Feature | April 26, 2016
The Best Remixes of 2016 (So Far)


best remixes 2016
divider

Big Wild – Aftergold Remix (Ft. Tove Stryke)

big wild remix

This does exactly what a remix should do, but in reverse. Usually a remix takes lyrical structure and distorts, but Tove Stryke comes in swinging over Big Wild‘s now year-old track and builds a whole new song to stand on.

Fiona Hanly

divider

Keznamdi – Herb (Rihanna x Drake Work Ganja Refix)

keznamdi remix

2016 is shaping up to be the year of dancehall. Rihanna continues to plant Caribbean rhythms into the mainstream consciousness, and early signs suggest Drake is going to follow suit on Views from the 6, and their collaboration for “Work” was a similar statement of intent. Keznamdi takes it even further on his so-called “Ganja Refix” of the hit song, called “Herb.” With the good sense not to touch that beat, it’s a delightful reggae-infused interpretation centering on the love of that little green plant (Rihanna is a pretty big fan as well). 4/20 just passed, but trust the man, “Best believe the best weed is Jamaican.”

Harry Hantel

divider

Erykah Badu – Cell U Lar Device / Trill Friends

erykah badu remix

In an interview with one of those other publications, Erykah Badu explained herself: “The whole world to me is kinda like a private joke between me and God sometimes, and that’s how I treat social media, too.” Erykah Badu is not of the realistic attitude. She is on another plane, of another planet, transcendent. Thus the remix is where she really swoons straight into a dreamlike flow state.

 

In two instances she takes that which was so pleasurable to us and elevates it to the form of social commentary. Do Kanye and Drake know how blessed they are now that Badu has arrived? The phone analogies of “Hotline Bling” become a searing look at how connection and communication can disconnect in “Cell U Lar Device”. And then she explains that the real can also surpass itself into the surreal in “Trill Friends” her take on that quintessential meditation on companionship “Real Friends.” What can I say; she just might be the healer of us all.

– Linda Nyakundi

divider

Lianne La Havas – Lost and Found (Matthew Herbert Remix)

lianne la havas

Most DJ Koze fans know that where his real strength lies is remixes. So when it was announced he would be compiling the first-ever compilation from Pampa Records, it should’ve already been assumed he would pick only the best ones.

But this meeting of Herbert and La Havas exceeded even my expectations. The track retains the raw emotion of La Havas’s voice –already enough to make any song great– but reimagines it into a house track with so much complexity and personality, it could have only come from Matthew Herbert. The song is two breathtaking musicians both on their A-game at once. There’s a silence I swear, for the tiniest moment  between those hypnotizing snares on the 2nd and 4th beats. Each one feels like the track might be about to change, some new element might just completely mutate the song. Then a few times that does happen, and each is more satisfying than the last.

Eli Fosl

divider

Miguel – Waves (Travis Scott Remix)

miguel travis scott remix

Travis Scott took Miguel’s “Waves” and turned it into a tsunami of passionate beats and melodies. The combination of Miguel’s volcanic vocals with Travis Scott’s calm and cool lyrics will make you want to stand, throw your hands up and scream “DON’T STOP” as you ride a magical wave with this twosome. If you thought 2015 was big for Mr. Scott then buckle up because the 23-year-old has been working hard and is ready to take 2016 by storm.

– Arun Raman