What makes the perfect remix? Is it a complete overhaul of the original with just traces of the original coded deep into the interior for us to decipher? Or is it a mild shake-up that retains the original’s spirit but brings our attention to a different aspect of the tune?
There is no definitive answer: depending on the original and the remixer, it could be either…Or anything in between. One thing is certain, though; remixes are awesome and the lifeblood of the dancefloor. From the more illicit edit/bootleg culture to major label remixes that are commissioned to give big megabuck mainstage acts kudos on the underground, in the right hands remixes can be better than the original.
And here are 10 remixes our writing team have been startled, shocked and satisfied by this year…
Enter Shikari – The One True Colour (Keeno Remix) (Hospital)
A truly great remix is one that not only lives up to and does justice to the original track – but one that surpasses it. That’s exactly what Keeno’s beautiful remix of Enter Shikari’s The One True Colour accomplishes. (Mike Atkin)
Goldie – Broken Man (Halogenix Remix) (Metalheadz)
The original was another fine piece of Goldie craftwork, Halogenix’s remix, however, takes it up a notch moulding it into a deep roller and one that will sound as good time and time again. Salute to both Goldie and Halogenix on this one! (Reuben Hunt)
Hybrid Minds – Starlet (Phil Tangent Remix) (Spearhead)
I’m an absolute sucker for a good roller and Phil Tangent’s remix of Hybrid Minds’ Starlet is a lush little gem that rolls out smoother than Barry White on Valentines Day.
Retaining the hypnotic vocal from the original, Tangent created a truly ethereal and almost menacing atmosphere in the remix. I’ve spent many moments nodding my head to this one this year, so big up the Tangent! Very talented producer, and if you don’t know then get to know! (Maja Cicic)
Icicle – Dreadnaught (Phace Remix) (Shogun Audio)
Phace simply killed it with his highly anticipated – it was announced years ago via twitter – remix of Dreadnaught. No other words necessary, really. (Sampo Kaskia)
Lenzman – Paper Faces (Ivy Lab Remix) (Metalheadz)
Paper Faces was, and still is, one of my favourite tracks on Lenzman’s outstanding Looking At The Stars LP. I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking there was no way it could be improved, but of course, I was wrong. To be fair, I had no idea the Ivy Lab boys had plans to add their own spin to the original – perhaps if I had then I wouldn’t have been so dismissive of an upgrade. The trio have had a stupendously successful year and for me, this rework was the cherry on the cake, surpassing their 20/20 exploits and numerous EPs. The key to a good remix in the eyes (or ears) of many is to maintain the feel of the original track whilst adding a fresh spin to it, and the Ivy Lab boys gave a shining example of that logic with this funky stepper. Vibes ahoy. (Robin Murray)
Oliver Heldens & Da Hool – MHATLP (Hi-Lo Edit) (Spinnin Records)
Gonna show my age a bit here but who cares? Da Hool’s original Meet Her At The Love Parade soundtracked my early clubbing adventures as a carefree trance-loving teen in the late 90s. This year Oliver Heldens – in his Hi-Lo guise – has done the original a real service in bringing that spine-tingling hook into the present day and showing how it’s still relevant. With big burpy bass and swinging breaks on the fills, it’s the best Hi-Lo production of the year. In my opinion. Instantly throwing me back to where everything started while reminding me how exciting electronic music is today, Oliver Hi-Lo Heldens smashed this one. (Dave Jenkins)
Porter Robinson – Flicker (Mat Zo remix) (Astralwerks)
When Porter Robinson first shared this on his Soundcloud he said it was the best remix he’d ever had done of him. We don’t just agree… We reckon it’s Mat Zo’s best remix full stop. Fusing his sense of melody with a clear passion for D&B, Zo ignites with a funky halftime intro before switching into a jazzy, steppy arrangement that wouldn’t have gone amiss on Goodlooking back in the day. Then, just as you think it’s about to settle down softly, the ending just blows your senses off. Zo may have been recently awarded ‘dick of the week’ by the internet by spoiling the Force Awakens on Twitter but cuts like this exonerate him… (Dave Jenkins)
Soligen & Type 2 – Can’t Go (Break Remix) (Fokuz)
The original is a ridiculous tune: it has funk, soul, vibes and solid beats. The vocal sets the perfect scene for a heads-down drop where the simple combination of beats and bass has managed to be profound and greater than the sum of its parts. Incredibly, Break elevates this to a higher ground. With astonishing artistry he has distilled the track down to purify and enhance the already incredible flavours. If Fokuz Recordings was a restaurant, they’d be Michelin Star grade. (Matthew Chapman)
Valentino Khan – Deep Down Low (Gillepsy Remix) (Soundcloud)
When someone first told me to listen to this remix, I rolled my eyes and guessed it would be another uninteresting take on the original. I soon ate my words and was blown away by the unique sound Gillepsy produced. It’s like a hybrid of funk, soul, house with a splash of deep all stewed together in a Crock Pot and cooked to perfection. This remix is SO different from my other remix selection, and these two really show distinctive ways to remix a track, and nail it. (Tabitha Neudorf)
Zomboy – Airborne (MUST DIE! Remix) (Never Say Die)
This one took me a good minute to figure out. Initially, my mind was programmed to jump to the GTA – Red Lips (Skrillex Remix) & Knife Party – PLUR Police (JAUZ Remix) presets. FuntCase’s frightening remix of Power Now and Nostalgia’s vicious revival of Pillow Talk also garnered some serious consideration, but MUST DIE!’s impeccable rework of Airborne was the obvious choice. 10/10 would give this track a 10/10, 10/10 times. Got it? (Barrett Nelson)