COSMOS by Lukesavant
MADONNA COSMOS PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW
By George Galindo, Mary Clarke & Roman Nurmemagi
Based on this unreleased Cosmos work, what are your first impressions & your last impressions when thinking of COMSOS?
Thank you… this is the question I have wanted to answer. First impressions where excitement, rush of creativity… I felt alive. I have NEVER done anything like this before. My first impression was, I can’t go back to doing this the way I used to remix. Madonna Cosmos is an idea or vehicle mostly… yes its a project. A visual remix album that come release date, I have spent one and a half years on. Cosmos is an vehicle for how I think we can further express ourselves as artists. None of which would be fully possible without the complete talents of the video producers. My first impressions were thankful that these amazing pieces of film are accessible. I cannot stress enough that everyone should thoroughly read the Madonna Cosmos credits and visit the links that will be provided so that everyone can learn more about the video producers and their artistry. Yeah. My first impressions for Cosmos were real… It took me a while to get here… but I got here eventually. My lasting impression…. I have a lot more learning to do. In order for Cosmos to be what it is, I had to learn some new things. I had to let some things go, I had to learn that was ok and that is also part of this process. Lasting impression….. Let others listen or watch a preview when you know its going to get that amazing reaction, or else hold it back. I am happy with this project.
I had the opportunity to listen and view the video for your version of Illuminati. What we can expect from you with this new classic remix and video?
I never use to focus on the beginning as much as I do now. I didn’t start to really pay attention until Madonna Retrofit 5: Resurrection. I wanted Illuminati as the opening track because the video and the lyrics are so amazingly perfect to set the tone, it was inevitable. Expect spectacular visuals. Expect to be transported from earth. Expect to want more.
For us friends and fans that do not know your remixer/producer career; could you please let us know when you started and who inspired you in the beginning besides listening to Madonna?
I started remixing in November of 1999. I was living with my [then] boyfriend and we went Christmas shopping for one of my little brothers who was really into music. We bought a rather simplistic remixing software for a PC computer. Sadly, that gift never made its way to my brother… LOL. I started using it and got hooked… later upgraded. Back then, I was in these early online Madonna file sharing groups… way before web forums…. it was sort of the dark place to get shared files… that was so long ago LOL. Soon, the remix contests from Sony Acid which is one of my remixing DAWS that focused on Madonna had me remixing Ray of Light, Deeper & Deeper and Music with the official stems…. for 2001, that was literally heaven. And I never looked back. My inspirations? Madonna was always present… always. I was young, but I am a Madonna fan since she began her career…. But Sheena Easton, Prince, Janet Jackson, George Michael, Basia, Tears For Fears… I mean I was an eighties kid so a lot of the 80’s were my influence. I find the artistry moreso in looking back at the 80s overall, than the 90s. But yeah….. the 80’s where my inspiration. Which is SO MUCH of a tie into Cosmos! I never hid that Madonna Retrofit Seven/Cosmos has strong 80’s influence….
It really does?
What is in store for the future of your remixer/producer career and project(s)?
A break. For real this time. The New Madonna Remixers United is coming… thank God! And its not about me. I am beyond thrilled. Yes, I will still remix. I am stepping back from personally producing very large multi-remixer projects. I will still be remixing but on my own time and terms… I tend to be more in a space now where the remix needs to be a message or something impactful now. Otherwise… why then? I want more social-conscious remix projects that are cleverly designed & executed. I’m optimistic. Retrofit for me is something that can take new shapes or be different each time. I like planning with less confinement. Hell, I have thought about volumes 8 & 9 already… (ugh… sigh)
A break. For real this time.
Cosmos is a very immerse project using audio and video. Can you tell us all what gave you the idea to do this and when?
Unofficial Madonna remix videos are nothing new and they can be both amazing and not so. It also has become almost a standard to compliment a good remix with a good remix video for maximum impression. So as I was in the first phase of Madonna Retrofit Seven [which is what Madonna Cosmos is technically] I knew all tracks would have videos but you run into the problem of potentially having a slew of the same Madonna video montages or long cuts from the original video or tour footage, but just to different remixes I’m making. I would have been very bored. It seemed to me early, this had to be something different and likely with a consistent concept. I really decided on Madonna Cosmos sometime in summer of 2017 after I posted a preview of Madonna Retrofit Seven, about a 20-ish track preview. After I posted it, I noticed what worked better than others. I cut a lot of tracks. I mean a lot. It was almost like starting over. I think I only kept 8 from the initial 20. And still, 2 of those remaining 8 are gone. So 6 of the originally previewed stayed: Inside Out, American Pie, Bedtime Story, What It Feels Like For A Girl, Keep It Together and Devil Pray.
"...And if we light this fire. We'll find our way through the darkness
My love will take you higher, Tonight, hold tight. Hold tight!"
What was the inspiration for Cosmos and where it came from?
OMG. There was this remix video… For Devil Pray. I will be honest. My first impression from watching it… I was jealous. I couldn’t conceive yet how a remix video can pull you in and how the music in the right moments of the video can make the world of difference in how its perceived, until I watched that video. It set the bar for me. I have been hash tagging on the promo posts #RaiseTheBar as sort of my own reminder of why I started this direction on Cosmos. The video was: Can You Make The Devil Pray? Song: Can You Make The Devil Pray (Mashup by Robin Skouters & Dino MFU & Consoul Trainin Mix)
Each track has a different 'story' to portray. Madonna has always expressed her views through music. How did you choose the tracks for Cosmos?
Lukesavant-That is a great question… At first I was still holding on to the past… I had to let it go. I was still holding on to what Retrofit Seven was and not what Cosmos should be. Once I grasped this, a lot of the sexier/get up and dance songs, which stayed short demos were dropped. It started to become easy once I let go. I realized certain songs were best, and then I had to assess the resources available to create both the mix and video and how those things created a synergy or potential synergy. But, yeah, that's how I chose the tracks. Its interesting. I have realized this for decades, but not sure the every day fan gets how duplicitous her work is. A lot of Madonna’s work can play to both lite and heavier subject matter. I announced originally that Madonna Retrofit Seven would be a 100% dance remix project. 15 out of the [current] 16 are all some form of dance track.
What is your favourite on this and why?
Lukesavant-2 Right now. The first one is the one I just mentioned… about the over-populated planet. Burning Up. Its a down tempo dance track. I can’t get the song out of my head. And just so you know… Burning Up is one of those Madonna songs that you don’t fuck up. There is very little leeway for a Burning Up remix when deviating from the original in my view. Hopefully, I didn’t fuck it up LOL. The second is Love Profusion. Both of these are similar in remix techniques used. Their videos tell amazing conceptual stories really really well. Possibly a third… Intervention. I’m still toying with that mix. Right now either Wash All Over Me or Intervention will be the closing track… Its good. Stay tuned!
Do you think that this project might make an impact (big or small)?
Ummm. I want to say yes, in some way. Likely not big or small. Maybeeee, like extra small. But yes. I have teased this with the preview for What It Feels Like For A Girl. This is a social-conscious remix project. Initially unintentionally. But later, very intentionally. What It Feels Like For A Girl will and should make most people uncomfortable. But, its a story I think works very well with both the visual and the lyrics and oddly coincides with the ever critical #MeToo* movement. Love Profusion has clear “The Future Is Female” references. Devil Pray is an odd take on euthanasia & technology, knowing when to let go and the technology of the future being the Devil’s drug. Another video deals with an allegorically vivid representation of how over-populated organisms can consume a planet but the planet has its own way of surviving. All of this is on purpose. There’s more….
This project is a lot to process. I hope it makes the right difference… that is what I’ll say.
#MeToo - an international movement against sexual harassment and assault. #MeToo movement spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag used on social media to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. It followed soon after the public revelations of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
The phrase was popularized by Alyssa Milano when she encouraged women to tweet about it and "give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem". The response on Twitter included high-profile posts from several celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman.
The Me Too movement was chosen as Time Person of Year in 2017.