As always, the talented newcomers who take top honors in our Play remix contest each month continue to turn in polished reworks that go head-to-head with the originals. This time we take a look at now-officially-released winning remixes from our July, August, and September contests, which featured huge names like Blond:ish, Yousef, Tosca, Inner City, and PVT. Check out those winning tracks below, and enter the current stock of Play contests here.
Bodytricks‘ take on Murk’s “Die 4 U” gives the main lead line a tighter sound, turning up the funk while also stripping the track back a touch. As they put it, “We tried to combine elements from deep house as well as house without changing the arrangement of the original completely. We wanted to achieve a more danceable remix to play it in our sets.”
Boris Dlugosch’s “Never Enough” gets a fabulous reinterpretation by Kai Von Glasgow, who turns a straightforward disco tune into a dreamy, offbeat number that would nicely suit a sunrise set. The track plays off the emotion of Roisin Murphy’s vocals, which are accompanied by a simple chord progression that gently floats in and out. “I started just with her voice and the rough beat,” says Von Glasgow. “That worked very well, so I decided to keep it minimalistic.”
Salah & Hoolz give Yousef’s “Italo Sleeze” the groovy treatment, reshaping the vocal sample and arpeggiating the bouncy lead synth to a warm effect. The BPMs are dropped slightly and the rubbery bassline is lengthened, which result in a slinkier, danceable cut.
Black Spark flips Vaski’s “Baddest” from a floor-smashing dubstep banger to a floor-smashing electro-house banger that would work nicely when played back to back with the original. Betty Borderline’s vocal plea “to see you on your baddest behavior” anchors the remix as it does the original.
Climbers and Blond:ish see their track “Town Joker” get a subtle wash of electro that brightens everything from the drums to the lead synth line. Thee Cool Cats keep their remix on par with the original, not deviating too much but shaping the tone of the track enough to give it a different character. As Thee Cats themselves put it, “We started out by listening to some of the other entries that we found online, and noticed a trend to not use much of the original. A lot of them you couldn’t even tell what it was a remix of. In fact, we felt that for some of the entries, if it weren’t for the name in the title, one could mistake it for a completely different track.”
Puce Moment take the lo-fi edge off of PVT’s “Homosapien,” reshaping the gritty original with their own trashy vibe. It works all too well as the indie-rock theme of the original is kept intact, updated with a more electronic feel. The change results in a more club-friendly tune rather than a rocker.
The Stafford Brothers’ “Hello” gets a bigger-room treatment than the original from Anevo, who focuses on the vocal of Christina Milian and turns it into a peak-time club smasher. Bigger sawtooths, bigger kicks, bigger pads…just bigger.
Togglehead keeps the tempo the same but nearly doubles the length of Fedde Le Grand’s “Rockin’ N’ Rollin” on his remix, which rolls out into a more straightforward 4/4 beat, with more weight in the kick and more playful effects. The choppy lead line shifts the energy into a higher gear than the original, which is no easy task.
LoveHigh’s remix of Clockwork’s “The Fire,” featuring Madame Buttons, throws the original into stop-start stutter mode and comes out a winner. The choppiness switches up the original nicely while peeling back a bit of the track’s higher frequencies.
Pulling off a hugely daunting task with class is Contepella’s remix of the seminal techno track “Good LIfe” from Inner City. Flipping the vibe with a percussion-heavy breakbeat, Contepella splits duties between the doctored vocal and updated backing tracks for a remix that’s both modern and nostalgic.
Tosca’s “Looking” gets the deep-house treatment from Daniel Broadhurst, as the original almost-beatless tune gets reshaped into a chugging dance number. The gentle pads of the original stay intact and well-timed hi-hats augment the nice kick drum, with an elongated bass synth adding a progressive backbone to the track.