1. Lorde-Team (Flume remix)
I essentially knew Aussie producer Flume had crafted the remix of the year after 1 listen, but it didn’t start that way. The songs slow intro isolated Lorde’s introduction to “Team” and built in slow fashion with twinkling synth that duped me into thinking this might be a bare-approach. Instead, an explosion of percussion, shattering bass and keys erupted in head-nodding fashion at the 1:44, complete with horse sound effect. If this sounds ridiculous, listen and I think you’ll agree Flume not only transformed Lorde’s hit into a club banger, but also crafted the top remix in 2014.
2. Duke Dumont – I Got You (Bondax remix)
In many cases, the key to a quality remix lies in the original source material. Many of the cuts on my list were good tracks on their own, but there is something about the remix that warrants another viewpoint. Duke Dumont’s “I Got You” instantly snared me in its own right with the joyous chorus and stuttering sample, but Bondax’s remix ratchets up the fun a few notches. The tropical percussion and hand claps ooze with rhythm that expounds on Dumont’s original hit.
3. The Weeknd – Wanderlust (Snakehips remix)
The Weeknd’s bedroom tales are typically dark and dangerous affairs I’d never picture near a dancefloor and while “Wanderlust” was more pop-friendly than most of his catalog, it still was a bit grimey for a wider audience. Snakehips completely flipped “Wanderlust” into a mid-tempo anthem that gleams with synth and funk. Ready for a dance floor anywhere you can find one.
4. Lana Del Ray – West Coast (Four Tet remix)
Part of Four Tet’s production appeal is how he makes original source material unrecognizable. Much like last year’s “Suit & Tie” remix, Four Tet’s take on Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast” only shares vocals with its former sounds. Bass, high hat percussion and layered vocals make this edition of “West Coast” a near addiction and the breakdown near the 3 min mark keeps things interesting before reeling you back in. I actually like Lana as a dance diva too.
5. ILOVEMAKONNEN-Goin’ Up On A Tuesday ft Drake (Star Slinger remix)
Just know that anytime I reference “Goin’ Up On A Tuesday” in real life, I’m talking about Star Slinger’s house-ified remix, not the downtrodden trash ILOVEMAKONNEN originally crafted. The UK producer increased the tempo and put Drizzy Drake at the forefront of a club anthem that makes me think Drake might need to hop on more house joints. Also, congrats to Star Slinger because anytime my wife or I say/hear the word Tuesday, his remix will come to mind. “SQUAD GOIN’ UP!”
6. The Notorious B.I.G.-Old Thing Back ft Ja Rule (Matoma remix)
I can’t tell you how many times Matoma’s explosive entry in the world of remixes circulated my brain in 2014, but enough that I likely know Biggie’s filthy verse by heart. Its semi-hilarious that I’d learn B.I.G.’s rhymes from “Party and Bullshit” from a remix, but hey, that fact also made me listen to Ready to Die more than I have in awhile too. The nu-disco touch of Matoma’s production made for ideal summer night party listening and made the saxophone acceptable again.
7. Jessie Ware-Say You Love Me (Alex Adair remix)
Jessie Ware is obviously one of my favorite vocalists in recent time and I’m never made when she takes the role of dance diva. Producer Alex Adair increases the tempo of “Say You Love Me” which suits Ware perfectly. The ballad gets a peppier backing with smooth synth and hand clap ready percussion rather than the ballad-friendly strings. Both are great in their own right, but I’d rather hear Adair’s transformation on the dance floor.