Caught in the Net: Test your classical remix skills

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The Independent Culture

We've seen lots of rock bands offer up the "stems" of their music as online downloads to allow all-comers to remix; now classical music – of the distinctly modern, minimalist kind – is getting involved.

Steve Reich's latest recording featuring "Double Sextet" and "2x5" has been out since September. Earlier this month a competition launched to remix the latter piece. Here, it's been broken down into eight stems – two drum elements, two bass, two guitar, two piano – to be remixed in any way entrants choose. The winner gets $500 and assorted other prizes. Reich (below) himself is among the judges. The competition, which closes on 9 November, is being run by the music social network site, Indaba Music. Find more details and hear some of the entries at

The beauty of 'unplugged' pop

It's become hackneyed for indie artists to do semi-straightfaced covers of pop songs, but some are worth noting: at an album launch gig in London a few months back, Steve Mason, formerly of The Beta Band, performed a lovely, melancholy take on Madonna's 1984 hit "Borderline" backed with a single acoustic guitar. The song and several others from the gig were filmed and the results have been put online. "Boys Outside", the title track from Mason's latest LP, is another standout from the show. Watch it all at, where two of the tracks are free downloads.

Matchmaking through music

If you read or watched High Fidelity and agreed with the protagonist's contention that it's what you like, not what you are like that matters in choosing a partner, and you are single, then a new dating site that piggybacks on, might be the ticket. Just as uses algorithims to find music that suits your taste based on previous listening patterns, so uses them from your account to find a date with someone with a similar taste in music. You might not agree with Nick Hornby and John Cusack but at least you'll have something to talk about at the start of the evening. Or argue about, if you're both music snobs.

Download free Beatz on Mondays

Just as Kanye West has been giving away new music in his "G.O.O.D Fridays" series ( now Swizz Beatz, the hip hop producer and regular West collaborator, is getting in on the act too. This week he started Monster Mondays on basquiat, which follows Kanye's lead in giving away a free weekly track – just on Monday rather than Friday, as the name suggests. The first offering is a spare and sparse effort with vocals from Estelle called "DJ Play the Beat".