WORDS

2016: The Remixes

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Remixes, refixes, rerubs, reversions… Call them what you want, when the right artist gets their paws on the right parts, magic can happen.

A lot of unnecessary versions can happen, too. Labels getting rubs for spec, aspiring artists creating their own twists, remix competitions potentially creating thousands of not-quite-up-to-scratch variations.

But this is what makes the really flipping good ones so magic. Like a painter creating from another painter’s palette, or a chef cooking from another chef’s recipe, when a remix hits the spot all parties involved – the remixer, the original producer and us fans – are taken on a whole new version excursion to places we didn’t know existed.

Here are 15 of our editorial team’s favourite examples of just that…

Barely Alive – Binary (Barely Alive & Virtual Riot Remix) (Disciple)

 Orchestral stabs. (Sampo Kaskia)

 

Children of Zeus: Still Standing (Lenzman remix) (The North Quarter)

Absolutely no doubt with this one. It’s one of those instant classics which Lenzman has a knack for producing. I hadn’t heard of Tyler Daley before this year, probably like lots of drum & bass heads, but he’s absolutely smashed everything he’s featured on – mainly this. The intro is a thing of beauty and the rest of the track isn’t half bad either. (Robin Murray)

 

Commix – Justified (Spectrasoul Remix) (Metalheadz)

I don’t know if it is just me, but truthfully I thought this was released years ago. The original mix featured on Commix’s 2009 fabriclive, so it was logical for one to presume the remix would have followed shortly after. Anyway, I was wrong, it was released this year and that’s why it’s included on this list. Oh yeah, and because it’s fucking sick, too. As usual, leaving their mark on an already banging track but not taking too much away, Spectrasoul’s rub just as good now it’s released as it did when I thought it first came out. Thanks to Metalheadz for the (eventual!) release, I just wonder what else they’re hiding…   (Reuben Hunt)

 

Deadmau5 – Strobe (Dimension Remix)(mau5trap)

Stunning? Incredible? Majestic? It’s hard to find the right words to describe such an elegantly articulated remix. Dimension has always been known for his phenomenal production abilities, but this track does more than just create a brilliant sounding remix – it takes everything the original track encapsulates and turns it into a piece of drum and bass art. It’s refreshing to hear a remix that shows such a level of respect to the original. The long, cinematic introduction creates a real sense of euphoria and builds up to a suspense-bursting drop. (Jake Hirst)

 

Dusky – Ingrid Is A Hybrid (John B Remix) (Polydor)

Ingrid is a hybrid. John B is a craftsman. We all have roles to play in life. Nominated in the Best Remix category at the Drum&BassArena Awards for good reason, John’s take on Dusky’s already beautiful rave homage is genuinely outstanding. Adding sledgehammer breaks, ruthlessly sharp edits and an arrangement that continues to up the emotion on every twist, there’s no way you can listen to this goosebump-free. Following the mighty Lava / Lies / The Colossus trio on Metalheadz earlier in the year, this galvanised a damn fine year for the Beta bossman. (DJ)

 

Kill The Noise – Without A Trace (ft. Stalking Gia) (Kill The Noise & Virtual Riot Remix)

Not often two iconic sound designers do a collab that showcases boths artist’s individual sounds as perfectly as Kill The Noise and Virtual Riot’s remix of Without A Trace. Bonus points for that future garage breakdown. (Sampo Kaskia)

 

My Nu Leng & Flava D – Soul Shake (1991 Remix) (MTA)

This 1991 remix made it on my list because of the transformation from a dark, robust house track into this delightfully disturbing and line-crossing piece. Instead of laying a typical D&B beat underneath the original, 1991 took elements from the original but transformed it into something completely his own. The best remixes express interpretations in a way that do justice to the original but clearly convey your own style. 1991 has done this impeccably here. An artist to watch for in 2017. (Tabitha Neudorf)

 

Philth – Your Love (SCAR Remix) (Dispatch Recordings)

One of those remixes that makes your stomach muscles tighten as you let out an involuntary HNNNGG – SCAR absolutely slayed their re-work of Philth’s heavenly Your Love, flipping it upside down and rinsing it in the murkiest depths of bass. My favourite part about this track is the cinematic, and yet misleading intro which lulls you into a false sense of security before you’re smacked in the nether regions by a menacingly pulsing bassline. Stellar production from SCAR. 10 out of 10 HNNNG’S. (Maja Cicic)

 

Roni Size – Snapshot (Swindle Remix) (Full Cycle)

So many stone cold classics have been given official treatments this year – Om Unit’s remix of Shadow Boxing, S.P.Y’s remix of Deadline being two particularly outstanding updates – but Swindle’s take on Roni’s iconic bassline roller Snapshot doesn’t just take the remix biscuit, but rather crushes it and turns it into base for the richest, funkiest, creamiest cheese cake you ever did hear. What I am trying to say here is Swindle is an absolute badman and has killed it on this remix with the lower tempo, swaggering live drums and peppery P-funk synth blasts. It was also the first new release we heard after Full Cycle announced their return. The start of something very special… (DJ)

 

Sam Binga – Mind & Spirit Ft Rider Shafique (Breakage Remix) (Critical Music)

Classical jungle vibes: Breakage took us back to his roots on this immense remix of Mind & Spirit. Upping the tempo and adding a rubber ball sub line alleviates the original’s moody groove with a lighter feel. Throw in those iconic ravey chords and you’ve got a gamechanger. (DJ)

 

SpectraSoul & dBridge – Glimpse (Ivy Lab Remix) (Shogun)

When I first saw the words ‘Ivy Lab’ next to ‘SpectraSoul’ & ‘dBridge’ I just knew I was in for a treat, and in typical Ivy Lab fashion they didn’t disappoint. Their remix of the ever-haunting Glimpse on Shogun 100 managed to take the original stepper into lush, ethereal territory. Where the original progressed with a funky slap-bass and a menacing growler of a bassline, the trio took another approach with their remix and launched it right into space, injecting a purring bassline accompanied by goosebump-inducing synths that seem to rise forever, making me float right away with them. Simply lush. (Maja Cicic)

 

The Prodigy – The Day Is My Enemy (Bad Company UK Remix) (Ram Records)

Bad Company. Need I say more? These guys have not only pioneered an entire generation, but returned with serious intent. Taking another influential cornerstone act The Prodigy and given it their own ravaged twist in the most magnificent way, this remix absolutely slays. (Shane Consouls)

 

Torro Torro – Make A Move (Habstrakt Remix) (OWSLA)

There’s always a danger in these lists to only look back a few months. If we did that we’d have criminally missed the best available version of Torro Torro’s 2015 summer smasher Make A Move. Here Habstrakt ensures all the anthemic qualities of the original (the vocal and that 90s/Ibiza-flavoured synth hook) are maintained while switching out the spiky slightly obnoxious EDM riff for a deeper bass house grunty texture. A fine lesson in how to give life to an already massive successful track this was still shaking festivals through the summer. You know a lot of people would argue this is better than Skrillex’s remix. I am one of those people. (DJ)

 

Trampa & Dubloadz – Ruff Stuff (Bukez Finezt Remix) (Disciple)

For those of you that desire beefy dubstep tracks, bump some Bukez. Perhaps you prefer a meticulously crafted sub-mauler, in which case, bump some Bukez. Or maybe you just dig the kind of sounds that consistently wreck you from the neck down. Must I really say it again? Bump some Bukez. This world-class rework is fatty dubstep in the flesh. Bukez Finezt doesn’t just bury bodies with bass, he methodically decapitates them from head to toe. The original version of Ruff Stuff was undeniably ruthless, but this remix exhibits no regard for human life whatsoever. (Barrett Nelson)

 

Wilkinson – What? (My Nu Leng Remix) (Ram Records)

My Nu Leng breaking the dickens out of Wilkinson’s grimey summer slewer. Hold tight for the super slo-mo breakdown for added weight and pressure You wot m9?