K’naan, J. Period & Bob Dylan - Don’t Think Twice (Messengers Remix)
Not often does heartfelt folk and hip hop cross paths like this, which is why this version of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice is so special. When Somali/Canadian artist K’naan teamed up with mixtape extraordinaire J. Period in 2009 to create a mixtape, it soon became evident that the emcee/singer would draw on influences ranging generations, genres and continents to promote his message of peace.
Bob Marley and Fela Kuti join Bob Dylan as artists that have influenced K’naan’s musical pursuits. In turn, he pays homage to all three musicians on The Messengers mixtape project, where this song appears.
The Messengers version of Don’t Think Twice transcends age groups and musical preferences to appeal to people from all walks of life, and in doing so, enables the timeless music of Bob Dylan to be rediscovered by a new group of fans, while giving K’naan some well-deserved recognition.
Stormy Weather (LarryOh Remix)
Little Dragon - Stormy Weather (LarryOh Remix)
For those of you who don’t know, Little Dragon are a quartet out of Sweden who specialise in innovative electronica. Aside from having the amazing Yukimi Nagano as the lead singer, they also experiment with soudscapes to great effect. My two favourite songs from the group, Twice and Ritual Union are good places to get acquainted with the band.
The Stormy Weather (LarryOh Remix) certainly acknowledges their relaxing sound and draws on samples to reconstruct a dreamwave tune certain to soothe you after a hard day at work or on a night time drive.
According to Pigeons and Planes, this track was available for free download, but I can’t find any link to suggest that is the case. I suppose you’ll have to get creative in working out another way to secure a copy.
Frank Ocean - Pink Matter Remix (Featuring OutKast)
Okay, okay, okay. This feature spot on Frank Ocean’s Pink Matter probably isn’t the type of collaboration most OutKast fans are looking for. It’s not upbeat, it’s not radio friendly or crunk and it is emotionally heavy. But that won’t stop me getting excited.
Frank Ocean’s signature melancholic crooning is dark. At times it is detached, at times it is despairing and vacant and all of these textures are observations made without really trying to decipher the ambiguous intelligent lyrics. Big Boi’s verse is straightforward, vividly depicting voyeuristic perversion and André 3000’s is somewhere in between the other two artists.
For the moment, this track is still available for free download by following the link below and navigating the (downward arrow) link.
Download - Pink Matter Remix
Adele - Skyfall (Dorsh Remix)
I saw the new 007 movie recently on my Birthday, and despite losing/someone stealing my pair of sunnies in the cinema, I still enjoyed the movie immensely.
After the intense opening chase scene of Skyfall, Adele’s opening track soothes the viewer like a painkiller and the listener is immersed into a film-noir montage of grissly allusions to death amidst a sumptuous soulful number from the British songstress.
While I enjoyed the original, I’d have to say that Dorsh’s remix resonates with me much more. The Jamaican DJ has kept true to the original ballad, but he expands on the sentiment, with summery synths, transforming Skyfall into a much more positive sounding track.
Click below for an mp3 before the download limit is reached on Soundcloud.
Download - Skyfall (Dorsh Remix)
Youth Lagoon - Daydream (Noah Hyde Remix)
I’m about to release a compilation mix of remixes and it just occured to me that I haven’t shared this track I discovered a few months back. Noah Hyde takes control of the mellow Daydream and transforms it into a dancefloor ready banger that still maintains its dreamy soundscape.
Thankfully, the download link is still active so you can legally own a copy by clicking the link below. Enjoy!
Download - Daydream (Noah Hyde Remix)
Pacific Air - Float (TheFatRat Remix)
The opening of Pacific Air’s Float is disarming enough. Subdued keys and a very approachable melody. However, the introduction is very deceptive as German DJ TheFatRat capitalises on the song’s dance sensibilities to deliver a very large floorfiller house remix.
But don’t be fooled by the obvious club appeal. At the core of it all, Float still maintains a theme of escapism and search for some kind of euphoria, it just might get lost in the glossy, overproduction that will appeal some and dispel others. If you aren’t taken at first listen, download Float and give it another try later on. You may find that it grows on you, like the massive synths that sweep in. Alternatively, the original version will definitely appeal to fans of Keane.
Download - Float (TheFatRat Remix)
The Pharcyde - Runnin’ (Philippians Remix)
The Pharcyde are one of the groups to emerge from the west coast of the US in the 90s. Their playful rhymes were a welcome difference at a time when gangsta rap dominated the airwaves. On their second LP Labcabinacalifornia they showcase a more mature outlook on life, which has been eternalised in the classic J. Dilla produced track Runnin’.
This remix from 2008 keeps the raps and feel of the original intact while chopping up a few additional samples and adding some electronic blips.
Several members left The Pharcyde after Labcabincalifornia and the group continued as a duo, releasing their final, poorly received album in 2004 before disbanding a year later. Despite their shortly lived success they have left a solid legacy and The Pharcyde continue to inspire hip hop artists
Jonathan Boulet - Mangle Trang (Tom Vek’s RAM Mix)
Jonathan Boulet is a youngster from Queensland, Australia. Yes, don’t let the beard confuse you, the Modular muso is still in his early twenties! He recently released his wordy sophmore LP We Keep the beat, Found the Sound, See the Need, Start the Heart in June this year.
I was a big fan of Jonathan Boulet’s tracks A Community Service Announcement and North to South East to You from his self-titled debut album, yet somehow I haven’t felt the need to check out his latest offering in more depth after feeling somewhat underwhelmed with the short iTunes preview listens.
Nevertheless, Jonathan Boulet has an undeniable knack for talented songwriting which shines through even on this remixed version of Mangle Trang. The harmonised backing vocals, synth and array of percussion ensure that there is never a dull moment on this fast-paced arrangement.