Photo by Kenneth Cappello
Over the past two decades, A-Trak has gone from winning the international DMC turntablist challenge at the ripe age of 15, to becoming Kanye West’s personal tour DJ, and later on, finding worldwide acclaim via the efforts of his genre-bending label Fool’s Gold. As a producer, many fell in love with the Montreal-born artist’s work due to the plethora of addictive remixes he’s released over the span of his prolific career. Surely, everyone remembers where they were the first time they heard his adrenaline-soaked rework of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s hit “Heads Will Roll,” right? Now, A-Trak’s enjoying the recent release of In The Loop: A Decade of Remixes, a compilation of some of his most seminal remixes for artists ranging from Disclosure to Boys Noize.
“I learned how to produce by doing remixes,” said the DJ about the compilation in a press release. “It was my testing ground. In 2006 I had been DJing for over 10 years and my brother Dave was a seasoned musician, but I was still a novice in the studio. Making a full original song can be daunting, so here I was able to hand-pick my favorite vocals, steal a few kickdrums and chop up some cool synths. My remixes also allowed me to get my music heard.”
In celebration of the compilation, which dropped last month and ships out today as a physical box set, A-Trak was cool enough to make us a list of some of his favorite remixes that other talented artists from across the musical universe dropped this year. Ranging from Andre 3000 to Tame Impala, plus one of his own reworks thrown in for good measure, it’s a roundup of some of the hottest versions of some songs you probably know, love, and belt in the shower. Check it out below and head here to grab your copy of his new release.
1. Divine Council – Decemba (Remix feat. Andre 3000)
Rap remixes usually mean there’s just a new verse added. But what a verse it is. The GOAT Andre murders this in cold blood and leaves the body in the back alley. Although Divine Council’s own $ilkmoney held his own too, this is one of the songs that caught my attention the most this yearremix or not.
2. Mura Masa ft. A$AP Rocky – Lovesick (Four Tet Remix)
The original was already great, and then Four Tet took it to a zone that only Four Tet could. I will never get tired of dusty breakbeats.
3. Bob Moses – Tearing Me Up (A-Trak Remix)
Is it ok if I put my own work in this list? I’m pretty proud of my Bob Moses remix; I think it’s my favorite production this year. I don’t know what else to say about it.
4. Cassius ft. Ryan Tedder – The Missing (Metronomy’s EDM Mix)
The “EDM Mix” is obviously cheeky here, it’s the least EDM thing you can imagine. I just think this remix is so cool, and it’s a sort of palate cleanser. Good use of negative space. Electric boogaloo.
5. Miguel – Waves (Tame Impala Remix)
It’s rare to hear a remix coming from a band. Whatever you imagine when you see the names Tame Impala and Miguel on the same line, it sounds exactly like that. And it works.
6. RFS – Like An Animal (Yotto Remix)
For the after hoursdeep vibes. This really lets the vocal shine, too. That’s the challenge of remixing: it’s not just about creating a cool track; it has to work, too!
7. Fatima Yamaha – Love Invaders (Redinho Remix)
Fatima Yamaha and Redinho are both very cool artists and the result is a combination of funky and fresh.
8. A-Trak ft Phantogram – Parallel Lines (Chris Lorenzo Remix)
Chris Lorenzo is one of my favorite producers of the year and it was awesome having him remix my track with Phantogram. He managed to keep just enough of the original to maintain that indie vibe, and then twists it into bass apocalypse.
9. Leaf – Money (TroyBoi Remix)
No one sounds like TroyBoi, which is a rare quality nowadays. He’s got a rubbery bounce that is easy to recognize and always works. I had him do this remix for my artist Leaf on Fool’s Gold.
10. MadeinTYO – Uber Everywhere (Remix feat. Travis Scott)
The anthem! Also one of Travis’s best verses in a while. This is definitely the best song about an app.
In The Loop: A Decade Of Remixes is available to order online via Fool’s Gold.