1) Aaliyah – Are You That Somebody (Hucci Gurl Remix)
I really don’t understand why there aren’t more female producers in the game. Sure, the world of Rap and Hip Hop is chauvinistic and sexist by nature but I’m not quite sure there aren’t more ladies behind the scenes making beats. After all, aren’t the sing-a-long, club anthems almost always made in the interest of getting ‘the girls’ on the dance floor? It is for this reason I’m happy that I stumbled upon this remix from mysterious female producer Hucci Gurl’s remix if Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody”. I really can’t seem to find any info on this chick accept that she hails from KY and claims to be a “Professional at bein at bad bitch”. Either way, this remix is dope, giving a classic Aaliyah cut the new wave treatment. Incorporating 808 bass, electro style synths and those trapped out drums that the kids love! Look forward to seeing if Hucci pumps out any other gems in 2013.
2) Ree$e – Molly (LOUDPVCK Remix)
Speaking of the kids, if you’re wondering what the soundtrack of teenage angst and substance abuse sounds like, start by listening to the track below. I’ve broke it down before and I’ll do it again. Dubstep is dead – the House/EDM craze is coming to a boiling point – uptempo electro and downtempo crunk are fusing together and the youth are gobbling it up almost as fast as their parent’s Xanax prescription. Loudpvck production duo consisting of members Kenny and Ryan. They met in 2009 at Berklee College of Music where both were students. They began to collaborate, merging Kenny’s hip-hop beats with Ryan’s EDM knowledge to create a unique sound which they’ve coined as “Trap EDM”. Although this track is shamelessly about the intake serotonin-releasing narcotics, it’s catchy as fuck and makes for a great party starting track when DJing for a variety of different audiences.
3) Tinashe – Boss (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)
Tinashe (pronounced Tee-NAH-shay) is a sexy-ass singer boasting an unparallelled attitude and she’s repping Los Angeles (surprise!). I honestly hadn’t come across her music until I heard this remix from new favorite, Ryan Hemsworth. The remix is dope indeed, but the original, particularly when paired with the low budget music video is equally as “Boss”y. The original recording is a great for girls to listen to and lip sync along with in their bedrooms while the remix from Hemsworth adds a much needed kick, bringing in hard hitting drums and a rolling gamelan loop that is eerily remiscent of Hit Boy’s platinum hit “Mercy”. In a time where it is not uncommon to hear sultry male RnB singers melodically croon cuss words in their verses, I personally enjoy hearing this type of oversexed, uber confident content coming from a lady.
4) Mayer Hawthorne – No Strings (RAC Remix)
If you could take every white dude’s dream of becoming a smooth and slick RnB / Soul singer and roll into one person it might just Mayer Hawthorne. Sure, Jon B. and Robin Thicke did it real well, but they we’re dipped in the glam-sauce so many times that pretending to actually be them was damn near impossible, especially for a young Jewish dude like myself. Hawthorne is the completely normal guy’s hero. He doesn’t have much too offer aesthetically, but he produces, writes and sings on some incredibly solid tracks, not to mention being a dope DJ and gaining respect from major players in the Hip Hop and RnB world. RAC (Remix Artist Collective) is one of my favorite official production groups composed of 3 members, Andre, Andrew and Karl. They’ve produced hundreds of licensed remixes for artists ranging from John Legend, MIA, The Temper Trap, Theophilus London and loads more. Their remix of Mayer Hawthorne’s ‘No Strings’ has a brilliant disco bounce, accompanied by some catchy key riffs, meaty bass lines and just the right amount of live percussion.
5) Frank Ocean – Pink Matter (Sivey Slow Burn Edit)
I waited patiently for someone to drop a remix of my 2nd favorite Frank Ocean cut off of ‘Channel Orange’, “Pink Matter”. I even tried making my own edit, however the song is constructed so delicately that any attempt to re-purpose it seemed almost disrespectful. Well, leave it to British to do it right! The Manchester-based producer Sivey couldn’t have put it better: “The idea to remix “Pink Matter” came to me before I’d even finished listening to the original track for the first time. The bluesy, melancholic chords were screaming at me to throw some synths on them and see what happened. Originally I had planned to make an instrumental edit, just looping the intro riff as a sample, but as the original track is quite minimal I tried applying my parts over the whole song which worked surprisingly well. Arranging my production around the vocals resulted in a gradual “slow-burn” build-up that hopefully reflects the growing intensity of the original piece.” Bravo!
- To listen to my own mixes, edits and remixes, click HERE
- Check out what new music I’m listening to on Hype Machine or follow me on Twitter @djMackswell for live updates