr. Joeypresents is officially the WINNER of the “Don’t Think” remix contest. CONGRATS, Sir Joeypresents!

Choosing a winner was not easy for us. There were over 70 remix entries and many of them were strong contenders for the #1 spot. After much deliberation, No Bird Sing and Sage Francis decided that Joeypresents’ overall composition, mix and musicality earned him the blue ribbon. There are many honorable mentions to be sure, but a special shout out goes to Dilly Dilly as she was the only producer who made it into everyone’s “top 3” list. What ultimately kept Dilly away from the top slot may have been the sound/EQ of the mix, but what we most enjoy about it is the original vocals she added to the project. There were in fact a few people who probably could have probably won this contest with a better overall mix. We can’t be too nit-picky as we understand there was a relatively short amount of time for people to bang this remix out, but having a better EQ and overall mix should be kept in mind for future contests.

In addition to the official SFR winner, we had announced that the person who receives the most votes at would win the “popular vote” trophy. That honor goes to Moxe of Spain who not only put an electro/danceclub twist to the song but must have put on a hell of a campaign as he got more than double the votes of anyone else. Joeypresents didn’t receive a single public vote, which I find interesting to note. Haha. Funny how that works out. Alas, big ups to Moxe for being able to rally so many fans.

Lastly, we want to reiterate how agonizing this whole process. There’s a ton of talent out there, people from many different states and countries who deserve recognition for their work, so we’re going to leave these remixes up unless it is requested by the producer to take them down. Additionally, feel free to put the music up on your own youtube and soundcloud pages. Thank you all for helping us lose sleep this weekend.

Oh, wait, can’t forget why we decided to do this remix contest in the first place…
No Bird Sing’s “Definition Sickness” album drops on November 12th. Pre-sale deals are at

Congrats once again to Joeypresents, Dilly Dilly, and Moxe.
All 70 remixes along with my short critique on each are listed below.

Below are the names of the 70 remixers in chronological order. I’ve included my brief notes on each remix in italics. Each person deserves more attention I’m sure, but there’s only so much time in the day. If anyone feels they were slighted or overlooked, please forgive me. At the end of the day, taste is pretty much subjective. I expect other people to weigh in with their own opinions and maybe they’ll hear something that I didn’t.

*Adriatic – (electronic/ambient/glitchy. Doesn’t really do all that much musically but it’s a good chilled vibe throughout.)
*Aiden Butterworth Kenny – (Sparse overall, which isn’t a bad thing really. There’s no particular part of this remix that hits me in a special way, but I do like how it has a perverted monastery thing happening throughout.)
**Animus MaximusThis is the kind of remix that sounds like it was crafted bit-by-bit to the vocals. Almost to the point where if someone unaware of the original may think that this is the original song. I love the change-ups and attention to detail here. My only criticism, if I have to provide one, is that I’m not in love with the sound of the drums. But I don’t hate them either. This here is definitely a top 5 remix for me.
*AntiochTechnically sound but for some reason it feels to me that the music doesn’t really follow the flow of the words too well. Not sure how to explain it, but I think too many things were stuffed into the sonics. I do like the drums even though I typically lean more toward breakbeats.
*Auxiliary Phoenix (Ireland)Starts off interestingly enough, but ultimately leaves me wanting more stuff to happen.
*BeatfnThe synth line that repeats non-stop throughout the whole remix becomes a bit annoying to me. Strange how that never changes or drops out.
*Bearpuncher PrimeClever mashup. He said: “I wanted to keep the mashup a strictly SFR/Minneapolis affair, so I used the instrumental for Cecil Otter’s Rebel Yellow…”
*Bec Ars (Romania)I’m not sure if it’s the drum pattern or the overall busy nature of the music, but it feels like too much is happening throughout this whole remix. That said, I really love the horns and I like how special attention was paid to change-ups throughout the song. It just never seems to settle in comfortably.
*Big BalouAnother remix where the main music loop goes non-stop throughout the song. Starts off really strong though.
*B SendioSome cool tricky stuff happening with the vocals and music but that only happens in the beginning. The stock synth sounds and the drums sounds leave more to be desired.
*Chris SalterAcoustic guitar remix. I’m quite partial to this type of music, and I love the approach, however this music seems to falter a bit during the chorus. I think it’s good there are no drums on this remix as I think it helps the vocals open up and breathe…that’s refreshing. However, the chorus is the only part of this song where the vocals take on a melody of sorts, and the guitar line in this remix seems to be clashing with our melody. If you can call it that.
*Classy BadgerThe mood feels right. The lack of variety in sound or change-ups in drums unfortunately weighs heavy on this remix by the end.
**Cool Poindexter (Australia)I love all the ways that this remix hits. So many interesting elements here. My one and only criticism is that the synth in the chorus might be too overpowering. It might be just right though. This is a top 5 remix for me no doubt.
*CubbiebearCubbiebear comes hard with this remix, per usual. Pulsating music stabs and punchy drums. I was hoping for something crazy to happen during the chorus, but that may have been an unfair expectation. I think the way the music drops out through much of the second verse works well. Can’t help but feel like more could have been done, but overall the punchiness of this remix secures it as a top 10 for me.
*DahbuThis drumstep remix is definitely one of the most unique entries we received. It’s so repetitive that it went from being annoying to enjoyable for me. I don’t even mind that the only vocals he used are from Joe’s first verse. I kind of like that actually.
*Dan Guinski (Brazil)I’m really into this remix. It works in a lot of ways. The snare drum reminds me a bit too much of “Ace of Bass” but this remix was clearly crafted to the vocals where as a lot of the other remixes pay much less attention to the nuances of the vocals & song structure.
*David DuBoisThere are some interesting things happening with the synth line, but the vocals are buried through most of this remix which I think hurts the remix overall.
**Dilly DillyThis was the first remix that got me truly excited. I like the new feel and how she sang the chorus. A most unique entry and a personal favorite.
**DJ High-r “Cosmin Andrei Remix” – Has a smooth, laid back feel. The music switches up during the second verse but not the drums. The 4 bar loops throughout the song become a bit too repetitive, but still a nice feel overall.
*DJ Iron GutGrimy synth with good movement. Definite head-nod factor happening here. Cool acapella fuckery and vocal samples.
*DJ SpellsThe synths border on cheesy, but I have a sinister soft spot for this type of sound. Everything has been sped up for this remix which is fine, but I do wish that vocals didn’t have that “sped-up” sound to them. I find it’s best to tweak the vocals in a way where they sound normal even if they’re faster in tempo. The major downfall of this remix is how the vocals fall offbeat a bit during the second verse. Love the scratches at the end.
*Doc GodfreyFeels a bit too plain overall, but that might be due to how sparse the drum track is. I enjoy the tricks that are happening with the vocals and music.
*Dynamo414 remix (Sweden)Good change ups in the music and overall enjoyable, but the drums feel a bit stiff as they never change in pattern. I think some drum variations could have elevated this remix quite a bit.
*EcidThis is another synth-heavy remix which seems to be popular with this remix contest more than others we’ve done in the past. However, I think the true strength of this remix is in the sound of the percussion and the pattern that is used.
*El Sistema 407 (Chile)I really like the upbeat feel that this remix gives off. The music drowns out the vocals a bit too much in certain sections, but overall this is a definitely an interesting feel-good version of “Don’t Think.”
*Evolution M.S. (Brussels)This remix kind of has a weird 80’s r&b pop twist to it. Not hatin’.
*Goldensrap (Turkey)I can’t tell if the sped-up vocal sample that repeats throughout this remix is its greatest strength or weakness. Ultimately I’ve decided that it just feels like not enough is happening in this remix to consider it as a top contender, but I enjoy it the way I enjoy scratching an itch until I pull my skin off.
*Grandfather’s AxeThis is a definite head nodder. Love the sound of the drums on this remix although they I think they should have a louder presence in the mix. In fact, the overall mix of levels might be my only criticism of this remix.
*Jae HavocI really like the music used on this remix but I think it’s too loud overall. Just by a smidgen though. The drum pattern is interesting and works well with the vocals.
**Jesse BlankenshipFunk style and walks with a badass limp. Top contender.
*JoeypresentsThis music reminds me of when I attended dance clubs in the early 90’s. Not sure why. I envision big goofy hats and farmer jeans with one strap down. It’s a good memory despite how that description may come across.
*KnooperThis remix starts off so strong that I was feeling like it might be the winner hands-down. The upbeat drum pattrn, the punchiness, the underlaying music, the way it transitioned into the first chorus…all amazing. I found it a bit strange how Joe’s verse was a cut a bit short but I figured those vocals would appear toward the end of the remix or something. They didn’t. In fact, my verse was repeated a second time at the ending. I think that section could have benefited from switching from Joe’s lines to my lines if there was a desire to extend the track. My opinion anyway. My excitement faded a bit, but not entirely, when the oscillating bass appeared in the second verse. At that point it leaned more toward a dubstep/drumstep sound when I was originally hoping it would branch off into some more badass rock sounds. I still dig it. Different strokes and all. Certainly one of the best sounding remixes we received.
*K-Zom (France)This remix is pretty mean overall. The drums snap and the low-end synth along with the high end melody hits just right.
*Lars Rosenblad (Sweden)There’s not enough melody or depth to the music for this remix to hold my attention for very long.
*LeaeAll the sounds in this remix are “original” according to Laea, so that’s cool. Interesting glitch tricks and after-effects happening with the vocals. There seems to be some compression issues happening with the vocals during the “snap” sounds, which is the only percussive element of the verses and they appear through most of the song.
*Liam BrennanMinimalistic with an interesting drum pattern to boot. I like it in all its simplicity. It works in this instance.
*magOwlHe submitted two remixes and, although both of them were really good, this is the one I think would catch most people’s ears. The sample captures the perfect mood and I especially love how the sample used in the chorus works perfectly with the vocals.
*Mainframe Bird “Glitch Hop Remix” – Sped up and glitchy. Not my taste per se, but it’s interesting for me to imagine a song like this being played in a club.
*ManicDark synthful bliss from some 80’s horror/fantasy flick. Love this style.
*Matthew John JamiesonThis has a nice melancholy feel to it. The pattern of the percussion is interesting but doesn’t always seem to mesh well with the vocal rhythms. Really nice remix overall.
**Mild MaynyrdI wasn’t sure if I’d like this remix by the way it started, but then it quickly grew on me and as the music developed it completely drew me in. Very unique feel.
*MissunDistorted guitars and, what sounds like, live drumming. If live instruments are involved in this remix then it’s a bit of a letdown that there aren’t more change-ups throughout. A chord change here and there could definitely give this remix the dynamics it needs. Nice piano breakdown at the end.
*Moxe (Spain)Electronic club mix. Not really sure what genre this is but I think it works pretty well. Doesn’t seem to be crafted to the vocals though.
**Mr Bomb CampThis one hits. It goes many places. My only criticism really is that I wish the strings were actual strings instead of synth strings. Why didn’t he hire an orchestra for our remix contest?
*Oscar Motus (France)Feels a bit too stale for me overall, it does have its interesting moments though. Just wish it had some more sonic spice.
*Pers OneThe main music loop may be too repetitive but I find it to be really hypnotic. Other edits within the remix are a bit iffy in execution and the drums are flat, but I do enjoy this remix overall.
*Peter HallThis remix is technically sound. But hearing a remix like this after listening to so many others, I fear it doesn’t do enough to hold my attention.
*RSTThere is a serious compression issue happening with this final mixdown which is unfortunate since the music and beat sound like they work really well with the vocals. You’ll notice that the overall volume dips up and down rapidly throughout the song and that’s definitely distracting. It’s too bad more attention wasn’t paid to that aspect of this remix before it was exported because it definitely has promise.
*Rudius MaxThe way this remix kicks off reminded me that I was hoping to hear more people do interesting tricks with the vocals and, specifically, the chorus. So this started off with a lot of promise for me but then it didn’t really keep my attention in the same way as the remix continued. It seems to be stuck in the same note that is presented right after the intro.
*Sai-Copie (France)I love the old school flavor of this remix. The use of 808 drums and the repetition of the “Don’t Think” vocals throughout this remix makes it unique enough to set it apart from the rest in a good way.
*SaltforAmy vs. MikeNastyA good remix overall, but it doesn’t hit me in any special way. I like the way the drums hit, but by the end of the song they sound a bit grating due to a lack of change-ups. It’s tough to tell on just a couple listens, but I think the drums might overpower whatever mood the music is bringing to the plate.
*Sam HertogsThis remix isn’t going to change the world, or this remix contest even, but this style of beat kind of borders on a trap sound and it’s the first time I’ve heard myself over that kind of beat in a way where I was like, “Hmmm…I can see that. I get it.” So props for that.
*Scott ChambersI like it. Reminds me of a drunken purple elephant.
*Serg GonzalezI like the composition of this remix. It sounds like it was all played live. I also love how he played around with the vocals a bit throughout the course of the song. My main criticism has to do with the sound of the drums as I think they sound too flat. This might be a result of them being live drums but I don’t know for sure. My minor criticism is that the vocals sound like they were placed a tiny sliver ahead of where they’re supposed to be.
**Skobie WonI love the feel and the change ups. Lots of attention paid and considerable work went into this remix.
*Soundsmith the ProgrammerThe vocals are drowned out a bit by the music which is unfortunate because if all levels were evened out this would definitely be one of the top remixes for me.
*Stray SideThe drums are my favorite part of this remix, and the music works well too. But the lack of dynamics in the music is where this remix might ultimately fall short. I like the feel the music really works though.
*SupabuldozerReally good movement happening in the music in a way where it works well with the vocals. I love piano though so I might biased. I like the way the music changes at the end.
*The BackroomI like the sample used and the various sounds within it. I think my biggest criticism of this remix might be the lack of change-ups throughout the song, especially during the chorus. The 8 bar loop is definitely cool, but I think it needs a companion loop to help switch up the feel from time to time.
*ThinNXxDark synth stylee. I’m easy to please when it comes to this sound.
*Tiger LightningThis is a sped up version of the song. Glad that the vocals don’t have the sped up sound to them, but it still feels rushed overall. Not sure this is the best sound for the song, but it is technically sound. Everything fits into place the way it should.
*Trey CleggHorrorcore style. Simple but effective. Some cool vocal effects and I like how the music switches in the chorus.
*Tommy CrypticElectronic drums and synths hitting just right here. I like where the drums drop out and switch up, but the music seems to lack in dynamic. I enjoy this remix a lot though despite that.
*The_Applefish (France)My main gripe with this remix is that the vocals were placed a tiny bit ahead of where they should be, so every so often they sound offbeat.
*TymonsBassThis remix borrows a lot from the original song, but you’ll quickly notice the unique qualities of what Tommy has to offer as the song goes on. It has a lot to do with glitches, vocal effects and electronica trickery. An interesting listen.
*Vinyl RichieClearly a lot of work went into crafting this remix, but I think the use of stock sounds might give it too much of a cheesy feel.
*VoluTI believe this is the first “Don’t Think” remix I’ve heard with some swing to it. It’s unique in a few ways actually. For some reason the music isn’t totally drawing me in, and that might be because it never hits a solid groove, but I certainly appreciate the overall execution.
*White Guilt (UK)Mr. White Guilt takes this into “Teenage Love” territory and it’s got me swooning. “Don’t, don’t, don’t hurt me again.”
*Wiwa (UK)I asked him to raise the vocals in the first version he sent and they still seem to get buried during parts of the verse. It also seems like the vocals fall off beat from time to time, but it’s a pretty cool sounding remix overall.
*Yoo SephSounds like live music which is cool, but I’m not sure it hits me in any special way. It’s another remix that might mainly be suffering from the stock sounding synths.

Strange Famous Records and No Bird Sing retain all rights to the “Don’t Think” acapella. If you remix this song, you can offer it to your fans as a stream or download (though we’d prefer if you waited until the contest is over,) but you are not allowed to monetize or sell the remix.

Sep 22

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