Lips and Ribs' remix of the Mattress song "Survive" is just about a flatout masterpiece of the remix genre, pairing Rex Marshall's authoritative vocals with a swelling arrangement of classical strings to create a tune of epic proportions. Then, close to a minute and a half in, the music shifts into an entirely different place just like Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out." It's like two amazing songs in one!
Despite the jump, "Survive" continues to flow seamlessly. Self-described as a Mattress fanboy because of "his vocal delivery and his penchant for cutting drama," Lips and Ribs—aka Jay Winebrenner—fills us in on how this remix came into the world. As the North Portland resident puts it, he took Mattress' "outsider weirdness and sega-fied it with a Wagner intro."
Did you know where you wanted to go with the remix immediately or did it take a while or did you just dive in and follow where it took you or...?
Um, the whole orchestral thing—with the timpani's and pizzicato strings and what not—was totally premeditated. I've always pictured Rex's bitchin' voice being backed by some high classical drama, so I totally went there in the beginning of the remix. Then when it morphs into whatever you would consider that it morphs into, that was totally spontaneous.
How long did it take to complete the remix?
One day? Two days? This one came real easy.
Did you or Rex pick the track?
I think I told him which songs I wanted to do, or which vocals I think I could work with the best and somehow we came up with "Survive." I honestly don't remember if it was me or him.
Anything you're working on now? What's next on your musical plate?
I'm going through an obsession with midi-horns right now and trying to make them sound credible [which is] not realistic, because you cant. They sound ridiculous, but turning that ridiculousness into something that works is currently on my plate.
And an album. I have piles of songs. Some of them are awful though. so I'm just recording until there are a collections of songs that I think are good.
Lips and RibsSpace
Photo by Nilina Mason-Campbell