Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top 20 Remixes Of 2008 (1-10)

10) TRG - Put You Down (Ramadanman Remix) // Hessle Audio
David "Ramadanman" Kennedy was on fire last year, with three cracking singles and this little beauty, which was his first ever officially released remix. Minimising TRG's skittering garage beats was a genius move, giving the dubwise stabs and uber-deep bassline plenty of room to breathe and exude their irresistable charms.

9) Luke Hess - Believe & Receive (Shed's Deepanddubbydub Remix) // Kontra Music
Luke Hess' original isn't without its own merits - hell, it was one of the more engaging dubby techno records of last year - but Shed's overhaul on the flipside was the real star of the show. Its funky cyclical bassline draws you in, the snares on the two and four get you bopping along... then WHAM! In come the skittering closed hats, providing the sucker punch that seals the deal, and you're only three minutes in. It's a record that lends itself incredibly well to mixing, but stands up high and proud on its own two feet - the way good techno music should be.

8) Shackleton - You Bring Me Down (Peverelist Remix) // ~scape/Skull Disco
It's no secret that we're massive fans of Tom "Peverelist" Ford's work here at TAPE, and his only remix of 2008 finds its place at #8. Local lad he may be, but it's by no means a token inclusion, even though it's possibly the 'straightest' track he's put his hand to so far. I say 'straight', as it's his only production to date that features a 4x4 kickdrum (which, admittedly, does take two minutes to appear, and is slightly weighted), giving Shackleton's tenebrous ethnic samples some much-needed pump for the dancefloor.

7) Tadeo - Reflection Nebula 056n (Substance Remix) // Apnea
I heard a second hand story that when Substance (AKA Hardwax's DJ Pete) heard this track before remixing it, he said "yeah, this is good, but it could do with some hats." He was right, and his simple but effective remix gives "Reflection Nebula 056n" the punctuary percussion that it was crying out for.

6) Matias Aguayo - Minimal (DJ Koze Remix) // Kompakt
One of the modern masters of the art of remixing, Stefan Kozalla almost always pulls it out of the bag when handed the parts for one of his majestic recontextualisations. Here, he takes the galloping dark funk of Aguayo's original and guts it, drenching the vocal in smooth synths and a groovy disco beat. Add some cowbell (always a winner) and some tropical percussive flourishes, and you've got a perfect summer anthem that's just waiting for that perfect sunny day.

5) Flying Lotus - Roberta Flack (Martyn Heart Beat Mix) // Warp
I could've picked any one of Martyn's remixes from 2008 to fill this spot, but seeing as this was the for the RA ballot, I decided to plump for this one. It didn't make the final 15, however, but its stuttering synth and huge bassline over that sultry female vocal make it approximately ten billion times better than Dubfire's frankly godawful remix of Radio Slave's "Grindhouse" (which somehow managed to worm its way into #11 in an otherwise respectable list).


4) Geiom ft. Marita - Reminissin' (Kode9 Refix) // Berkane Sol
Kode9's remix of Badawi's "Den Of Drumz" would've been here, if it hadn't originally come out in 2007 on the CD version of his collaborative album. This effort is cut from similar cloth, however, taking a relentlessly energetic percussive skip and marrying it to a repeated burst of melody, à la Mala's "Left Leg Out". Big boy dancefloor business, this one.

3) Sascha Dive - Deepest America (Moodymann Remix) // Ornaments
So your label's got a shitload of money to play around with, so you sign a pretty pedestrian sample-heavy house track from an in vogue European producer, and then get Moodymann to remix it. He takes the original and stamps a great big "fuck you" on there, adding a vocal that berates the state of modern house music ("Music... there ain't no soul more") whilst pissing over most of 2008's house records from a great height. Infectious swinging percussion, lush organic samples, and a brief bassy arpeggio that comes out of nowhere - this remix has it all, and more. And all that whilst only using a snippet of the spoken word section from Dive's original. You can call it a statement if you want, but I'm calling it one of the best house tracks of last year.

2) TRG - Broken Heart (Martyn's DCM Remix) // Hessle Audio
As soon as I first heard the Detroit-esque pads and dubwise broken percussion of Martyn's "Broken Hearts" version, I was in love. Devastatingly deep dubstep that gives those heart strings a tug in the right direction - towards the speaker stack.

1) Namlook - Subharmonic Atoms (Pépé Bradock Bug Remix) // Macro
Pépé Bradock is a very odd man. We like odd here at TAPE, however - especially when it comes to our favourite French producer - and he's pulled it out of the bag yet again with this remix of Pete Namlook's beatless techno masterpiece from 1996. It's a fairly simple remix job, with Pépé simply adding a shuffling boompty beat and messing around with the original's structure. The devil's in the details though - the subdued rhythmic stabs, the subtle but hugely effective percussive changes, and of course the removal of the beat halfway through which just begs for a great record to lay over the top. Add to that the expert mastering from D&M's Rashad Becker (who masters every single one of Macro's releases), and you've got yourself a remix that's worthy of TAPE's #1 spot. Pépé Bradock - long may you continue with your odd idiosyncratic adventures into the deepest depths of house music.

34 Comments:

Anonymous cz said...

Totally agree about the Moodymann remix of Deepest America, definitely one of the best cuts of last year and maybe one of Kenny's best as well.

Unfortunately, couldn't disagree more about the Bradock/Namlook nonsense which is not only pretty derivative of 20 years of Namlook, but also just plain boring. Furthermore you said "the removal of the beat halfway through which just begs for a great record to lay over the top"but since when is it at all okay to mix over a breakdown!? BOO. WRONG.

Maybe I just need to listen again.

1:39 AM  
Blogger tom said...

Great to have this blog back. Good selection of remixes. Found some good tracks I didn't knew in the list.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous mattg said...

it was mr m. dettmann that was bigging up that tadeo remix when he played for us, he said the original was "OK" but the addition of the hihat made it "really good"

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Blogger holman said...

Awesome, records my friend, I need to dust off the record player.

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Hi,

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