Remixes that really shake things up
No self-respecting music fan is a stranger to the idea of the remix. After a track is completed, the stems are passed off to other like-minded producers and are reshaped to allow the style and personality of the remixer to come out while elements of the original are retained. While the odd remix on the B-side of an EP really shines, they can all too frequently come across as unnecessary additions to the original mixes, so when a really good remix comes about you’re sure to take notice.
This feature doesn’t focus specifically on ‘great remixes’, but rather remixes where the producer has taken the core track and has really invigorated the original track, leaving it recognisably the same but taking the tune in a totally different direction. After much ploughing through my music library, I’d like to present some of the most successful remixes I’ve heard where the remixer on hand has really gone beyond the call of duty; and these will be shown and discussed along with the original tracks.
Running through a real range of contemporary music, a lot of these will be dance-focused but some are even stranger takes on recognisable classics alongside less well-known contributions. So without further ado, let’s get listening and check out some of the best remixes to be found in the White Noise vaults.
This two-part series will be split, with the first section dedicated to home listening tracks and the latter a big playlist of remixed dance music. Enjoy part 1!
Gold Panda – Marriage (Forest Swords 1am Hotel Room Redraw)
In this stunning rework of one of Gold Panda’s best tunes, the atmospheric Forest Swords completely rebuilds the track from the ground up, entirely with acoustic instrumentation. The melody is still there, but it’s hard to imagine a more imaginative and successful redraw.
Efdemin – Acid Bells (Martyn’s Bittersweet Mix)
Sounding more Aphex Twin than Efdemin, legend Martyn relegates the original’s driving rhythms to the background, allowing a haunting piano melody to take centre stage.
Aphex Twin – Untitled (Four Tet Mix)
Apparently devised at the tender age of 17, Kieran Hebden’s IDM-fuelled mix of one of Aphex Twin’s most brilliant ambient tracks is a dream collaboration that retains aspects of both producers’ styles.
Mount Kimbie – Maybes (James Blake Remix)
James Blake applies a trademark warmth to one of Mount Kimbie’s best, fuzzing up the duo’s crisp production and lending it a woozy dubstep momentum.
Fever Ray – If I Had A Heart (Fuck Buttons Remix)
Here Fuck Buttons take Fever Ray’s darkness as far as it will stretch, wielding a driving 4/4 and growling bass frequencies to create something black and wildly hypnotic.
Fever Ray – When I Grow Up (Version by Lissvik)
Alongside for comparison, the most bizarre remix here is courtesy of one half of Balearic duo Studio, as Lissvik sets Fever Ray’s straining vocals to bouncing house with tropical synthlines. The strangest thing isn’t that it works, it’s that it works so damn well.
Star Slinger – May I Walk With You
Although not technically a remix, Star Slinger’s rework of Life Without Buildings’ The Leanover is a brilliant recreation, taking Sue Tompkins’ jittery vocals to their logical extreme alongside tough beats and some of the catchiest looping you’re likely to hear.
Bibio – Lover’s Carving (Letherette Remix)
This dreamy hip hop rework of Bibio’s upbeat classic works like a charm, chopping up the vocals while retaining the sunshine of the original. The only flaw is that it’s all too short.
Lianne La Havas – Forget (Shlohmo Remix)
Shlohmo on excellent remixing form again, applying Lianne La Havas’ vocals both in original and chopped forms to a dreamy soundscapes replete with clicks, blips and deep haunting bass.
Agaric – No Way I Know I Feel (Axel Boman Remix) – Clips of Original
Axel Boman takes Agaric’s dense original and cleans it up, making that nagging vocal the centrepiece of a world of swirling samples and twinkling beats.
Shlohmo – Rained The Whole Time (Nicolas Jaar Remix)
The superb Nicolas Jaar livens up Shlohmo’s melancholy original with harder woodblock beats, blowing up the guitar in the original alongside soulful beats and samples that shift and swirl magnificently.
Colonel Abrams – Trapped (Hell Interface Remix)
Boards of Canada, under their Hell Interface moniker, take chopped and screwed to a new deathly extreme in their growling slow-down of Colonel Abrams’ 80s classic.
Burial – Shell of Light (Shlohmo Remix)
Tampering with Burial is not done lightly, but Shlohmo nails this one, isolating the hopeful last 30 seconds of the original and casting them onto an emotional widescreen with deeper-than-deep bass and ghostly vocal touches.
Nuyorican Soul – I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun (4 Hero Remix)
It’d be hard to outdo the original, backed by Masters of Work production and Jocelyn Brown’s honey tones, but 4 Hero turns the tune into a feelgood jazzy odyssey, thoroughly living up to the glory of the original.