It always fascinates me when a producer remixes a tune and swings its mood and tone in the complete other direction. Is it the mood they’re in, or perhaps the mood in which they feel the song belongs? Is it a playful challenge or a reliance on a tried and true aesthetic? When considering Henrik Schwarz’s remix of Camille’s “Ta Douleur,” a quirky and up-beat bopper, I feel like the latter question applies. By discarding the original’s entire beat (in this case, no real loss) he’s both freed himself from its pop construction and added the task of writing his own instrumental with his favored tonal setting. He starts relatively simple and neutral with a spring-loaded twang beat and atmospheric chords, gaining a deep, uncertain tone at the addition of a grainy synth pattern and muted bass runs. When Camille’s ruddy vocals drop in, her flair is muted but no less pleasant (thanks to Schwarz’s careful selection of verses), cautiously intoning in French over criss-crossing piano lines. The belated addition of string section swells seems a little overboard for a well-established overcast mood, but provide a decent safety net for Schwarz’s plinking runs. With each spin of this remix my preference changes: At times I really like the darkened mood, the opposite side of the coin; other times I wish we could see Schwarz flex his production muscles and give us something chipper. And if any tune was grist for such an occasion, “Ta Douleur” would have been it.
Camille, “Ta Douleur” (Henrik Schwarz remix)
Camille, “Ta Douleur”
Thanks to Psycho BBQ for the remix.