This was a very difficult list to pare down. Remixes certainly didn’t suffer any kind of shortage over the course of the year, and with each subsequent mind-bending remix, the previous one gets pushed back a little bit further from memory.
Such was the case with Bonobo’s Balearic treatment of Maya Jane Coles’ remix of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Blue Skies.’ which turned out as beautiful as it is meta. Same goes for filous’ sweet remix of a cover.
Or in other cases, the song is remade into an entirely new sound, as Gryiffin did on Banks’ “Begging for Thread,” answering the question as to what her voice would sound like against a more uptempo electronic backdrop. Same goes for the upbeat summer anthem WKND applied to Chet Faker in his mashup/remix of their two songs.Triply so for Hood Internet’s blending of Beyonce’s “XO” with “Divinity” by Porter Robinson.
Nothing quite spells success in a remix more than doing what the original did, but better. Case in point: Kygo taking The Weeknd’s panty-dropping level on ‘Often’ from an 8 up to an 11.
I’d list out the five best music videos, then choose my favorite and list my rationale, but let’s be honest. There was really only one video made last year. My only regret was not setting up a camera on myself for a reaction video. Gape-mouthed in awe for the entire thing. I’m guessing my current face when I watch it isn’t too far off.
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Honorable Mention: The little girl’s effort in Sia’s “Chandelier”
Honorable Mention: The committement to detail in Franco & Rogan’s “Bound 2”
Honorable Mention: The incredible roller-skating of Chet Faker’s “Gold”
Honorable Mention: Fellow Future Classic label-mate George Maple’s single-shot live version of the Flume-produced “Vacant Space”
I’m not going to do a list of all the best songs of the year. Most of them exist on the Best Albums I listed anyway. But if I had to list a song with the greatest impact on my life in 2014, that seemed to have a similar impact on those around me, it’d have to be “Five Hours” by Deorro. Galantis expertly weaved it into their set at Coachella, and a couple long months past before I found out who was responsible for that magical song. That led to further investigation, and sure enough, I’d seen Deorro play earlier that same day. “Five Hours” is nothing like the rest of his work, and maybe that’s part of why he’s announced his retirement from playing live shows. All the more power to you, D, as long as you keep coming out with songs like this and less like your collab with Steve Aoki and Diplo.