by Joy Orbison
A good remixer adds something of his/her own to the track's basic platform; what Swedish up-and-comer Andreas Saag does to the unanimous club record of 2009 is Exhibit A. He pitches down the synth riff, muddying its clarion arrival, but puts his own snapping drums under the floating atmospheric opening, and at the point where the original Joy Orbison beat and bass line hits, Saag yanks them in favor of a slinky house groove that syncopates the synths. Three minutes in, he completes the transformation with ecstatic house piano. Then he takes it to church: churning organs, abstract gospel crooning, and ghostly choirs that swirl around each other, reaching a disorienting peak before the synth reappears, as if to say, "Remember this?" Answer: Yes, but can we please hear this other stuff again?
by the xx
The xx are ideal remix material simply because their own music is so sparse. "Islands" is sketchy post-punk that, per the title, rides a vaguely calypso-ish rhythm. Nosaj Thing turns it into twilit dubstep that underlines the similarity of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim's vocal interplay to that of Tricky and Martina Topley-Bird—particularly since the biggest change the L.A. producer makes to the original is rearranging the vocal rhythms to match his beats.
by Hot Chip
I'm not particularly a Hot Chip fan and I've been skeptical of Carl Craig's latter-day rep, but this massive throb, ten and a half minutes long, is built like a Studebaker. At first it's just Craig's own stuttering bass, tense hi-hats, and jabbering 808; it takes four minutes for any of the original track's instruments to enter, and nearly six for Alexis Taylor's vocal to arrive, but you won't mind the wait a bit.
by Grateful Dead
It was inevitable that someone would finally steer the disco reedit bus the Dead's way—they went disco with 1978's "Shakedown Street," not a high point for either the band or the genre. But this is the kind of full-on mirror-ball hip-bump that Uncle Jerry and company never got near, thanks to the remixers' cutting the guitar riff into something a little more curvaceous, not to mention a beat funkier than Bill and Mickey ever cooked up. "Made with ultimate love," Tommie Sunshine writes on his Soundcloud page, and it sounds like it.