The top 5 remixes by Toronto producers in 2014 (so far)
The power of a great remix is undeniable in the today's online landscape. Labels extend the life of their artist's singles by commissioning producers to make their own renditions of the original. In doing so they can effectively tap into new audiences across different genres. Fueled by the Soundcloud community and blog aggregator Hype Machine the popularity of bootlegged remixes have turned nobodies to international sensations within a matter of weeks. While there are plenty more to come before the year is up, here are the top five remixes so far in 2014 from Toronto-based artists.
Tove Lo - All The Time (Keys-N-Krates Remix)
Keys-N-Krates, who we covered in our SXSW 2014 preview, are an anomaly in the electronic music world for incorporating keys, drums and turntablism into their live sets. With a keen ear to what's bubbling on a global level, one month ago they decided to put their own spin on Sweden's up and coming songstress Tove Lo's "All The Time." They added some serious grit to her track, with some trappy drums and whopping bass - and it's resonated well with the online community, grabbing almost 2.5 million plays since its release. KNK are on the road touring heavily right now, so make sure to check them when they play Toronto next on June 28-29 for Digital Dreams Festival.
Sam Smith - Stay With Me (Rainer + Grimm Remix)
It was only released a few weeks ago and has already accumulated a quarter million plays. Toronto-based dance duo Rainer + Grimm made a bootleg deep-house remix of "Stay With Me" by UK's newest sensation Sam Smith (who recently tore down The Virgin Mobile Mod Club). The remix was premiered on Earmilk, eventually reached the #1 spot on Hype Machine and even caught media mogul Caron Daly's attention, who actually played it for Sam Smith on air during a live interview. Rainer + Grimm will be beginning a new residency on Friday nights upstairs at Product Nightclub for a new party fittingly dubbed Ăttic.
Sub Focus - Close ft. MNEK (Grandtheft Remix)
2013 was Grandtheft's year and it looks like he's on course to make 2014 even bigger. With releases on Mad Decent, Spinnin, Fools Gold, Ultra, Dim Mak, and other taste-making electronic labels already under his belt, the world is paying attention to his every move. About a month ago Sub Focus, an alias of Nick Douwma, released a single, along with three remixes, called "Close" which features buzzing house vocalist MNEK. One of these remixes comes from Toronto's own Grandtheft and is sure to turn up any dance floor to the Nth degree. He's currently on tour with Riff Raff and has a big lineup of dates for the summer, but you can catch him at Fort York in Toronto on August 15th for the Mad Decent Block Party.
Portugal. The Man - Purple Yellow Red & Blue (Muneshine Remix)
This March, JUNO-nominated producer Muneshine shot to the top of Hype Machine's popular charts with his remix of rock band Portugal. The Man's "Purple Yellow Red & Blue." In his rendition of the song, he blended a sample from Spandau Ballet's True into his production, creating an elegant mashup. The remix flooded blogs worldwide and eventually grabbed the attention of Gary Kemp (one of Spandau Ballet's original members) who gave it an official nod of approval on Twitter, as did Portugal. The Man. For those interested in checking him live, he plays alongside Guelph-based "beat scene" icon Elaquent at a monthly party called PRESSURE, the next one being on May 29th @ Studio Bar.
Future, Pusha T, Pharrell x Future Islands - Move That Dope (Skratch Bastid Remix)
His roots might be in Halifax, but Skratch Bastid has been calling Toronto home for over five years. Although he refers to this one as a "blend," that still counts as a remix in our books! He flipped Future's dope dealing anthem on its head by incorporating a sample from Baltimore synthpop band Future Island's "Seasons (Waiting On You)" along with some dreamy synths. Skratch Bastid tours more than most, but if there's one event not to miss it's his annual summer cookout: Bastid's BBQ, which for the first time since its inception will be hitting the road for multiple dates across Canada, of course including Toronto on July 5th.
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