Casimer&Casimir reimagine 'Hot Button Topic' by Johnny Headband

by casimer&casimir

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Johnny Headband on writing and recording “Hot Button Topic”:
Hot Button Topic started as a simple experiment to see if we could use only one chord and make a really long song. Trying our best to remove our intellectual minds from the equation and instead focus on emotional and physical reaction to the sounds. Get a drum and bass syncopation going at a steady pace and go from there. Over a few days the song lyrically developed into some sort of arbitrary commentary on current events and personal issues, both petty and heavy, and we found ways to pass the musical focus back and forth to keep things evolving. And since we were recording unrelenting disco music in a cabin in the woods, it seemed appropriate that the final movement of the song was a peaceful denouement, allowing one to breathe deep breaths, meditate and eventually fall asleep.

Casimer on the Casimer&Casimir Remix:
The vocals, particularly the chorus coos are what I hyper-focused on. By turning off all the original instrumental elements, I sought out to build an arrangement that would help support my impression of those regal, pretty, and uplifting supportive voices. Our reworking of the song is really an attempt at sustaining the feeling of grandeur I experienced on my virgin listen. JH’s original arrangement is really a bit droney and works because of the fervent drive of Robbie Saunders drumming and Keith Thompson’s bass—there isn’t an obvious chord progression, though. I’m not really sure where the musical phrase came from that acts as the bedding for the verses, but I felt I needed something lofty and a bit serious like what I hear sometimes in chamber music. I imagined this music via the influences of falling asleep to the woozy sounds of the 70s occult and industrial films I’ve been obsessed with as of late. The use of harpsichord, the electro-mechanical Chamberlin sampler, and my nephew’s masterfully melodic acoustic guitar figures were written & recorded with this in mind. The remix began to morph into a sort of cover of the original, an homage to what I heard beneath the track, or perhaps something more like a forced-duet when I felt compelled to sing a few verses in order to maintain this specific atmosphere we were hoping our arrangement would live up to.

&Casimir on the Casimer&Casimir Remix:
Beneath the surface of the song, there’s a reservoir of earthy, borderline spiritual, ambience that rises and retreats at different moments. I believe the goal of the C&C remix was to bring more of that out and decorate it with the sort of baroqueness that a young, stewed Marc Bolan would fancy.

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released March 30, 2013

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