Background and content
"This recording contains various interpretations of songs that appear in their proper form on the Broken
—Message on the back cover of Fixed.
According to Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails frontman and, at the time, sole member, Fixed was not intended to be a remix album, but instead a reinterpretation and deconstruction of the music found on the 1992 EP Broken, where the songs were in their "proper form".
After Reznor hired Peter Christopherson of Coil to direct the accompanying film to Broken, they developed a friendship. Shortly after, Reznor asked Christopherson to contribute to Fixed. JG Thirlwell and Butch Vig were also recruited for the remixing effort. Thirwell's second "Wish" remix, "Fist Fuck", features samples of Timothy Leary while the final track, "Screaming Slave", contains various samples of Bob Flanagan being tortured that were recorded during the filming of the "Happiness in Slavery" music video. Ultimately, Vig's contributions were minimal, relegated to the ending passage of "Throw This Away". About the experience, Vig said, "I started recording a lot of new parts, and took it in a much different direction. When it was finished, Trent thought the front part of the mix didn't fit the EP, so he just used the ending." Reznor, Chris Vrenna, and James Woolley completed many of the remixes in-house.
Musically, Fixed is a dark, industrial, and noisy EP. Much of Broken's heavy metal aspects are eschewed and replaced with more beat- and drum-focused sounds. Tape manipulation, unusual noises, and a focus on grinding repetition define Fixed as a distinctly experimental release.