This may or may not be my best post, but it’s the one I broke with. Before I posted this top I had kept it to myself, but this top 36 remixes of 2010 is the one that I used to announce my blog to the world (my friends on facebook) and to let everyone now my twisted dark electronic music fantasy.
So this is where my hearts at in 2011, the remix. I’ve written this blog post twice already and I had a beautiul intro that developed the history of the remix and my relationship to it, but I keep accidentally deleted it. Now I’ve learned my lesson, always write things in Word first. Word.
This was a big year for the remix though, the bloghouse phenomenon has now simply been the way that we experience electronic music, with an infinite number of artists communicating instantly. Shit most of these songs have no place other than blaring off computer speakers. You’ll never hear any of this, even on college radio, and you can be damned sure that it’ll never hit your local disco.
Anyways, please enjoy this top 10, and a long list of honorable mentions that nearly made the cut.
The xx – VCR (Four Tet remix): There have been dozens of xx remixes. The young English trio’s potent mixture of sparse instrumental/soft electronic arrangements held together by compelling, intimate vocal melody leaves oodles of space for the potential remix artist to work their magic. After their self-titled debut dropped a wave of remix’s came flowing out of the bloghouse community. Almost a year after this first wave of remix’s, Four Tet took a stab at re-imagining one of my favorite xx cuts, VCR. The result, well listen for yourselves, but IMHO this is the first remix that truly results in a new song, not just a riff on the original.
Edwin Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – Home (RAC remix): RAC (Remix Artist Collective) does some of the most tasteful remixes out there. The collective applies a soft touch to the jangly, organic sounds of Sharpe n’ the Zeroes signature song. Really all it took was some soft synths and a steady beat and the already dancable song just became instantly more versatile. An instant classic.
Local Natives – Eyes Wide (Fool’s Gold Remix ft. Aristotle Pop a Bottle): The first 5 seconds of this remix transport the listener to a completely different planet than the blue eyed soul of the LA-based Local Natives’ original. The heavy bass intro hints at a possible veer towards dubstep, but then the “oh shit the world’s gonna end” Worellesque synths and the sputtering snare drum remind you that this is a Fool’s Gold remix. The brazenly added verse from whoever the hell “Aristotle Pop a Bottle” is hits all the right notes.
Darwin Deez – Deep Sea Diver (Dezlin remix): Darwin Deez definitely makes the top 10 breakout artists of 2010. His record label, Lucky Number, also makes some kinda list for doing a good job of protecting his music online. It’s really wasy to find a soundcloud of his tunes, but nearly impossible to find available downloads. Therefore I usually experience Deez via remix or while watching a video. Out of the ones I’ve heard, this one struts its stuff with a little more confidence and a little less cheez than the rest.
Neon Indian – Deadbeat Summer (Database remix): So this was the song of the summer of 2009, and it’s sticking around for the 2010 list, boo-freakin-hoo. Database put just enough techno gloss on this song to make it last another 12 months before it goes on the nostalgia pile. Good on ya!
TIE: Deerhunter – Helicopter (Diplo & Lunice remix) / Helicopter (STAR SLINGER remix): These two remixes almost hit the blogs simultaneously, right around the release date of Deerhunter’s ridiculously good forth album, Halcyon Digest. The two take different and almost contradictory approaches to the lead single from the Atlanta group. Counter-intuitively, Diplo, who in 2010 released “Diplo’s Guide to Dubstep” and genre-crossing hip-hop wunderkind, Lunice’srework trades on a bubly key lines, trance synths, and rich layers of effects. On the otherhand, break-out remix artist of 2010 STAR SLINGER, arguably takes the easy road and goes all dubstep with it, but that’s not all. STAR SLINGER sits comfortably at the crossroads of dupstep and chillwave, and this remix is a glorious setpiece of how the two emergent genres can sit side by side, even on a remix of a beautiful, pining, paean to the heavens.
Major Lazer - I’m Not Your Lemonade + Heroes n Villans Remix ft. Gucci Mane: This song formed the perfect storm of 2010 music trends. La Roux representing the wave of deeply personal and intimate vocalists that have come pouring out of Britain recently (see The xx, Ellie Goulding), and the Heroes n Villain remix to Lemonade introducing the world to the trapstep style that has been making the rounds in ATL for a minute now – combining down south trap music with dub step lo-end rhythms and theories.
Via Tania – Fields (Lemonade Remix): So good that I’ve never even bothered to check out the original. Lemonade blew me away at this year’s MtyMx festival in Monterrey Mexico, and I’m ashamed that I forgot to put their EP, Pure Moods, on my top 10 albums list. This edgy, angular track’s start n stop dums are smoothed out by the pleasant, simple lyrics and earnest, folksy delivery. The organ sample is also pretty fire. How to talk about this song? It’s more than the sum of its parts, just take a listen.
Kanye West – Power (remix ft. Jay-Z & Swiss Beatz): Finally, a straight hip-hop remix. The first single of Kanye West’s 2010 “enter my world if you like it or not” experience, Power didn’t impress me too much. That’s until I saw his BET Awards opening performance. With enough weight around his neck to make Mike Vick proud, Kanye became Kanye2K before our eyes. When’s the last time we’ve seen an entertainer become a demi-god before our eyes? Let alone one who can’t sing or dance. Yeah, I’ve always enjoyed Kanye’s lyrical potency, since back when me and my boys were screaming “Stack your money til it gets sky high,” but damn Yeezy, when did you get that flow? Jay-Z becomes utterly forgettable, as Kanye rips the last verse to shreds over ummeruffin Snap!. Oh and biggest disappoint of 2010, that the power clap didn’t catch on. LAME.
Dude, how pissed must Chromeo be that LMFAO is making top dollar off of their shtick.
Anyways, I’m experiencing some excellent internet right now, and I don’t know if I’m even going out tonight, so I decided to light up the skies with a post.
I have a channel in my hotel called Trace Urban. It’s a pop hop and r&b station that only plays music videos and is almost half African. It’s funckking unreal. Hearing so much good afropop alongside my drake and rhianna, but they play that damn Eminem and Bruno Mars song all day. The jury’s still out on that Sean Paul and Alexis Jordan Joint “Got 2 LUV U.” In any case, last week they started playing that great new - new to the Congo that is - Rhinanna song, “We Found Love.” I especially like that Trace Urban puts the writer credits on the screen so I can see that it was Calvin Harris on the words and music.
While the pounding house bass reminds us that Rhianna’s excellent first album was practically anchored by the unapologetically Euro “Please Don’t Stop the Music,” it is the music video that draws me into this latest single. Because I learned the song along with the video this is one of those songs that I’ll never be able to seperate from its music video. When they play it on trace, they add subtitles, it’s a French channel after all - but at least they don’t dub it, that’s how i watched My Blood Valentie last night…