Wilde Life Exclusive: Ian Finch

Ian Finch made the “Ian Finch Elektrika edit” of Perfect Girl. It was finalised in the second week of October and then sent to Kim and her manager, Nick Boyles, for approval. In an exclusive interview for Wilde Life, Ian explains how the remix came about.

Ian Finch is one half of the ‘Groovenut’ team, who made a remix called ‘Love you more’ in 2005. The remix was released to clubs and it got some favourable response. When asking permission to use the samples of ‘You came’ for a prospective commercial release, this approval was withheld, because Kim Wilde was already working on ‘Never say never’ – and ‘You came’ could be a single candidate at that point. Luckily, Groovenut did end up making a remix of ‘You came’ in the summer of 2006, using the new vocal track – and the remix was featured on the cd-single for ‘You came 2006’.

A few months later, Ian Finch and Phill Deacon each made a remix of ‘Perfect girl’, the second single off Kim’s current album ‘Never say never’. Phill made the laidback ‘Perfect Chill’ remix, while Ian went the other way with his ‘Elektrika edit’.

So what was the idea behind the Elektrika edit?
My intention was to move away from the ‘Love you more’ style of commercial remix to show how versatile I thought Kim’s vocals could be. The way that my remix sounds is an accurate reflection of the style of dance music that is fast becoming popular in the UK. I went down that route to see if I could get a crossover track that could make it into the heart of clubland.

What happens when you’re asked to do a remix? Did you get all the tracks of the recording, or just the vocal track?
I received Kim’s accapella and the commission for the remix about 2 weeks before I had to deliver it, but in realistic terms I only had one week to do the mix and submit it due to other work commitments. When I obtain the vocals for any remix I listen to the original record many times and listen to what artist is saying in the record and how they sing it. You then get a feel of what they are trying to get across to the listener. I then listen to the accapella and as soon as I hear the same words being sung the remix starts being constructed in my head. I hear the sounds being used, the tempo and things I can do to turn it around, but still endevour to obtain the feeling in what the vocalist is saying, and how they are singing it. The idea of any remix is to put a different spin on a record, ‘Flip the script’ as I put it. It’s easy to use the same melodies and use all the same vocals as the original, that’s why so many people do it (as i did with Love you more!). The difficulty and the clever part arises when you create the remix around the vocals only not using anything from the original.

How did you get from the original version of the song to this mix?
What I attempted to capture in my remix was the power of the chorus and verses, such great lyrics and very meaningful at the same time. By putting those warm synth strings behind the vocals it elevates what she says, making it feel like she’s belting it out. By putting the echo effects (delay) to the vocals, its gives them a huge atmospheric feel, which when played in a club, reverberates around the room… It sounds amazing if you are there..

The idea for the bassline came instantly. Once I heard the accapella, almost straight away I then heard the beat in my head and started humming the bassline without really thinking. That’s where knowing dance music and being around it for more than eight years plays its pivotal role… It’s all “instinct and in the feel”. Without it, all music is empty. I wanted the remix to have emotion and energy because that’s how I felt the lyrics were best used. The fact that Kim’s fantastic vocals gave the track a “haunting” feeling, it just added beautifully to the way I wanted it to sound.

The final thing I wanted to do was give the track an epic feel. By adding the string builds, flowing percussion beat and all the atmospheric effects, it gives the impression of filling alot of space, which then results in the record sounding huge when you play it in a club. The bit that i enjoyed the most, was slightly changing the vocals and what she says in the chorus and verses. If you listen to the original then my mix, the construction of the vocals are different. I just chopped them up and knitted them back together in a different way. That was something I had in mind the second I heard the accapella. I also wanted to surprise Nick and Kim, by trying something different. At the end of the day that what a remix is all about.