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Standout Track: No. 4, “Now (ShockD),” which isn’t so much a simple dance-floor remix of a song by D.C. post-rockers Buildings as it is a total sonic overhaul. “Buildings are a lovely, noisy mess-terpiece,” says James Magnum, the man behind the laptop. “I figured the people who don’t like a wall of sound would like a psychedelic-disco remix of that wall of sound.” His DC Re:MIXtape project warps examples of the city’s best indie rock into entirely different beasts. “It’s like a musical porno, with me fucking their music,” Magnum says.
Musical Motivation: Magnum made Re:MIXtape—available digitally, on CD-R, and on cassette—because, he says, “Nobody else was repping the proverbial hood—and I like the idea of a mix tape of remixes on cassette tape.” The selections come from his friends and other favorite D.C. bands—artists of various stripes that have inspired Shock Diamond’s own twisted disco. “It’s a product of everything else,” Magnum says. “My music is constantly in flux depending on what inspires me.”
Shock Therapy: With Magnum’s revisions, the Buildings song becomes a bizarre but club-friendly track that wouldn’t sound out of place at U Street Music Hall. With its tripped-out beats, it’s not entirely unlike the work released by D.C.’s Future Times label. “It’s a mirror into my electronic-music obsession,” Magnum says. “I just used their music as if it were another instrument. It’s a recording of me playing with my favorite toys.”