If you’ve always wanted to be a recording engineer, or maybe just think you could have mixed your favorite artist’s last album better than the highly-paid professional did, you’re in luck. Peter Gabriel is giving you full access to tracks from his iconic “So” album. Now, you can mix, remix, and over mix “Sledgehammer” to your heart’s content.
The app, MusicTiles, is a song remix app that gives users access to individual tracks of a recorded song. Each instrument is represented by different colored tiles on a grid. The tiles can be connected together to alter the mix. For example, if the bass track is a yellow tile and the drum track is a red tile, you can move them together and connect them. Suddenly, “In Your Eyes” becomes a drum-and-bass remix. You can connect various tiles in seven different ways. When you connect them in different places on the grid, they sound different, too. Adding more tiles creates a more complex mix. You can even make tweaks and adjustments in real time and record your performance.
Most musicians and bands would be pretty upset if fans were going around remixing their songs all willy-nilly, but Gabriel isn’t afraid to let others explore his music. He has been at the crossroads of music and technology for decades. In the early ‘90s, he created XPLORA1” Peter Gabriel’s Secret World, which is an interactive music-themed computer game. In 1999, he collaborated with game designers on interactive music tracks with 3-D graphics for NoodleHeaven.
It is no surprise that Gabriel collaborated with Technical University of Denmark robotics professor Henrik Hautop Lund to create MusicTiles.
The app’s developers are hoping the app will trigger user creativity by putting song elements in users’ hands and letting them do what they want with it. “I have always loved the idea that music and art should be fully open media from which no one is excluded,” Gabriel said in a press release. “They are languages that anyone can learn to speak and definitely not the exclusive province of the high priests armed with ‘Talent.’”
MusicTiles is available in the App Store for $2.99, additional songs can be added through in-app purchases. The entire “So” album can be unlocked for $13.99.