This introduction comes in its original form, despite the obvious temptation to have a fellow alleged music writer put his / her slant on it.

When I think of remixes I always recall John Peel, tongue-in-cheek, complaining that he never had the chance to watch as much television or catch as many movies as he'd like, because he was always "too busy listening to remixes."

Yes, remixes are seen by many-- perhaps justifiably-- as a kind of dispensable musical fashion, where many celebrity DJs make a quick buck, all the while helping make up the total running time of some single or EP release. But generally, if you avoid the bigger releases, a surprise or two can near always be guaranteed in store.

I've always believed that those people who banish the whole idea of remixes are kind of missing the point, failing to realize that remixed tracks can offer up some of the year's finest musical moments, where the remixer is allowed to play around, be imaginative and take chances. It doesn't always work, mind, but I reckon that I've over time acquired the talent of spotting the lazy by-numbers, take-the-cheque rubbish (of which there is much around). For a start, usually when you find someone is fast becoming a go-to remixer you know you're in trouble.

The tracks that I've chosen here though are pretty much nifty gems at worst, and strikingly, unexplained brilliant at best. Enjoy the remixes, rejigs, reevaluations, reidentifieds whatever tunes below. Also, I would like to thank Dandelion Radio DJ Mark Cunliffe and Kevin Robinson for helping me put the list together.


Scythians (DJ J Heat Remix)

"Hypnotically sexy" is how they described this tune over at Boomkat. It has a cool swagger about it, always shifting gear and dropping surprises. Almost the perfect remix.


Eye Nyam Nam 'A' Mensuro (Henrik Schwarz Blend)

Chosen by Kevin Robinson, this is one of those tracks that goes on for near 10 minutes, yet at no stage do you find yourself checking the turntable to see how long is left for the needle to meet up with the inner groove. Plus, 'blend' is an imaginative alternative to remix, dontcha think?


Source Direct - 'Black Rose' (Blawan Remix)

Source Direct returned this year with the Black Rose 12", but Blawan's smudge-laden, attack-of-the-killer-insects take on the original was the real highlight of the release. My favourite remix of the year, in fact. Don't have nightmares, do sleep well.


Populous - 'Night Safari' (John Wizards remix)

Planet Mu-signed South African act John Wizards here give leftfield electropopper Populous's 'Night Safari' a jiggy, squiggly makeover.


Carly Rae Jepsen - 'I Really Like You' (Alexiis Remix)

Chosen by Mark Cunliffe, this joyous, floor-filling dub rejig of a pop song that you should all know is, well, just that. PS my girlfriend is now dancing to it as I type this. (She also wants me to tell you that she dances to it with her cat. Although that's probably the original version she's on about).


LoneLady - 'Groove It Out' (Ekoplekz Replekz)

Staying with a pop tune and here the wonderful Ekoplekz (another Planet Mu act, as it happens) breaks down and dismantles Lonelady's 'Groove It Out' in a way that only he could. Compared to the previous track, this one in many ways belongs to the other side of the remix extreme.


Lakker - 'Mountain Divide' (Spaces Remix)

Dublin via Berlin (or is it Berlin via Dublin?) twosome Lakker released the much recommended Tundra LP earlier this year, a record that had me recalling '90s IDMers B12 and Seefeel among others. What soon followed was the Tundra Remixed album, that included a whole bunch of wonderful takes on the original record's tracks. My favourite though was the Mark Bell-esque, slammin' industrial rhythm of 'Mountain Divide' by Spaces.


Aboutface - 'The Hazy Path To Misunderstanding' (Tin Man Remix)

Tin Man hands Aboutface's 'The Hazy Path To Misunderstanding' (my favourite track title of the year) a lowkey kinda trancy, euphoric workout. Wonderful stuff.


Sinkane - 'Yacha' (Peaking Lights Dub Mix)

Chosen by Kevin Robinson, Peaking Lights here sprinkle a little of their shimmering dub-pop love all over Sinkane's more funky original of the track 'Yacha'.


Bruce Brubaker - 'Metamorphosis 5' (Plaid Remix)

Another clever Plaid remix, mixing their melodic offcut vibe into Bruce Brubaker's picture setting, piano devoted 'Metamorphosis 5'


DVBBS & Dropgun Ft.Sanjin - 'Pyramids' (Amyntas Moombahton Bootleg)

Chosen by Mark Cunliffe, this tune sees dancehall meet junglist vibes and other happenings to semi crucial effect. Get those dancing feet at the ready.


Vessels - 'Vertical' (Jinjé Remix)

Neat and steady stuff, this, with Jinje reworking the opening track off of the Dilate LP into a wonky house track.


Okraa - 'Vultur' (Prequel Tapes Remix)

Prequel Tapes recently released the Dragon Keys EP, and here the 'mysterious' producer-- and friend of Fink-- is kept busy reworking Colombia's psychedelic-tinged electro-soulsters OKRRA's, also recent, cut 'Vultur', allowing it a certain subdued, methanol feel in the process.


Oknai - 'Cloud Forest' (Pixelord Remix)

Novosibirsk sound maker Pixelord here does a lovely job on Oknai's 'Cloud Forest', allowing the track some extra boldness in the process; crisp, busy breaks and otherworldly, cut up voice-like sounds. This is an example where the remixed version of a track takes on a personality all of its own, at the same time making it a superior tune when put up against the original.