Eric Prydz doesn’t do many remixes, but when he does, they’re almost always phenomenal. Before his well-known renditions to Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” and M83′s “Midnight City,” there was Prydz’s take on “Not Going Home:” Faithless’s lusty 2010 single. Crafting a dark, minimal, nine minute epic, Eric’s remix progresses at a sensual canter, all the while building to a powerful crescendo. While he later reworked it into a crowd-igniting “Insomnia” bootleg, the original remix is simply sublime.
Born and raised in rural Vermont, Morgan Page started making electronic music when he was just 14 years old. Since his humble beginnings, the “In the Air” producer has come a long way. Releasing 5 full albums, with a 6th due out in 2016, and 9 singles including current chart-climbing hit “Your Love,” Page has set himself up with a permanent spot in the dance community as a strong progressive house and trance artist.
Rewind back to 2008 when Morgan Page released his first single, “The Longest Road.” It’s familiar to most fans as the grammy nominated Deadmau5 remix, but the original track holds an old-western charm that remixes have yet to duplicate. From the video set in the deep desert, to Lissie’s country-esque vocals and the guitar riffs that bear uncanny resemblance to banjos, the entire song presents a story-like, calming melody that serves as the perfect song to play as you unwind from a good weekend.
Occasionally the only way to move forward is to look back. This was the case for Mat Zo at least, whose debut album Damage Control rocketed to the top of the charts by mining influences of an electronic era gone by. Citing The Chemical Brothers as a huge influence, Zo’s album taps more than the big beat genre but delves into the Chem Bros ethos in general. While “Pyramid Scheme” may harken more to “Block Rocking Beats,” it is the dust brothers’ Surrender that seems to have been the greatest influence.
The third studio album from the pair, Surrender stepped out of the big beat box and called on guest artists from Oasis, New Order and Mercury Rev to do so. While the vocal “Hey Boy, Hey Girl,” “Let Forever Be” and “Out of Control” may have outshone more instrumental efforts on the charts, this weekend rewind brings you “Got Glint?” as a shining example of how to create something timeless in every sense of the word. Released in 1999 but still sounding future today, the tune takes a simple beat structure to a higher plane with soaring bridges and slithering breaks. Though designed with an outro that doesn’t linger, “Got Glint?” satisfies as only the nights you can’t remember can.
Before he became the star that’s worked with everyone from Will.I.Am to Akon, the poster boy for dance music’s success that’s taken home Grammy Awards, or the top-ranked headliner of music festivals around the globe, David Guetta had decades of experience beneath his belt. Of course, there were his traditional house records and albums, his FMIF parties that dominated Ibiza, and his push to pioneer the genre he loved, but before all the glammor and glitz, he marked his first musical work as a rap record. Guetta’s debut was the production of “Nation Rap” for French rapper Sidney, and the track’s music video reveals the now-superstar emerged within the 1990′s culture — a setting in which you may have never imagined him in even after award show appearances.
Find David scratching discs after the video’s 2:20 for a comical blast from the past.
Nearly ten years ago, Diplo had yet to become the EDM poster boy produce music for the likes Beyonce and Lil’ Wayne or befriend hip-hop stars such as 2 Chainz. Nonetheless, he was still Diplo, and he made his full-length album debut in 2004 with the release of Florida. At the time, his beats were widely regarded as a trip-hop, and his style embodied the likes of Timbaland & Magoo. That sound is most evident on records such as “Indian Thick Jaws” while he flexed his range of capabilities on the string-savvy “Big Lost” and found an early slow-tempo groove on “Summer’s Gonna Hurt You.” Jump below the break to preview these highlight tracks from Florida and preview Diplo’s debut album in full via iTunes
There were once simpler times when success in dance music was measured by the quality of production rather than mainstream commercial appeal. Releases were rife with authenticity and strayed from the artificial drivel that saturates present-day clubland. Today’s Weekend Rewind shines light on those days — showcasing a groovy progressive cut from Axwell’s remake to Eric Prydz’s “Slammin’.”
The track’s lead holds your attention from the onslaught as crisp drum work and swirling synths culminate to a commanding saxophone sequence. The song features true house undertones throughout, laden with retro chord play from first bar to last. If you find yourself becoming disinterested in the repetitive bent of today’s dance music industry, peruse through old release catalogs and you’ll come across classic gems like this one.
Before Kanye West ever got his hands on “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” hip-hop all-stars had made use of Daft Punk‘s robotic sound. Dating back to 2005, Busta Rhymes found the duo’s “Technologic” to sample for the lead single from his album The Big Bang. Produced by Swizz Beats, “Touch It” contains a snippet of the original’s vocal, used as the chorus to support Busta’s verses. Properly crediting Thomas and Guy-Man, “Touch It” is one of the few noteworthy Daft Punk samplings in hip-hop.
Seeing Dennis play the inaugural Sensation America last year reminded me why he continues to come to mind as one of the modern-era house music greats. That was in 2012, but this cut from 2006 is timeless in its own right. The track isn’t too in-your-face, but the sum of rapid percussive variations, (what sound like) ritualistic chants, and perfectly appropriate synth stabs keeps the groove going without letting up. This was never Ferrer’s most famous song — but as DJ Mag recently warned, just don’t call him “Mr. Hey Hey.”
Dennis Ferrer – P 2 Da J
Bedingfield’s near-turn-of-the-century pop/dance crossover was both a radio and club hit, and not without reason. The central riff is both sparse and catchy at the same time; the stripped-bare instrumentation allows Bedingfield’s vocals to take over and do the work. “Gotta Get Thru This” is a song that hasn’t aged gracefully, but it’s sure to rekindle memories for many.
This weekend we’re taking it way back with “Walk 4 Me,” Tronco Traxx original production from 1998. After becoming acquainted with “Swims,” a friend introduced me to the tune that Boddika & Joy Orbison got their vocal samples from. “Walk 4 Me” is evidence of the timeless nature of techno. It might have been produced fifteen years ago, but I don’t doubt it still has enough power to ignite crowds even now.