Back in July, I posted my Top 10 Song Remixes of Summer, and so now I’m following it up with my Top 10 of the rest of the year.
As a fan of the genre, I’m always impressed with the ability to take a regular pop song, and turn it into something completely different – something that you can hear out in the clubs or work out to at the gym – it’s an art form in and of itself.
2008 was without doubt, in my humble opinion, the year of producer Ralphi Rosario. The Chicago resident would take the title with his remixes of “When I Grow Up” (The Pussycat Dolls) and “Feedback” (Janet Jackson) alone. Throw in his consistent work on other songs like “Leavin’” (Jesse McCartney) and “Fame (The Game)” (Donna Summer), and it was his year to shine.
In 2009, look out for strong showings by Jody den Broeder (also from Chicago) and New York’s Johnny Vicious (who has come back very strong in his production work in the latter half of this year).
Most of these remixes are available at Masterbeat.com or iTunes, but some, you’ll have to be crafty to find – which makes the search for great remixes even better – the hunt for an underground mix can sometimes be as exciting as listening to it!
While there are many genres within dance music – progressive house, classic house, European, underground – these picks are completely subjective on my own personal tastes, and focus mostly on American progressive house music.
1. “Angel” (Chicane & Moto Blanco remixes), Natasha Bedingfield
The first remixes of a Natasha song that I’ve ever really loved. Chicane goes for a down-tempo journey, while Moto Blanco apply their signature disco-fused treatment. Both work for totally different reasons (although, I’d like to see Moto Blanco get away from the disco-sound in the rest of their productions).
2. “Joyful Sound” (Hex Hector, Scotty K, Tracy Young and Wayne G remixes) – Debby Holiday
Never heard of Debby Holiday? No worries, she’s an LA scene local (and also a VERY nice woman!), but she’s got a voice big enough to keep up with Whitney, Leona, Kelly and the rest of them. Following a house music tradition, her contribution to the “Joy” sub-genre, is the best I’ve heard since 2000’s “Unspeakable Joy” by Kim English – it’s pure dance floor bliss!
3. “Hot N’ Cold” (Jason Nevins mix), Katy Perry
Pure bubble gum pop goodness gets even sweeter by a very mainstream remixer who every once in a while, comes out with a true gem.
4. “Miles Away” (Thin White Duke & Johnny Vicious remixes), Madonna
A strange choice, in my opinion, for the 3rd single from Madonna’s “Hard Candy” album, but Johnny’s remix is as strong as the best work he’s ever done. The Thin White Duke is none other than Stuart Price (producer of Madge’s “Confessions” album), who also takes this normally mellow song to the next level.
5. “Better In Time” (Eddie Baez Main Mix), Leona Lewis
This is one of those “good luck finding it” remixes that I was referring to above. It’s not an officially commissioned track from her label, but if you do find it somehow, it’s fun to the Nth degree! Most of the production work on this track was really done by DC’s DJ Yiannis. Nevins also remixed this track, but this is an example of him not doing right by a track.
6. “Disturbia” (Craig C & Jody den Broeder remixes), Rihanna
I’ll admit that when I first heard the original of this song, I thought, “There’s no way anyone can turn this into a remix.” But these succeeded where I didn’t think possible. Both remixes sound vaguely similar, although I give the edge to up-and-comer Jody, for whom Rihanna has been a remix muse of late.
7. “Energy” (Wideboys remix), Keri Hilson
Dear Interscope Records,
Please release Keri Hilson’s album – finally! Please!
She’s really quite incredible and she deserves it.
- On The Download
8. “That’s Not My Name” (Tom Neville remix), The Ting Tings
A totally alternative weird and out there song, gets even more twisted and fun and high energy and excellent. This remix is official and even on iTunes!
9. “Shake It” (Lenny B remix), Metro Station
Miley’s half-brother’s band had a huge alt radio hit with this song, and Lenny B from Boston (now Atlanta) gives it a great makeover! He’s the man behind 2007’s best remix of Alicia Keys’ “No One.”
10. (tie) “I Hate This Part” (Dave Aude and Digital Dog remixes) — The Pussycat Dolls
The Dolls follow up “When I Grow Up” with a single that is better remixed than in its original incarnation. My fellow Studio City resident Aude’s, remix is a high-energy beat-thumping treatment, while Digital Dog comes in with a more under-the-radar, but equally complex interpretation.
(and) “Sandcastle Disco,” (Escape & Coluccio, Lost Daze, Karmatronics, King Britt and Gomi remixes), Solange
Beyonce’s little sister’s 2nd album, might be one of the most underrated of the past year. Following lead single, “I Decided,” is this equally strong Motown-influenced track. When she sings, “You know that I’m fragile,” it’s clear that Solange is anything but!
My Honorable Mentions:
- “Untouched” (the remixes), The Veronicas
- “Womanizer” (Mike Rizzo, Escape and Junior Vasquez remixes), Britney Spears
- “So What” (the remixes), P!nk
- “Sober” (Junior Vasquez remix), P!nk
- “Keeps Gettin’ Better” (Jody den Broeder, Tom Neville, & Bimbo Jones remixes), Christina Aguilera
- Single Ladies [Put A Ring On It] (Dave Aude and Escape remixes), Beyonce