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What a year it’s been for remixes. In years past, we’ve mostly relied on SoundCloud to discover new remixes as they were typically bootlegs, but the art of the remix is something highly sought-after by artists across the musical spectrum in 2018. Ranging from hip-hop to drum and bass and beyond, this year saw a slew of unprecedented remixes both official and unofficial. Our picks for the best remixes were made after hours (and yes, we mean hours) of discussion and feature a range of reworks that capture what’s so much fun about hearing a new interpretation.

Listen to all 10 remixes below, and come back the rest of this week for our superlatives in Originals, Producers, and more.


NEST HQ Best of 2018: Remixes
*10 remixes listed in alphabetical order by remixer

Sam Binga & Rider Shafique – Proud feat. Tiffanie Malvo (Enei Remix)

In 2017, Sam Binga and Rider Shafique came together for the collaborative, dancehall-inspired Champion EP which brought us the hit tune “Proud” featuring Tiffanie Malvo. Revamping the release in 2018, Sam Binga recruited Enei to remix the album’s standout track, and the result is just so damn good. Enei transforms “Proud” into a clean, wobbly production that still oozes that irresistible dancehall edge through the vocals. This remix ignited drum and bass dancefloors across the world upon its release, and it’s still one of those tracks you can’t help but fall in love with. Junglists can’t resist it. — JM

Daniel Avery – Quick Eternity (Four Tet Remix)

Four Tet has been a consistent force across NEST HQ’s Best Of lists since its inception, and this year is much of the same — the only person who can challenge him is himself. Hebden reworks Daniel Avery’s “Quick Eternity” into an intricate, shimmering blend of ambient and garage, much like a technicolor supernova. It’s intensely emotional, with Hebden cutting to almost 30 seconds of pure silence in the middle of the production, before shifting into the kick drum-heavy portion built to bring festival crowds to tears. It’s a bold move, but his unorthodox methods allow for the harmonic ingenuity of a remix that’s both innovative and memorable. — CS

Dita von Teese – Porcelain (Jam City Remix)

Earlier this year, renowned French producer Sébastien Tellier joined forces with the “Queen of Burlesque,” Dita Von Teese, to produce her debut self-titled album, Dita Von Teese. Soon after, a remix album was released, a record filled to the brim with remixes from an incredibly curated roster of both up-and-coming and established electronic producers. Most notably, however, was the dub rework of “Porcelain” by Night Slugs protégé Jam City. The dub remix is a masterpiece of patience and vibe, carefully pressing forward through waves of undulating calm and beauty. The record’s skin and bones come from a simply programmed drum machine loop, and builds fibrous muscles from its hypnotizing bassline. The vocals swim around each other in swarms of delays and reverb, and create a bed of texture so dense that our ears never tire of the repetitive tune. In an environment where people’s ADHD demands electronic music to be schizophrenic, this ever simple remix is a reminder that patience and melody will always hold true power over the human mind. What a jam!! — DN

Kanye West & Kid Cudi – Kids Love Ghosts (Lido)

The fact that Lido’s seven-minute bootleg flip of Kanye and Kid Cudi’s Kids See Ghosts hasn’t been taken down for copyright violation (in fact, it’s still available at kidsloveghosts.com) is a testament to its excellence. Taking a piece of insanely hyped pop culture and turning it into a completely different work is always refreshing to me, but this one felt particularly special because, in my not-so-humble opinion, Lido’s version outshined the original record. He took the most high-impact moments in these songs and threaded them together in a way that amplified the innovative components and skipped over everything else, so go get it before someone in Kanye or Cudi’s camp wakes up to the fact that Lido did it better. — MH

Breakbot – Another You (Mat Zo Remix)

Mat Zo blessed us with another good ol’ fashioned bootleg remix of Breakbot and Ruckazoid’s “Another You,” flipping the original into a swirling disco inferno. He dampened portions of the original to give it a distinctly underwater feel throughout, and if that creative choice was to compensate for not having the original stems, we surely didn’t mind because this thing is so damned fun. Turn this up, throw your head back, and let this liquid-disco gem wash over you so you can dance yourself clean for 2019. — MH

MGMT – Little Dark Age (Matthew Dear Album Remix)

Matthew Dear got MGMT’s blessing to remix their record Little Dark Age while touring with them earlier this year, and the result is pure magic. He felt like the album was written especially for him at a pivotal time in his life, so he was completely inspired to make these songs his own in a very experimental, post-punk, pop-adjacent Matthew Dear sort of way. The theme of technologically-driven neuroses prevails throughout, but in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way that perhaps helps us confront our own behavior through fun music so it’s inherently not heavy-handed. Don’t miss a single existential-dread-defying track off this album! — MH

Noisia & Prolix – Asteroids (Noisia Remix)

Noisia remixing Noisia? Hell fucking yeah. Noisia and Prolix came together in 2014 for their tune “Asteroids” that was quite the banger on its own, but Noisia decided to revisit this tune with a forward-thinking flair. The guys completely redesigned the flow of the original song, transforming this production into a neurofunk fever dream, adding in new synths handcrafted by the Noisia team with precision as usual. My fondest memory of hearing this tune live occurred during DC Breaks’ killer set at this year’s Bassrush Massive — it went off, and it still goes off every time. — JM

Travis Scott – SICKO MODE feat. Drake (Skrillex Remix)

We never for a second thought Travis Scott’s “SICKO MODE” featuring Drake could get any more powerful, but fortunately, Skrillex blessed the internet shortly after Thanksgiving with a gut-punch of a remix we can’t stop rinsing. The whopping five-minute remix is a quite a journey which masterfully pays homage to the song’s original form while taking its energy into the stratosphere. Passing through sonic phases of trap, Jersey club, and dub with a hint of drum and bass, the remix always returns the song to its hip-hop roots astoundingly, managing to make it even more memorable than the original. Enhanced with the bass-face-inducing signature Skrillex yoink, “SICKO MODE” was reborn in the dance community. — MH

Jon Hopkins – Everything Connected (Stephan Hinz Remix)

It would be no easy task to approach remixing one of the most astounding electronic records to come out this year, but Stephan Hanz both stepped up to the plate and swung with precision and power, delivering a driving hit of a record. Development is the real key for this track, and we were floored by its ability to progress and diverge effortlessly. The forest rave basslines of the choruses feel as at home as the pixie swells of lush pads that line the breaks between drops, and the genius that Jon showed in the song’s original polyrhythmic melodies is preserved delicately in those moments. To make such a powerful and equally stunning techno record is a rare thing in 2018, and for that reason, this one couldn’t be ignored. — DN

Charli XCX – Focus (Yaeji Remix)

Yaeji x Charli XCX is the artistic crossover the world needed in 2018, with the Korean American sensation offering an official remix for the off-center, pop cult icon’s summer single “Focus.” Yaeji adds a dose of underground spunk in contrast to the original’s saccharine-coated aesthetic, with a sensual, acid-infused bassline and 4×4 house rhythm. The result is effortless, authentic, and a sacramental club experience that translates emotion which demands to be felt. It’s the first new music we’ve heard from Yaeji this year, arriving late in the third quarter, and demonstrates the undeniable influence of both her presence and absence. — CS


Words by Sadye Auren, Dani Noguera, Molly Hankins, Jordan Mafi, and Cassie Sheets

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