Soundclouds of the Underground: Remix Repeat Offenders Edition

Published April 3, 2014

ABOVE: TA-KU

These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the newest and most exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.

The Internet may not have invented the remix (we’ll give that credit to Diddy for now), but it sure as hell helped add some fuel to the fire. Remixes have often have longer and better lives than their originals, and there are many artists who deal in remixes predominately, taking their favorite tracks to new, exceptional heights. We’ve selected three acts who’ve gotten particularly good at this new-age skill, with three choice tracks below.

ATM: “Say My Name” 

Who: A young, burgeoning talent out of Fresno, ATM is sure to become a sought-after producer in the months to come. His developing style can be minimal without a loss of magnitude—see his hard-hitting “64 Sizzurp,” an inventive edit of the Three 6 Mafia/UGK classic “Sippin’ On Some Sizzurp.”

The Song: ATM’s clever and cool use of Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” touts the track’s nostalgic appeal (leaving the vocals/strong structure as is) while bringing the anthem into the present, with a dark melody and punctuating beat. Current Project: Keep with the beatmaker via his Soundcloud page.

Banks: “Brain” (TA-KU Remix) 

Who: With co-signs from the cream of the Internet crop (Diplo, A-Trak, Flosstradamus, Baauer), Australia’s TA-KU counts J Dilla and Hudson Mohawke as influences, which helps to explain his eccentric sound—his remix of AlunaGeorge’s “Best Be Believing” is active without being overbearing, with pitter-patter percussion and cut-up vocal samples keeping things steamy.

The Song: A frequent receiver of the remix treatment, L.A.-bred breakout star Banks’ Shlohmo-produced “Brain” gets an epic revision from TA-KU, who magnifies the drama of the track, starting things off with the bang of a drum before adding a layer of wandering synth and snappy snares.

Current Project: Get more TA-KU by purchasing his album Songs To Break Up To (https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/songs-to-break-up-to/id721774266).

Hot Chip: “Feel Better” (Babysteps Remix)

Who: 21 year-old San Diegan Babysteps has churned out plenty of solid remixes—his epic Tiesto-esque version of Beyoncé’s “Drunk In Love,” his Moombahton-infused edit of Kid Ink and Chris Brown’s “Show Me,” and his twerktacular take on Ty Dolla $ign’s “Paranoid are all prime examples of how the producer alters popular songs to fit his style, a fusion of aggressive dance genres like trap, hip-hop, and reggaeton.

The Song: Babysteps takes an indie classic by Hot Chip and gives it a festival-ready facelift, busting things open with a Jersey club breakdown that crescendoes into a heavy-hitting trance drop. “It’s a little weird and wild,” the producer says of the track in its description. Luckily for him, that’s just how we like it. The song goes through a number of high-energy changes, and we dare listeners to not be drenched in sweat by its end. Current Project: Keep up with Babysteps via his Facebook page.

Soundclouds of the Underground runs every Thursday. For more, click here.