This one brings back memories. Travis Steward aka Machinedrum, one of today’s most talented electronic musicians remixed the nineties classic tune “Six Days” off DJ Shadow’s
debut album “Endtroducing…” sophomore album “The Private Press” (Thanks for the correction, Daniel), and he brings some alarm to the track. He underlined the soft percussion and harp melodies with a harder and faster breakbeat pattern, claps and a grimey vocal sample, and does so without destroying the original vibe. A perfect example of how a remix should be done. The song is the third and last track on an EP released on DJ Shadow’s new imprint Liquid Amber and streamable in full on his website.
Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife”, one of the best tracks on last year’s “Reflektor” album, gets a treatment by Aussie shooting star Flume. On paper, it looks like quite a combination: Indie superstars meet electronic music big room banger. In reality, it ended up being quite a departure for Flume, as instead of the sweet, short and tightly wound tracks he usually delivers, this remix ended up being a ten minute meditation on vocal repetition, choral ambience and skittering breakbeats. The problem is, Flume dug a bass hole for himself in the past years, pulled all of the ADHD kids in with him, and now it is difficult to climb out of it. Musically, the result is not especially interesting, but seeing the supporters and haters trying to come to grasp with this Flume remix – and leaving their marks in the Soundcloud comments, below – might bring an evil grin on your face.
It usually isn’t a good sign, if the Soundcloud waveform of a track resembles more a block than a wave, as the tracks tend to be overamplified. Veteran Dutch producer Legowelt now defies such prejudice with the superb density and hypnotic accuracy featured in his techno remix of Ryan Hunn aka Illum Sphere’s “Embryonic” off the Manchester club owner’s Warp debut “Ghosts Of Now And Then”. (One of the album highlights of 2014 so far.) Legowelt himself just released his latest effort Crystal Cult 2080 on Crème Organization, so if you like this, try that. The remix is part of Hunn’s mini-LP for Record Store Day on April 19th, but until then you can listen to the track on SC, courtesy of Mixmag. I recommend multiple runtimes – it just doesn’t get old.
London trio Factory Floor and fellow homie Daniel Avery both published their thrustful deep house debut albums last year – to much critical acclaim. Now the latter is remixing the former on Factory Floor’s new DFA single release How You Say, and it turns out to be the perfect pairing with surprising results.
The original Factory Floor track is a percussion driven house track close to the typical DFA disco touch. But only close to it, as the depth, or shall we say: deepness, is embedded in their very musical soul and brings out their well known hypnotic industrial vibe. Daniel Avery added something quite different though, and it can be heard from the first few seconds: There is a carpet of mellow synths spanning the beats that is neither typical for him nor for them, bordering on ambient at times.
German electronic musician Helena Hauff is responsible for the other remix on this small release, and her playful synth tides are worth a listen, too.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jillian Banks for the German music magazine Intro last year. She was such a warm and sweet presence, and so I was very pleased to find a new remix of the ballad “Change” off her London EP in my inbox today. The track had already received two wonderful reworks by Dream Koala and The Chainsmokers, and Nashville duo Jensen Sportag do it justice again – but to be fair, the source material is simply too beautiful to make anything less than awesome out of it. BANKS’ debut album is in the making, as she told me then, and she is on tour in the UK in March.
Out for a month on Beatport as part of the Smalhans Remix EP, but only quite recently put on Soundcloud: The great remix of Hans-Peter Lindstrøm’s “Vos-sako-rv” by none other than French House veteran Fred Falke. What a combination! If the original sounded retro, this is super-retro – I would not hesitate calling it Daft Dunk retro. A mixture of late Seventies The Alan Parsons Project and early Eighties Euro Disco – something that probably would not have been cool, say, ten years ago, but is sounding so hip right now. Falke fills the original with cheap sounding synths and a thumping beat, but it is the downtempo bridge that grips my heart with nostalgia. Listen to it below, while I go and put on “I Robot” again.
Most artists use the tags on Soundcloud tracks very openly, making up labels or genres on the fly. But seldom has a tag been more fitting than the “OrchestralCrunkwave” Flume gave his remix of UK duo Disclosure’s “You and Me”. He strips away the 2-Step beat, puts some reverb on the vocals and slows the song by laying down some trap beats. But most of all he puts some strings in the low sections and a lot of crunk (or more like CRUNK) in the others, connecting them with builds and drops. There isn’t a lot of Disclosure left in the track when he is finished with it, but what is lost in elegance, he more than makes up with energy and a sonic surprise that brought a smile to my face.