I don’t really try to hide the fact that I really like remixes. In fact, I’d say the majority of the stuff we post here are remixes (despite the often lengthy names that become a bear to type out time after time). But it makes sense really, most of them are unofficial and/or sent to us, so they’re typically 100% safe to post, and I like the way that these producers can take an existing song and visualize it as something completely different in their heads. I like all kinds of remixes, but I find myself more often than not being drawn to the more unusual remixes or the ones that completely reimagine the song, and it’s those remixes that make up the majority of my list. Actually after giving this a second listen, almost all of these remixes are super chill. But that’s alright with me, because they all pretty much own. It was not easy to narrow down to 10, and my original list started with about 30, and I got to the point where I had 2 spots left and 8 that I completely loved still, so I guess these ones were the lucky ones that I was feeling a little more at the exact moment, but by all means not a complete list of all my favorites. It’s that whole “it’s an honor just to be nominated” thing. I’ve included links to the original posts as well if you’re interested, but in most cases they only slightly expand upon what I say below anyway.
Disclaimer: I’m not looking back to see when these were actually released. To simplify things a bit, “the year” refers to 2010, the year in which I discovered these remixes regardless of when they were released. If I know off the top of my head something was from a different year I won’t include it, but something might slip in through the cracks.
Coeur de Pirate – Comme des Enfants (Le Matos Andy Carmichael Remix) (View original post)
If we’re talking about songs that have a feeling decidedly different than their originals, this one has to be included in the list. The original, full of piano and sounding almost like a lounge singer performance (I mean this in a good way, somehow) was completely transformed into an upbeat electronic synth wonder whose energy cannot be denied, and one that works in perfect harmony with Beatrice Martin’s French vocals.
Metric – Twilight Galaxy (Death to the Throne Remix) (View original post)
I know I just posted this a few days ago, but for me, the outer space arpeggios just make this one too in your face to ignore. I’ve heard effects like this before, but they’ve never seemed so huge or so appropriate. And the robotic nature of the whole song (especially the countdown before the first big drop) definitely caught me by surprise the first time and they really make a big impact.
Local Natives – Who Knows (Brainbheats Remix) (View original post)
When you release the stems to your song to anyone who wants them just as you’ve reached massive popularity, you’re bound to get lots of remixes, as was the case with Local Natives this year. But of all the ones I listened to, few caught me by surprise like this one from Brainbheats, aka Brian Healey of The Pass. It took a slow song and sped it up with a beat that never slows down over some robotic delayed melodies, and there are a few jazzy little breakdowns throughout that I love.
The XX – Crystalised (Dark Sky Remix) (View original post)
Why did this make the cut? I’m not a huge fan of the big wobble wobble dubstep (except for maybe in person), but this much more subdued Burial-esque form of dubstep is right up my alley. And the perfect compliment to the minimal sounds of The XX.
PNAU – With You Forever (FM Attack Remix) (View original post)
To this day, I’ve been unable to find the words to describe what this remix sounds like. But I feel like at its core, it’s just got a funky groove thing going on in some weird outer spacey way. It’s slow moving and quick, dark and heavy but still light on its feet. Whatever it was that FM Attack did to this track, it sounded unlike anything I could remember and has stuck with me from the very first moments that I heard it.
Florence and the Machine – Heavy in Your Arms (C-Berg Remix) (View original post)
I posted a whole boatload of Florence and the Machine remixes this year and last. Her incredible vocals are so versatile that they work with so many different styles so well. This time, Fever Ray producer C-Berg gives them his own personal blend of darkness and blight, and her vocals become something so much more powerful and emotional than they were originally in response.
Gorillaz ft. Daley – Doncamatic (All Played Out) [Joker Remix] (View original post)
For me, the Gorillaz played a pretty decently sized roll for me musically. I got to see them twice in concert, including at Coachella (an overall excellent experience) and I dug their newest album so much, causing me to revisit their older stuff as well. But when this song came out, for some reason I just wasn’t feeling it. Then I heard this remix from Joker and it struck me. Perhaps because of the really unique beat or the simplicity of it. Whatever it was, it gave me a whole new appreciation for this song and I don’t know how I ever didn’t love the original now.
Wave Machines – Keep The Lights On (Artwork Remix) (View original post”)
One phrase that I most likely overused this year was “slow burner”. It was a way to describe the tracks like this one that I loved so much. They start out pretty slow, totally unassuming but super funky. And they just slowly creep along (often for 4-5 minutes), building ever so slightly and almost unnoticeably until suddenly the buildup hits you kind of nowhere, falsetto vocals and all. This is a bit of a lengthy song, so if you question whether or not you’ve gotten to the peak, then you haven’t gotten there yet.
Massive Attack – Paradise Circus (Gui Boratto Remix) (View original post)
I don’t hide the fact that I’m a HUGE fan of Gui Boratto and the subtlety with which he reworks songs, but this remix is the quintessential examples of what he does so wonderfully. He keeps the original soft and delicate nature of this song but still manages to make a powerful statement. He also has a knack for making an 8 minute track feel like far less and still leaves you wanting more (perhaps the result of so many well-placed false endings). I definitely did a double take when I heard this in a Lincoln commercial recently, and I guess it was the first track Massive Attack licensed, giving all the proceeds to the Gulf cleanup effort.
Delphic – Doubt (Build Remix) (View original post)
Last but not least, perhaps the biggest and sunniest of remixes that I can remember. One thing I talk about quite a bit when rating a song (depending on the genre) is how it holds up being blared out the window on a hot and sunny day. And I can’t think of any songs this year, remix or otherwise, that so perfectly encompass all of the feeling of that act of blasting music on a hot summer day. The fact that this came out of a song that’s noticeably darker in its original form (and from my number 2 album of the year no less), it’s even more surprising how well Build pulled off this transformation. The first drop where the lyrics come in over the warmest synth ever is a winner every time. Yes, this is 100% FOR SURE my favorite remix of the year, no question about it.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the final day of our 2010 year end coverage where we’ll be presenting a new mixtape with a song (or remix) from each of our top 20 albums, and a tiny mini tribute to one of our favorite blogs.