Hello! My name is Alex Ruder, I’m a music supervisor and editorial lead here on the PlayNetwork music team. Since my teenage years, I’ve been a massive fan of remixes and hearing how different artists take an original song and shift it into their own distinctive space. Whether it’s a remix designed specifically for the dancefloor, a remix that adds a bit of a beat to a jazzy tune, or a remix that spaces things out into an ethereal zone, I find the shape-shifting unpredictability of remixes constantly fascinating. Here are some favorite remixes that have caught my ear this year…
While he’s worked closely in the past with artists like Erykah Badu, Andre3000, and Jon Bap, Dallas-based musician Zach Witness is an under-the-radar artist who has a magic touch with his remix work. His take on Prince’s “17 Days” is an undeniable winner that is always on-hand when I’m DJ’ing parties, and his new remix of LA-based soul singer Lady Blackbird’s single “It’ll Never Happen Again” is a refreshing take on the classic Verve Remixed sound in its ability to flip a jazz tune into a euphoric dancefloor filler.
British saxophonist/composer Nubya Garcia dropped one of 2020’s standout jazz albums with SOURCE and she’s enlisted a bunch of talented friends to take songs off the album into exciting new territory for the new remix collection SOURCE ⧺ WE MOVE. With contributions from Nala Sinephro, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Moses Boyd, KeiyaA, and more, there’s plenty of standout options to choose from, but I’m rolling with the nostalgic jazzy hip-hop twist laid down by Richmond, Virginia’s DJ Harrison.
The recent renaissance, revival, and reemergence of the transgender musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland has been one of the more joyful music stories of the past few years. Their 1986 album Keyboard Fantasies is a sublime and uplifting gem of an album, blending new age, soul, and pop in profound ways. While it was largely overlooked upon its release, the album has witnessed a renewed celebration and it will be receiving a captivating remix collection that will be released in full later this year. This dreamy ambient remix by non-binary artist Ana Roxanne subtly takes Beverly’s song into an enhanced ethereal zone, and signifies how Beverly’s music from 35 years ago is connecting with today’s experimental musicians.