Mixtape 116 is a series of remixes put together by our expert electronic enthusiasts, Deluka. We'll let them explain in their own words.
In 2006 Sydney base Modular Records released a complication that captured the imagination of Ellie and I. It was called 'Leave Them All Behind' and featured the bands we loved listening to; like The Rakes and Bloc Party, but remixed in a way we'd not really be exposed to before. We loved it. It was the exact combination of electronic and 'live' sounds that we'd been experimenting with in our own music, and it gave us the inspiration and confidence to continue. I'm not sure exactly why, but after that release, we always wanted our 'main sound' to sound like a remix, as if that a non-electronic original might exist elsewhere. We got really specific about the remixes we like, which parts sounded 're-mixed' and electronic and which parts remained sounding 'live'. I think the 'Leave Them All Behind' compilation struck such a chord because the re-mixes were sympathetic to the original, usually preserving the original song structures and sound of some of the instrument. Until then we'd only ever heard the so-called 'dance' remixes of bands we liked, which would typically involve the clich of a 808 drum loop, pads and other tranced out sounds.
Below is a shortlist, a kind of 'snapshot' of remixes from around that time, remixes we would play again and again, whether we were in the studio, DJing or purely for listening pleasure. Plus a few others that came a little after that are too good not to include.
Scroll Through The Player To Listen To All The Songs On the Mixtape
1. The Maccabees - "X-Ray Vision (Filthy Dukes Society Remix)"
I love what the Filthy Dukes did to this track, practically reinventing everything from the ground up. The new drum, bass and guitar progressions just work together amazingly under the vocals.
2. Get Shakes - "Sister Self Doubt (alternate Version)"
I got in to this version of 'Sister Self Doubt' after I'd practically worn a hole in my copy of the original. This re-work is made by the band themselves which is probably why it's so good and has the attention to detail only the creator would be concerned about. It is also the version they tend to do live, as it's a little harder than the original, but I do miss the cowbell!
3. Wolfmother - "Woman (MSTRKRFT Remix)"
This is probably the most 'rock' of the remixes listed here. What I like about this is there's a really solid, unapologetic beat and disco hand claps, that work together so well - It's all about the hand claps! But there is still a really well crafted song here, not following the Wolfmother version entirely, but standing up on it's own an a good, thought out piece of music. The use of 'angular' guitar stabs too keep this version out of the cheesy dance remix genre, and make it more of a re-working than an remix. It has it's own riffs not taken from Wolfmother's version, tasteful vocal manipulation, and cowbell break downs what more could you ask for?
4. The Rakes - "22 Grand Job (Filthy Dukes)"
I've always loved The Rakes, and Filthy Dukes remixes too for that matter, their White Lies remix is phenomenal too. I think the distorted bass sound on this amazing though, it's dirty and deep without loosing clarity. The first Rakes remix I'd heard was done by Phones on the Modular 'Leave Them All Behind' compilation which was great too, but this track is one of my favorites.
5. Justice - Phantom Pt 2 (Soulwax Nite Version)
I LOVE the Justice version of this, but there is something about watching Soulwax play it live that makes it all the more interesting to me. It's heavy, it's distorted yet melodic and it has a unexpected breakdown that makes your heart jump out of your chest when not paying attention when DJing - it's great. Really nice arpeggio too that just pushes, and pushes the track to the end that's not from the Justice version.
6. Soulwax - "Teachers (Remix)"
When it comes to remixing yourself, these guys take first prize. Apparently it took them years, and you can see why. It's amazing, a labour of love, and never gets old. This album has accompanied Deluka through lulls in the studio to 12 hour drives on tour, from DJ sets to home listens, it's a band staple.
7. Block Party - "Banquet (Phones Remix)"
This is another great one for me, executed with the love and attention that only the producer of the original could give it. Phones is of course Bloc Party producer Paul Epworth, and he tackled this indie-dance masterpiece with great care. He turns up the volume on all that is great about the original to create something, not a million miles away from the Bloc Party version, but just driving and dancey enough to be different yet still as catchy.
8. The Kills - "Good Ones (Jagz Kooner Remix)"
We're huge Kills and Primal Scream fans in Deluka, so it makes sense that Jagz Kooner, whose produced a lot of our favorite Primal Scream tracks should turn out a great Kills remix.
I think this works for us because it takes on the 'I feel love' synth alluded to in Jamie's guitar riff and really pushed it in that direction with out sounding like a copy or derivative.
9. Cut Copy - "Going Nowhere (Digitalism Mix)"
I had a badly labeled MP3 of this, so for the longest time I thought this WAS the original. It wasn't until like last year I You-Tubed the song for some reason and heard Cut Copy's original version. I have to say I like this more slightly more. I don't know if it's just a familiarly thing having heard only the Digitalism version for years, but the boxes just get ticked for me on this version. Great rhythm on the Hi-Hats, great groove on the synth too, I just love the vibe of it. Ugh...I've said 'rhythm' 'groove' and 'vibe' in the same sentence.
10. Test Icicles - "Circle Square Triangle (James Ford Full Length Mix)"
What I like about this remix is that it doesn't so-much 'remix' the single, more extend it's best parts. A bit the 'Let's Make Out' extended version by Does It Offend You Yeah? which I also love.
'Circle Square Triangle' is perfect little 'anti-pop' song to me, not too long, hooky verse/chorus/verse/breakdown structure, and this version just elongates all the good stuff in there. Again it's another remix by the producer of the album version this time by James Ford. But as the name of the remix suggest - it may have always intended to be heard this way.
11. Band of Skulls - "Death By Diamonds and Pearls (Deluka Diamante Remix)"
Not just shameless self promotion, this was an important remix for me as it was the first times I'd stuck my neck out and asked a band if they wanted a remix. I'd met Band Of Skulls outside a venue they'd played at in New York and after the inevitable 'You're from England, YOU'RE also from England' conversation we chatted about the UK music scene and what touring the US verses the UK was like and so on, and I mentioned that I'd recently remixed Kesha's 'Tik Tok' and I casually asked if they ever needed a remixed... Then by coincidence our paths crossed again when Deluka were asked by Birmingham Promoters in our home town if we wanted to support BOS at our local which of course we did. Still thinking nothing of the offer I'd made, their manager contacted me a few months later and it turned out they did want a remix for their next single. I remember thinking "oh crap, I've actually got to do it now and it's got to be good". Until now all other remixes I'd done had been unofficial, or just for fun. But I was really happy with the results and so were they, and the remix got released with their iTunes single package.
12. Beastie Boys - "Root Down (Free Zone Mix)"
This came out in 1995 and still sounds as good today as it did then. It was the second time I'd ever really heard a 'remix' in my life - the first being the B-Side of 'Bullet in the Head' by Rage Against The Machine. I can remember thinking I like it more that the album version, I'd bought the 'Root Down' EP for the album version, but had no idea this was the lead track. I think it's responsible for my love of the bass as one of the lead instruments on a track.