Top 10 Remixes of 2012

Fort Romeau

Well, it’s December. Best Of lists are popping up all over the place like electronic moles at a traveling carnival. Speaking of electronic, we’re proud to present Vancouver Weekly’s Top 10 Remixes of 2012.

So click play and read on. A number of these tracks are available for free download on SoundCloud so dive into the playlist and explore.

One last note – this being a remix list, we decided to mix the songs in the playlist. Y’know, just to play with your head. Mix-y, mix-y!

10.Villagers – “The Waves (Jape Remix)”

Richie Egan aka Jape is a master of the trade. After numerous quality albums, he continues to knock out top-class productions one by one, each progressing on to new levels in sound. He retains the instrumental qualities his albums had but with a more complex format. This remix marks a new approach by the man behind Villagers, Conor J. O’Brien, who has started to let his music venture off deeper into the infinite electronic world. Jape’s rework complements this new direction wholeheartedly, and then some. At nine minutes long, the song takes you on a magical disco-house journey, with great vocal work and a brilliant climax, the two standout elements that make this remix so special.

9. FaltyDL – “Straight & Arrow (Gold Panda Remix)”

On the brink of his new Ninja Tune LP, Drew Lustman floated the title track “Straight & Arrow”. He then proceeded to let Gold Panda and Four Tet  butcher, cut and chop his lead production to pieces, which they did with awesome flair and skill, with both takes going off in equally brilliant different directions. Gold Panda’s shakedown, the more expansive of the two, is a beautiful and emotion-driven lullaby sprinkled with dusty high hats and beats. Gold Panda resists the already brilliant vocal of the original and succeeds in twisting it into something completely different.

8. Gui Boratto – “This is not the end (Ame Beatless Mix)”

Ame strips this end-of-night house tear-jerker to the bare bones. Its rawness creates an almost synthetic soul feel to the otherwise very digital track. Its slow withering atmosphere evokes a special emotion to the listener, setting the tone for the massively effective vocal to aid the slow-burning backing track until it transmutes into a tech-y swirl towards the end. It all makes for a track of epic proportions.

7. Machinedrum – “U Don’t Survive (Falty DL Remix)”

This remix brings together two producers at the peak of their powers – two of underground music’s high-ranking officers, both very busy men who seem to constantly be working on an upcoming release or some new endeavour. The finely-tuned machine-men combined powers and the outcome did not disappoint. The under-toned low end on the track loops the whole way though the song and sets the tone. This is a remarkable collapse of beats and shuttering, expertly executed high hats from start to finish.

6. Shlohmo – “Rained The Whole Time (Nicolas Jaar Remix)”

2011 saw Nicolas Jaar burst onto the scene to dramatic effect, arriving fully equipped with new ideas, new sounds and a new approach to the production aspects of eletronica. After what must have been an unbelievably hectic year, 2012 was a little more reserved for the L.A via Chile magic-maker. He still had quite a few projects on the go but just maybe not as loudly. This track is his best work of the year, a real powerhouse reworking of bleeps and bass which beautifully showcases both artists unique styles.

5. Go Panda Go – “El Troubadour (Frenchie Remix)”

This remix from Irish outfit Go Panda Go was released on Bluestack Records in early 2012. It is a truly breathtaking drum arrangement with dreamy guitar notes that transpire into extremely catchy guitar plucking, then on to a moody breakdown and folky vocal cries. All in all, it’s a brilliant musical composition arranged in a unique fashion. The producer Frenchie is already known for his high-calibre DJ sets, but this remix propels him into the league of tremendously intriguing electronica producers.

4. Tyson – “Die on the Dancefloor (Stubborn Heart Remix)”

A well-hidden gem, Tyson as reworked by the up and coming Stubborn Heart is a great peak-time track. It twists and turns in many directions and covers quite a few genres. It shakes and rattles at the start with random beats and a catchy build-up, and then delivers quite the disco house stomp. The vocal twist is probably the track’s main attribute, as it helps join up all the different segments within the song and release them again gradually.

3. Vacationer – “Trip (Mmoths Remix)”

Mmoths is 18-year-old producer Jack Colleran. Despite his youth, this young man has been making blissful chill-wave beats for nearly two years now. This particular rejig takes his sound in a slightly different direction but keeps his signature foggy aesthetic and extended breakdowns. His spin on Vacationer’s “Trip” is a masterpiece, using the same simple and catchy vocals from the original but alining it with a stuttering muffed beat and reverberated guitar loop. At 3:33, it’s short and sweet, however it’s a song best listened to on repeat.

2. Ultraista – “Smalltalk (Four Tet Remix)”

Four Tet’s vocal-driven remix of Ultraista’s “Smalltalk” has an instant feel of a massive hit; an excellent vocal delivery coupled with Kieran Hebden’s razor-sharp production skills. The combination results in a wonderful dance-floor masterpiece. Ultraista are a three-piece headed up by Nigel Godrich, a man famously referred to as Radiohead’s fifth member because of his superhuman production skills. Godrich is accompanied by Joey Waronker on drums and the excellent Laura Bettinson on vocal duties. Four Tet is at the peak of his powers at the moment – he churns out quite a lot of remixes but keeps a remarkably high standard. “Smalltalk” is arguably his best of the year.

1. Dauwd – “What’s There (Fort Romeau Remix)”

This track is arguably the track of the summer and was an anthem to a fair share of parties across the globe over the past seven months or so. It has that classic feel to it, except with a more streetwise bass-line and the now compulsory pitched down vocal loop. Fort Romeau, who only has a few releases out so far, took an already decent original and made it into a dream dance-floor moment with a solid house groove. His take on House has been heralded by many of seated at said genre’s head table. Great things are expected from (and for) him in 2013.