You’re listening to that cool new 2NE1 remix of Scream. (Or a more apt example: areia‘s remix of CABI.) You can’t wait to check out the newly remixed version of the song, but yet you wait. The song has started, but it’s still another thirty seconds before the lyrics start.
What gives?! One might say the remix would be better without the long introduction that comes before the start of the lyrics. But get this: you’re not intended to listen to the complete intro and outro of these long remixes.
The extended intros and outros are a tool for DJs. DJs use these long musical introductions to sync-up with another song that may be playing — usually playing two or more songs at the same time. The introduction section of the song is there so the DJ can ensure that the start of the lyrics occur at just the right moment.
OK, so you know how DJs use headphones while using those spinny record thingies?
While one song is playing, the DJ is listening to the next song he or she will play over the speakers. While song A is playing, the DJ will be setting up song B. Typically, the DJ is timing the start of song B so that it’ll be heard over the speakers as soon as the chorus of song A ends, (and the lyrics of song B begins). The DJ listens to the introduction of the next song through the headphones to ensure that the timing is perfect.
Interestingly, extended edits of songs originated in the 1970′s Disco era, when danceable songs were only three or four minutes long. To ensure that dancers could stay on the dance floor longer, songs were extended in length. Seeking the same objective of keeping dancers on the dance floor longer, it was also around this time that the concept of beatmatching was invented. The concept of beatmatching essentially ensures that the DJ will keep a constant beat playing so that dancers can stay dancing to non-stop music all night. Catering to DJs, contemporary websites like SpinKpop will even create “edits” of original kpop songs with extended intros and outros.
Remixers realize that nearly all of their listeners are not DJs. Most of the time, remixers will actually try to show a “radio edit” or a shortened version at the start of the verse for viewers on youtube. This way, you’re skipping straight to the action as it was intended to be seen/heard. Sometimes, the long version is what you hear when you download the full-version of the song. You thought the introduction of the areia CABI remix as long in the youtube video? Listen to the mp3… a full two minutes before the intro verse. Still, these introduction tools are essential for DJs – which give the remix more plays on mix-show radio stations, clubs, and at kpop house parties.
For an example mix, you can listen to one I recently made! Thanks for the selfish self promotion. Stream link is available below.