Montreal-based remixer distinct among Grammy nominees

TORONTO -- It turns out not every Grammy-nominated remix needs to flood the dance floor.

Montreal-based remixer CFCF learned that lesson recently when his low-key reworking of German composer Max Richter's "Berlin By Overnight" was nominated in the best remixed recording category among a list of club bangers.

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"It definitely stands out, this remix of mine," says Michael Silver, who releases tracks under the moniker CFCF.

Juxtaposed with some of his fellow nominees, CFCF is certainly the odd man out.

Other producers in his category include pop-music scrambler Dave Aude who delivered a pumped-up version of "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, and Kaskade who injected an extra level of energy into the Galantis club megahit "Runaway (U &I)."

"It's all very EDM (electronic dance music) and very club-centric," says the 28-year-old producer, reflecting on his fellow nominees.

"I wonder if that works in (my) favour," he adds, pondering the possibility of a win.

The nomination caught him off guard, says the producer, who named himself after local Montreal television station CFCF-TV while he was in high school.

He thinks classical music label Deutsche Grammophon submitted his track as part of their usual procedure during awards season.

"From what I can gather someone on the jury must've liked it," he says.

Richter, the composer of the original "Berlin By Overnight," is also regarded as one of the treasures of postmodernist classical music. He's recorded seven solo albums and penned the scores for many prominent films and TV series, including HBO's "The Leftovers."

The version of "Berlin By Overnight" used by CFCF is a tribute re-recorded by award-winning violinist Daniel Hope. It runs only a minute and a half in length.

CFCF separated the layers of sound and rebuilt them into a six-minute track that bolts from tranquility to urgency at a steady pace, adding new layers as it progresses.

"I'm taking it apart ... and trying to mix it in a different way and add new elements that will enhance it and make it my own," he says.

"There was a lot room to explore what else could be added."

While the Grammy nomination has emphasized CFCF's ability to rework the classical genre, other tracks in his repertoire lean more towards the flavours of disco and hip-hop.

"It's all about feeling it out and trying things," he says. "I think that variety is the key."


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