Best of 2013: The Best Remixes of 2013

It’s that time of year again, where I round up my favorite tracks of the year. First up, we’ve got my favorite remixes. Stay tuned for an albums, mixtapes, and singles list.

10. Friends
“The Way” (Blood Orange Re-Edit/Duet)
The Way (Digital Single)

Dev Hynes’ dramatic vocals have always worked best when flanked by a powerful female voice, so his re-work of IRL girlfriend Samantha Urbani’s stunning power ballad is unsurprisingly spectacular. Some have written him off as a cheesy pastiche merchant, but as long as he keeps releasing tracks with this much sincerity, emotion, and ability, I’m willing to look the overlook his imitational tendencies and get swept away by the groove. An duet album beckons….

9. Disclosure
“Voices” (f/ Sasha Keable) (Wookie Remix)
Settle (PMR) 

Though the American press has predictably misclassified the Lawrence brothers’ spectacular debut LP as synth-pop or (even more nauseatingly) as EDM, the Surrey natives have deep roots in UK garage and deep house, which they embrace on this inch-perfect remix from garage legend, Wookie. The vet lends his signature keys and graceful swing to the original, resulting in a track that feels fresh, yet classic. It’s a bit like watching Michael Jordan give Jabari Parker pointers on his jumper, and it’s great to see a young, hot group pay tribute to one of the people who helped shape their sound.

8. Drake
“From Time” (Ruddyp Refix)
Nothing Was the Same (YMCMB)

Though Young Angel’s third LP was a bit of a disappointment, it certainly has its moments, and its probably on par with Yezzus for the most remixed LP of the year. None shone brighter than the Virginia native’s sumptuous take on one of NWTS’ best, overshare-iest cuts. In just five short minutes, Ruddyp takes the reflective original through a startling number of movements, resulting in a track that manages to feel simultaneously erratic and cohesive.

Hear the rest after the jump…..

 7. Chief Keef
“Citgo” (D33J Gasoline Feelings Remix)
Bang Pt. II (Glory Boyz Entertainment)

Flipping a druggy, incredibly strange, gas station-inspired Chief Keef cut into a track this affecting deserves a spot on this list, just for pure degree of difficulty alone. Djvan “D33J” Santos’ take on Chicago’s resident enfant terrible‘s dreamy “Citgo” is pure genius, as the Wedidit affiliate expertly builds a droopy arraignment and busy percussion around Sosa’s bizzaro, auto-tune warbling. It has no right to work, but somehow it does.

6.  Dan Bodan
“Hunger Games” (Stadium Remix)
Hunger Games (single) (DFA)

Though a debut LP still hasn’t materialized, the evocative, Berlin-based songwriter treated us to two more outstanding singles this year. The second of which — the Renaissance Man/Physical Therapy-produced “Hunger Games” — features a heavy hardcore backbeat that is a bit overwhelming, which is why I love this sparse remix. The anonymous producer strips down the original arraignment, leaving Bodan’s graceful tenor center stage — just where it belongs.

5. Tink: “Can I” (How to Dress Well Rework)
    Ian Isiah x Deafheaven: Freak U Down/ Irresistible [HTDW Total Genius Total Mashup]

I like happy Tom Krell. While his crushing debut, Love Remians, continues to be one of the most stirring, truly singular albums of the last ten years, it’s been lovely to watch the Chicago resident explore his playful, idealistic side in recent times — as he does on both these tracks. Lyrics like, “our love is truer than CiCi and Future” seem incredibly cheesy in print, but something about the sincerity in his pained falsetto rings so true. As per usual, he’s chosen exquisite source material here, grabbing key tracks from a few of the best mixtapes of the year and a cut from possibly the album of the year. And, come on, anybody who can find common ground between black metal and progressive R&B deserves all the props imaginable.

Remix starts at 22:47

4. Jai Paul:
“Track 9” (AP Edit)
Album Leak (fake XL)

Because it’s been effectively stricken from the Internet, I’ve basically chosen to pretend that the Jai Paul leak never happened. Like many others, I made a beeline for the original release when it came out, and it only took about half a listen to realize what a special, special album it was. As it turns out, it was likely a leak that the mercurial Londoner didn’t authorize, which was a bummer. This remix of Jai’s spot-on cover of the Jennifer Page classic is one of its only remnants, and while it’s unclear whether we’ll ever get a proper listen to the final draft of his incredible debut LP, this will do for now.

3. Teedra Moses
Be Your Girl (Kaytranada Edition)
Complex Simplicity (TVT)

It’s ironic that an artist who so often looks to the past can manage to sound so relentlessly current. If music was like math and we could calculate the geometric mode of what I spent my year listening to, I’m fairly sure this Kaytranada remix would pop out of my TI-83. It nails the hallmarks of the sound of 2013 (R&B vocal hooks, lush arraignments, byoant beats) without sounding the slightest bit contrived or generic. In reality, the Montreal native is probably one of the most influential current producers in the genre (whatever that is), even though he is just getting started. Example 3,206,083 of how the Internet has done weird shit to music.

2. A$AP Ferg: “Work” (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)
    Future: “Honest” (Ryan Hemsworth Post-Rock Tears Bootleg)

Though I’ve never said more than two words to him (wassup? counts as two, right?), I feel like Ryan Hemsworth is my cool-ass, super-werid little brother. Taking inspiration from everything from trap music to Pokemon to 90’s alt-rock, the Halifax native embodies everything that is great about the curatorial spirit of the laptop producer. I literally could have chosen one of 15 great Hemsworth remixes, but it was physically impossible to choose between these two. They are both perfect examples of his ability to find the emotion in any track, and his knack for finding cross-genre parallels reminds us that all great artists (and, further, all people) are more alike than they are different — whether you are turning up to a Future mixtape or turning in with an Elliot Smith album.

1. Miguel
“Do You” (Cashmere Cat Remix)
 Kaleidoscope Dream (RCA)

I’m going to tell you a secret: I never got Miguel. I never got Kaliediscopic Dream; hell, I never even got “Adorn.” The only thing I ever really got about Miguel was that hair. But now — thanks to everybody’s favorite Norweigan DJ (who I admittedly thought was a girl until like three months ago) — there are now two things I get about Miguel.

Any time I hear those cascading droplets, those machine-gun high hats, those synth swabs, that life-affirming vocal hook, I lose all control of my limbs. My arms lock at 90-degree angles, my head bobs wildly, and my fingers exponentially turn up whatever device I’m listening to. Simply put, catching Cashmere play this out was a damn-near religious experience and one of the highlights of my year. Nowadays, I very rarely like drugs, but I always like this track. Thank you based Magnus.

Posted on by TP1.COM in Best Of '13, Featured

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