Sep 09

CORTNEY TIDWELL – “Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up (Ewan’s Objects In Space Remix)”

FT10 comments • 673 views

In the pre-MP3 era (viz. the mid-90s), remixes of non-dance, non-hip-hop artists worked as follows.

1. The artist or their label would get somebody to do a remix. This was usually the Chemical Brothers, but occasionally the Aphex Twin or Fluke would get a go.
2. The remix would appear as the third track on the 2nd CD.
3. The fans would buy it. They might also play it.
4. Some would hate it and accuse the record labels of ripping them off with remixes rather than proper B-Sides.
5. Others would say it was really good, for dance music, but obviously not as good as the original track.
6. It would be entirely forgotten about.

One of the often unmentioned consequences of the rise of digital music is the changed role of the remix in indie culture. Now there are hundreds of remixes – it’s a cheap, sometimes effective way of providing exclusive content, extending a song’s lifespan, getting attention for another artist… and some of the remixes are even good! Remixes of rock or indie acts (Tidwell is not the former but seems to be sort of the latter – see below for why I’m vague on this) used to be fearsomely clunking things, as the remixers had no feel for the grains of songs they were cutting against, and the more they left in the grosser proceedings got. But the 00s have seen a lot of remixers who are happy to work within and around the song, stretching it, changing it, making it more lovely or thrilling without losing the beauty or kick it had anyway. For instance, the way Pearson layers the record gives me the same feeling of deepening, disorientating awe as standing in my back garden at night and looking long into the sky.


Another important point – this stuff isn’t just for the fans any more. I have never heard the original “Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up”. I am not sure I have ever heard any Cortney Tidwell: here she’s a guest vocalist on her own song. I heard this remix because Steve M, among many others, got excited about it, but it exists for me quite on its own terms, an object in digital space untethered from either of its creators. The implications of that are certainly not all good ones, but if it saves great remixes from C-side ignominy that’s one advantage at least.


  1. 1
    Steve Mannion on 22 Sep 2009 #

    can i change the youtube link so it plays the video i made for this (which i recently re-uploaded – it got removed when my old youtube account was deleted)?

    actually my edit is only 5 and a half minutes so you don’t get the full experience but here it is:


    It’s worth hearing the lovely, broodier original as well as that whole album (her latest album is pretty good too – not aware of any remixes from this yet). This is one of my 5 favourite remixes of the last ten years tho I think.

  2. 2
    Tom on 22 Sep 2009 #


  3. 3
    Lex on 22 Sep 2009 #

    It pleases me v much that Tori Amos was one of the ’90s artists who proved to be a key link between “alternative” acts and dance remixers – not just the famous Tori Van Helden “Professional Widow” but Carl Craig remixing “God” a few years previously – one of his first ever major artist commissions, I think.

    Anyway this is a superlative effort from a generally superlative remixer. It’s available on itunes etc, btw, and you should certainly shell out 79p for it if you don’t have it already.

    A pleasing consequence of this remix was that it led to me discovering Cortney Tidwell in her own right, just because her voice is so obviously wonderful. Didn’t hear the album this original is from but the latest one, Boys, is really great, esp. “Solid State” and “17 Horses”; Steve there are remixes from Simon Baker and Daphni of “Watusii”!

  4. 4
    Steve Mannion on 22 Sep 2009 #

    I still can’t believe she played a gig earlier this year in The Slaughtered Lamb pub basement of all places. Great show.

  5. 5
    Lex on 22 Sep 2009 #

    I can’t believe NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THAT AAARGH. Bet she’d be incredible live.

  6. 6
    swanstep on 23 Sep 2009 #

    I didn’t make it though to the end of this…. LCD’s ‘Get innocuous’ was one of the dance songs of its year, what does this add to it that’s great and not just kind of irritating and cluttering? (Is this a remix of a mash-up of get.innoc and something else? Or is the addition of get.innoc strictly the remixer’s doing?) I’m way out of the dance music loop these days, but LCD’s record remains a fave, and I guess I feel a little protective of it!

  7. 7
    Tom on 23 Sep 2009 #

    The LCD stuff is because Steve M’s video is from a mix he made, so you get the end of “GI” into the Tidwell mix. The actual Tidwell mix, which I’m writing about, can be heard in the 11m video in the main post, and has no LCD Soundsystem content ;)

  8. 8
    Steve Mannion on 23 Sep 2009 #

    ha ha yeah forgot to mention that – goes into some Map Of Africa at the end too

  9. 9
    swanstep on 23 Sep 2009 #


  10. 10
    jeff w on 29 Sep 2009 #

    I saw Courtney T live earlier this year supporting Au Revoir Simone at Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush (great venue btw and just up the road from my house!). She occupies an interesting space somewhere between country and shoegazer-ish indie. The crowd was mainly twenty something couples. For the most part, it was fairly polite and then she and her band threw in an unscheduled, staccato noise piece at the end just to shake things up a bit.

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