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SXSW: Videos in a Blender

by Stephen Becker 13 Mar 2012 9:54 AM

Monday night at a party for Interactive badge holders, the worlds of DJing and video collided with spectacular results.


AUSTIN – When the music portion of SXSW begins on Wednesday, the focus will be on original music. But a lot of the focus of the first half of the conference has been on artists taking existing material and putting their own spin on it.

Alan wrote the other day about a discussion with Kirby Ferguson, known for his Everything is a Remix videos. (If you haven’t watched them, you’re missing out.) And tonight, I’m going to try to hit a screening of Re:Generation Music Project, a documentary that follows Skrillex, Mark Ronson and other DJs as they work with artists not normally associated with dance music to create new sounds.

But last night at a party for the Interactive folks, I saw the remix come together as performance art. Mike Relm provided the entertainment for the night. He’s a videomaker and DJ who mixes videos and music live, creating a combination dance party and video art event.

So how does that work? Honestly, I have no idea. Relm sets up the usual DJ equipment on stage next to a projection screen. He man’s the decks and knobs like any other DJ, and the music he churns out syncs up with everything from movie scenes to YouTube viral videos. Watch the video I’ve embedded above for two seconds and you’ll understand.

The live display of geek wizardry was much appreciated by the 6th St. club filled with techsters. Relm’s mashup of Jay Z’s “99 Problems” with Super Mario Bros. 2, in which Mario’s blips and bloops synched up with the song’s melody, predictably brought the house down.

If you can get to one of his live performances, you certainly should. But since it doesn’t look like he’s heading to North Texas anytime soon, enjoy his YouTube channel. His remix of The Hunger Games trailer has me more excited to see the movie that reading the book.