Remixes, refixes, re-rubs, reboots: we’ve been spoilt for choice this year. From updates on stone cold classics to subversive twists on recent anthems, here are 19 of many great examples of remix craft from across the bass landscape, as picked by our writers…
Abis & Signal – The Wall (Buunshin Remix) (Dividid)
Here’s a little way of checking your nerves and soul are still in working order. Play this and if your hairs aren’t standing on end and your skin isn’t rippling with rushes then you’ve got some health issues to address. But before you call the doctor, let the tune play and see what that almighty drop does to you. If you’re not dancing / thrusting up your middle finger / grinning like an idiot and thinking about the next time you go raving or have a cheeky mix then you really are in trouble. This ticks multiple boxes: Tasha’s vocals are the perfect balance of drama and smouldering emotion, Abis and Signa’s original is epic and man-of-the-moment Buunshin has taken it into overdrive. Tough but emotional, dark but full of vibrancy; goosebump or die mate. (Dave)
Adred – Captivate (Marcus Intalex remix) (Metalheadz)
Both of Adred’s releases on Metalheadz this year boasted some legendary names. Valley Groove and Stuck In A Loop were written with Commix and Ant TC1 respectively while his Captivate EP didn’t just boast the dulcet dynamites of the instantly distinctive soulman Robert Manos, but also this sterling posthumous remix from the sorely missed Marcus Intalex. Restrained, cinematic and rolling from edge to edge, it’s everything the hugely influential Soul:r bossman was loved and respected for. His legacy lives on. (Dave)
Bring Me The Horizon – Mother Tongue (Sub Focus Remix) (RCA)
Tidal Wave meets Bring Me The Horizon – it’s like Sub Focus made this specifically for my 17 year old self. It’s as simple as that. (Sampo Kaskia)
Chaka Demus – Forward & Pull up (Urbandawn remix)
For me this was one of those remixes that literally came out of nowhere. I remember being at Hospitality on The Beach and this track kept dropping everywhere at the festival. Every time it did the crowd went mental and a rewind was a formality. At the time I didn’t realise who the track was by, but when I found out it was Urbandawn it all made sense. How could I not recognise that heavy snare tearing through the mix? It wasn’t until I listened to the full track against the original that I realised what an inventive remix it was, too. Urbandawn really went to town on this one and it speaks wonders for the talented producer he is. I feel like he has a big year coming up and I am beyond excited for more productions like this. (Jake Hirst)
Digital – Deadline (Need For Mirrors remix) (Function)
Digital’s Deadline has been remixed many times over since it was first released on 31 in 2000. S.P.Y, Ed Rush & Optical, Drumsound & Bassline Smith and Dub Phizix have all put their slant on it over the years and you could easily assume there was no gas left in in the remix tank for another twist on this epoch-defining dark anthem. But then Need For Mirrors comes along and flips it into this stampy, party-whipper where the iconic riff is subverted with such a strong rising twist it takes on a whole different melody. With its bashy beats it still captures the aggy energy of the original too… Which is exactly what a good remix should do. (Dave)
Doctor P – Bulletproof (Chime Remix) (Circus)
Whenever people ask me what under-the-radar artists are worthy of receiving more acclaim, Chime is always the first name that pops into my head. Consistently underrated and chronically underappreciated, the UK-based producer did quite a number on this extra zesty remix of his fellow countryman. The original version of Bulletproof was a real dancefloor-smasher, but this completely revitalized rendition puts an incredibly sick twist on the Doctor P classic.
The instant this remix kicks off, Eva Simmons’ recognizable vocals take command of the composition as pulsating synth patterns build towards a drop of epic proportions. Once the drop connects, Chime starts doling out haymakers in every possible direction. His wobbly breakdowns remind me of a time before riddim took a firm stranglehold of the dubstep hierarchy. God how I miss those days. But if you ever happen to find yourself with the occasional fix for some 2010-2011 dubstep flavor, Chime is just the chef to contact. His productions are comprised of the freshest ingredients and leave a lasting impression like none other.
I’m here for whatever Chime has locked and loaded in 2020, and I strongly suggest that you start monitoring every move he makes as well. (Barrett Nelson)
Etherwood – Begin By Letting Go (Whiney remix) (Med School)
When Etherwood first released Begin By Letting go it was one of those tracks that oozed beauty. A gentle production lulling you into a sense of calmness. But then Whiney got hold of the track and completely flipped it into a monstrous version that no one ever saw coming…
One of Whiney’s specialities seems to be the ability to transform a track into it’s a murkier parallel, and this one is no exception. Whiney has managed to keep the beauty of the original, but completely reshape the feel of it. The intro is very much like the calm before the storm, until it is suddenly shattered by a fierce bass riff so heavy it is guaranteed to leave anyone with a sour bass face. I have particularly enjoyed seeing crowds struggle to tell if it is the original or the remix when the intro plays. It keeps them hanging in suspense until the riff kicks in and all hell breaks loose. It’s a priceless sight to witness. (Jake Hirst)
Evabee – Unconditional (LSB Remix) (Space Cadet)
This has only been officially out for a matter of days at time of writing, but it’s been floating around on dub since the summer, it was one of the most startling highlights on LSB and DRS’s Space Age Vol 2 mix earlier this year and, to put it simply, it’s beautiful. Evabee’s vocals hit the heart, DRS once again reveals more depths to his signature rawness and LSB adds own warmth to the already impressive original. Subtle, unhurried, unapologetically soulful; this is the only the beginning for this remix, it will grow over 2020 to become another anthem from the dream team that is LSB and DRS. Evabee needs your attention too. (Dave)
Halogenix – Blej (Fade Black Remix) (Critical Music)
One of recent memories’ absolute best, Blej, has burst into once more, like a phoenix from the ashes, in its third iteration so far. We’ve had the original, a halftime VIP and now this, the Fade Black remix, arguably the best version so far and certainly the most off the chain. We’re at a loss to explain how Shyun and Cruk have managed to inject even more powerful sleekness, finesse and fluidity into a track which already had them all in spades, and they’ve done so whilst simultaneously making it even heavier. They’ve had their cake and eaten it and the results are astoundingly good, with gargling acid synths popping tastefully and every little bit of space possible carved into the arrangement. The second drop is also quite possibly the best second drop of 2019. You heard it here first. (Ben Hunter)
Hybrid Minds – Higher Love (Particle Remix) (Hybrid Music)
With Charlotte Haining’s beautiful vocal soaring over their signature emotive piano chords and strings, Higher Love is such a quintessential Hybrid Minds tune. Then Particle comes along and does the seemingly impossible; he manages to retain all that emotional power and musicality whilst lacing the tune with gnarliest foghorn bassline and gritty percussion. The end result is a gully screwface tear-jerker, and you don’t see many of them these days… (Craig Haynes)
Klinical – Africa (Black Barrel remix) (Lifestyle)
One of Klinical’s biggest breakthrough tracks in 2018 got the rubdown from Russian roustabout Black Barrel earlier this year and the results speak for themselves. Filling in the spaces with heavy bass and little details with the synths, Black Barrel has given Africa a tech funk twist that rolls with charm and refuses to rely on the distinctive vocal that made the original such a big tune. Genuine class (Dave)
Krust – Not Necessarily A Man (L-Side Remix) (V Recordings)
Oh gosh. Part of V’s long, long, LONG awaited Future album, L-Side’s remix of Krust’s Not Necessarily A Man does everything a remix ought to; it pays full respect to the minimalism and naked funk of Krust’s 23-year-old original while updating it for modern times. Bulldozer production, basslines so broad they have their own orbit and that raw vibe the Bristol crew always managed to capture, this is immense. (Dave)
Loko – Bassline Secret (Skantia Remix) (Program)
We waited and waited and waited for this one. One of the key tracks in Andy C’s legendary return to XOYO way back at the start of the year, Skantia’s warped, weird flabby bass funk twist on Loko’s 2012 original captured the spirit of the sold-out season in Shoreditch and its stench was left lurking in Andy’s mixes throughout the year. More importantly, it made sure everyone knew who Skantia was… And where he came from. With previous on the likes of Serial Killaz and Lifestyle, Skantia’s arrival on Ram didn’t just announce his arrival but alerted many people to just how much unique talent is coming out of the north east at the moment with fellow stinkmiths Stompz, Nectax, Scudd and Kastro all part of the movement Skantia’s part of. This is only the beginning for the northern collective. (Dave)
Mefjus – Pivot (Camo & Krooked Remix) (Vision)
Mefjus’s remix album for his epic Manifest LP turned out almost as good as the original, with even Mefjus not being able to choose the best remix for some tracks and just deciding to release two. Such is the case with Pivot; remixes by both Annix and Camo & Krooked ended up on the finished remix album. ‘Pivot’ was a lot to live up to and one of the most popular tracks on a severely popular album but both remixes came out sensationally well. Annix deserves an honourable mention here, if we’re honest.
The Camo & Krooked remix was surprisingly a bit less funky than the original and the duo really amped up the steppy neurofunk vibes of the original track. They also tightened down and isolated the weird and wonderful snapping synths of the original. The result was an interpretation of the track that was minimal yet cinematic and quite different, both from the perspective of Camo & Krooked’s work and Mefjus’s original track. (Layla Marino)
Phace & Misanthrop – Desert Orgy (Black Sun Empire Remix) (Neosignal)
With Neosignal putting out a full four remix EPs for their X series ten-year anniversary celebration this year, there was no shortage of jaw-dropping reworks. With the recently released Part Four of the series about to drop and containing remixes by Hybris, The Caracal Project, Redpill, Fade Black and Emperor, every track should be on a top ‘X’ list somewhere.
To narrow it down to the best remix of this series is near impossible but one track seems to keep standing out as an earbug for us here at UKF and that’s the Black Sun Empire remix of Desert Orgy. BSE took the stems and ran with them, creating a funky bass synth out of the main synths that’s not only surprising for the track but also for BSE. Oh, the fun the greats must have with a good set of stems. Black Sun Empire certainly did with this one. (Layla Marino)
Sam Binga & Redders – Vandilero (Particle Remix) (Critical Music)
The rise of Particle right now cannot be avoided. After several heavily-played remixes and cheeky edits, his Empires EP landed in September and cemented his role at the forefront of the new generation. His remixes haven’t hurt his reputation, either. Along with his Hybrid Minds remix, this landed in the summer and hit the spot perfectly. Here we find him playing with a rising background melody from the original before Redders’ “Particle Remix” shout-out calls everyone to action, sending crowds into a frenzy within the first couple of bars. Binga’s sleazy, low-slung beat is switched out for driving drums and a dutty bassline – this is a proper filthy stepper. (Craig Haynes)
Tali, Roygreen & Protone & DRS – Paper Wasp (Lenzman Remix) (Fokuz)
There aren’t many who roll out vocals over some drums quite like Lenzman, and so he’s the ideal candidate for remixing Paper Wasp, a highlight from Tali’s album last year. She was joined by DRS, Roygreen & Protone for a much darker, driving original that spliced up the mostly warm vibes on her LP and did so very well. Lenzman took the opposite approach, the centrepiece of which is an instantly recognisable percussive style that shakes and moves with juddering soul, a constant presence in the mix. Tali & DRS are posted sparingly above as to not overpower the arrangement and it works beautifully, their vocals flitting in and out of a simple, elegant composition of sweeps, stabs and piano licks. Lovely stuff (Ben Hunter)
UK Apache with Shy FX – Original Nuttah 25 (Chase & Status Remix ft. Irah) (Cult.ure)
It’s no easy feat remixing one of the most seminal pieces of jungle in our genre’s relatively short history, but Chase & Status pulled it off in spectacular style, bringing Shy FX & UK Apache’s Original Nuttah into the future with pure class and flair, and in signature fashion. Already doing damage on dub all festival season, the minute the official release landed it felt like we all raised our communal lighters in unity – we had an instant future classic on our hands.
Topping off a pivotal year for the duo with their immense RTRN II JUNGLE project, the remix saw them connecting the dots once again by bringing Irah into the fold, taking the track to dizzying new heights with a fresh twist.
Superbly produced, with more layers than you can throw gun fingers at, along with that switch up at 2:12 – it’s one of the most brilliantly executed remixes I’ve heard in a long time. If anyone was going to do it justice it was Chase & Status. Salute to these absolute legends. Heads down, lighters up. (Maja Cicic)
Vici – Glow (The Caracal Project Remix) (Hyperactivity)
One of the many exciting young producers coming from France, The Caracal Project’s inclusion on a Hyperactivity remix EP earlier this year turned out to be a good choice from the France-based label. The original by Vici is characterised by rises and falls, little switch ups amidst smooth curves and long sweeps, it’s really heavy but also clear and spacious. The Caracal Project have flipped it in its entirety, transforming spaciousness into a grinding, techy display of precision synth work and sound design wizardry. It’s a bit baffling at times but your brain tunes into the patterns and then you’re there, ripping along in some sort of futuristic space car, flashing past neon signs and tightening your mask against the oppressive, acidic smog. Something like that, anyway. What a cool remix. (Ben Hunter)