Remixes, re-rubs, fix-ups, versions, flips… Call them what you want, but you can’t be a good production variation. When done right, it takes the original to a place that wouldn’t have existed and allows you to focus on elements, phrases or textures you may have missed before and opening up a whole new narrative and lease of life for the record. Most importantly, they can be straight up bangers. Designed to do nothing but knock you off your feet in the dance.
We’d love to say this year was a vintage for remixes but we can’t think of a year when there wasn’t an abundance of great remixes. Every year is a vintage for re-rubs, fix-ups, versions and flips. And these 10 are ones our editorial team enjoyed the most this year.
One of the more underrated remixes of the year for me, and a tune I still get asked to ID. I love how Bop made this re-work entirely his own, taking the dance-floor vibe of the original and twisting it inside-out to add his signature touch, smoothing it right out into deep stepper territory. There’s something seriously hypnotic about the rhythm and the way it bleeps and bloops throughout, not to mention that mesmerising vocal… Head-nods guaranteed. (Maja Cicic)
Excision & Space Laces – Throwing Elbows (Getter & Virtual Riot Remix) (Rottun)
Throwing Elbows was without a doubt one of the heaviest and most violent tracks of 2016 – the metal intro combined with the “Give me some room” sample never fails to incite a mosh pit violent enough to scare both promoters and Health & Safety representatives all across the globe. We thought it couldn’t get bigger or better…
…until sound design dons Getter and Virtual Riot sat down and added their unique twist to the track. The metal intro got beefier, the vocal sample became more menacing and the drop got so violent that it broke the Geneva Convention. Give me some room… (Sampo Kaskia)
Ookay – Thief (Flux Pavilion Remix) (Circus)
It’s the classic Flux Pavilion sound, but with a saxophone. Do we need to say more? (Sampo Kaskia)
Origin Unknown – Valley of the Shadows (Chase & Status remix) (Ram Records)
Remixing a tune as big and important as this is a brave move, even for producers of Chase and Status’ calibre, but it’s safe to say they didn’t do a terrible job. I first heard it when watching back the live stream of Andy’s Printworks set and then heard it in the flesh the following week at Motion. Needless to say, it earned a reload and sent the crowd into a typically frenetic Ancy C-fuelled frenzy. It’s proof once more that a solid remix doesn’t have to change the original that drastically, it just needs to add a fresh lick of paint. (Robin Murray)
Pola & Bryson – Devil (Benny L Remix) (Soulvent)
Pola & Bryson and Benny L – two of the most exciting names to emerge in recent years, and both pretty polar ends of the shade spectrum by and large – colliding on one of the highlights of Pola & Bryson’s debut album last year: This ticked a lot of boxes on info alone. Sonically it doesn’t so much as tick the boxes but explode them. An essential on this list due to its unique dizzying feeling of being torn between wanting to be sick to Benny’s trademark groaner bassline and play air piano to P&B’s classic rave hook like you’re 18 and at a happy hardcore rave again; this is devilishly good (not sorry) (DJ)
Ram Trilogy – Terminal 2 (DC Breaks Remix) (Ram Records)
RAM25, a late entry into the compilation game this year, was unique because it was 100% remixes by other artists. It also contained a number of remixes of classic songs by artists that no one would have expected. This was certainly true for DC Breaks remix of Terminal 2 by Ram Trilogy.
The original Terminal 2 is a dark, punchy re-boot of the seminal 1998 track, Terminal 1. This is worth mentioning because it seems like DC Breaks used bits from both tracks to create their remix. The bassline from Terminal 1 is clearly audible throughout this mix, though it’s sort of hiding. The duo also used a lot more of the characteristic punctuated car horn synth in their version, as well as a few of the funky breaks which appear in T1 but not T2.
The decision to use stems from both tracks doesn’t undermine the fact that this is clearly meant to be a remix of Terminal 2. The most remarkable part of DC Breaks remix is the way they’ve manipulated the bassline from the original T2. It’s louder and angrier and it growls much more than it grumbles. Mini-breaks are added to it and then it’s even made into its own break. This version also pulls the weird, creepy synth from the intro of the original into the body of the track in a way that makes it sound like it’s being laced together with said melody. By the time the amen break comes at around 2:30, listeners will think they’re listening to a thoroughly modern track, but that’s only half the case: it’s an extremely well-done homage to the original and shows not only the timelessness of RAM but the diversity of DC Breaks. (Layla Marino)
Tap Tap Tap… It’s that familiar melody that has everyone in the club miming the lyrics in anticipation of the drop. You don’t need me to tell you how much fire the original version of this track has brought to dance floors over the years. No matter where you are or who you are seeing, when this song plays you can guarantee the crowd is going to react. It’s been a staple of many artists’ sets for a long time – including Friction and Andy C. In the past we’ve had the pleasure of the Hamilton remix, but A.M.C has somehow gone and crafted another remix that surpasses them all – and even TC himself has been constantly playing it. A.M.C’s decision to prolong the length of the track’s iconic screechy bassline has led to a gargantuan sound so fat that it consistently demands a rewind at every event. (Jake Hirst)
Technimatic – Bristol (Break Remix) (Shogun Audio)
Break remixing Technimatic… This tune already had an unfair advantage really, didn’t it? We all love a weighty Break re-work, but he delivered something particularly special on this one. It’s become as iconic as the original with those signature drums – throw in the wobble on that bassline and it’s pure badassery. Impossible not to let out a passionate air-punch or two. LISTEN IN. (Maja Cicic)
Thomas Oliver – Shine Like The Sun (Nu:Logic Remix) (Hospital)
Nu:Logic’s main achievement this year was the release of their second album as a duo, which packed a level of instrumental creativity I haven’t heard in a long time. But for me, this remix just exemplifies why Logistics and Nu:tone are such legends. They create music with that’s pure vibes, whether its Nu:tone’s System, Logistics’ Tell Me True or a remix of Thomas Oliver by the pair of them, every element is free-flowing, organic and teeming with confidence. (Ben Hunter)
This remix is tasteful, yet whompy. If you’re reading this, Eptic & Trampa – please do more collaborations. (Sampo Kaskia)