Probably one of the best kept secrets of 2011, Logan Shepler & Bobby McDonnell from High PKWY surprised the living day lights out of me when they came out with their edit of Thieves Like Us‘ track “Shyness” 11 months ago. For those who have listened to the original, the electronic duo took the vocal sample from the start of the song and supplemented it with their own assortment of percussion, guitar, and orchestra stabs. Although this remix came out during winter, it had “beach season” written all over it. One of my favorite tracks during this past summer for sure.
24.Last February when I thought Work Drugs‘ smooth-fi masterpiece “Rad Racer” couldn’t get any better, Swedish producer David Alexander, also known as Summer Heart, decided to kick things up a notch. Deciding to increase the song’s tempo and make numerous adjustments to track’s melody, Summer Heart delivers a remix that somehow manages to eclipse the greatness of the original. What makes this remix memorable for me, is that it exposed me to one of chillwaves most promising rising stars. With singles like “Come With Me” and “My Forever Smile” now under his belt, I can’t wait to see what Summer Heart has to offer in 2012.
Don’t act surprised. You know that any list ranking the top remixes of the year wouldn’t be complete without a little RAC. Needing no introduction, these guys have become one of the most consistent names in electronic music today. Never failing to impress, Andre Allen Anjos and Andrew Maury seem to have matched their debut success in 2010 with another phenomenal year with remixes of bands like Delorean, Peter Bjorn and John, and Phantogram. Although I could have picked any one of these remixes, my favorite has to be their edit of Phoenix’s track “Armistice.” Adding in female vocals and what can only be described as “magic,” RAC take one of my favorite songs ever and help me appreciate it in ways I didn’t even think were possible.
Coming off a year in which he produced one of 2010′s best albums in “Lucky Shiner,” expectations were high for Gold Panda as he started 2011. To show his critics that he had no intention of entering a sophomore slump, Gold Panda chose to begin the year with a remix he had done for Lykke Li’s track “Sadness Is A Blessing.” Taking the original to emotional heights that I didn’t even know were possible, Gold Panda’s breathtaking instrumentals perfectly compliment Lykke Li’s sorrowful vocals; making the message behind the song’s lyrics resonate even deeper within its listeners. This is definitely one of the most uplifting tracks of the whole year.
Well, it seems like it has been quite the year for artist Hugo Garnet David Manuel, also known as Chad Valley and the lead singer of the band Jonquil. Emerging from blogosphere as one of the most talented musicians on the scene, Manuel appears to be the sort of guy that can do it all. Whether it be singing vocals for his band; or constructing amazing originals like his track “Now That I’m Real,” or remixing songs for up and coming bands like The Drums; Mr. Valley became one of my favorite producers to follow in 2011 due to his versatility and knack for making music that always made me feel as if I was 10 feet away from the beach. If tracks like this are any indicator, we should be expecting a lot of great things from the Oxford musician in 2012.