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Top five remixes of the past five years

Remixes are not a new creative medium. Ever since the advent of hip-hop and sampling in the 1980s, a culture has emerged around deconstructing popular songs and tweaking them to suit the dance floor. Girl Talk certainly brought notoriety to the mash-up genre at the end of this decade, but the new millennium has seen its fair share of remix innovations. With cheaper portable computers and access to any song through downloading, it’s possible we are stepping into a new era of remixes – one in which even the 14-year-old down the street could be making tracks that are more danceable than Tiesto. Here’s a look at some of the noteworthy singles of the past five years.

1. MGMT – “Kids” (Soulwax Remix)

MGMT may end up being the most heavily sampled band this decade. With thousands of “Time to Pretend” and “Electric Feel” remixes, this version of “Kids” by Belgium’s Soulwax is a shining light in the sea of sewage that is MGMT remixes. With a screeching synthesizer, spacey atmospherics, and off-kilter metallic beats, this song shines above the rest. The highlight comes at the end when the pitch shifted vocals make up a propulsive harmony against the raging synths.

2. Vampire Weekend – “Cape Cod Kawassa Kawassa” (Teenagers Remix)

The 90210-adoring French men of Teenagers make irresistible techno-pop songs during the day and some of the catchiest remixes by night. With the voice of Ezra Koening sliding in and out harmonizing over top of himself accompanied by a straightforward bass line guiding you forward, its hard not to fall in love with Vampire Weekend all over again.

3. Air – “Mer Du Japon” (Teenagers Remix)

Yes, Teenagers show up twice on this list – but with good reason. After releasing a lackluster studio release with Pocket Symphony, Teenagers take one of the few highlights from one of Air’s worst albums and transform it into the club hit of underground France. Try to listen to this song and not picture yourself drunk in Paris at 4 a.m., loving every minute of it.

4. Daft Punk – “Television Rules the Nation/Crescendolls” (Daft Punk Remix)

Daft Punk has the best remixes when they remix their own tracks. Made famous by their Alive 2007 disc and subsequent live concerts, this track may be the highlight of that year’s sets. Mixing the melody from “Television Rules the Nation” with “Around the World”, the whole track culminates with the perfect layering of “Crescendolls” over top it all. It’s hard to believe they weren’t planning this track all along with the release of Discovery in the early millennium.

5. Wolfmother – “Woman” (MSTRKRFT Remix)

Jesse Keeler of MSTRKRFT has mentioned in interviews before that the best remixes only use small samples from the original songs. Stealing the vocal line from Wolfmother’s “Woman”, MSTRKRFT creates a club hit that sounds equal parts Ghostbusters theme and L.A. gutter rock.

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