From topping the 90s charts to ‘very controlled and predictable’ today: is the remix dead?

From topping the 90s charts to ‘very controlled and predictable’ today: is the remix dead?

The likes of Fatboy Slim and Armand van Helden remixed original tracks into mutant dancefloor beasts, but thanks to streaming and risk-averse labels, this artform is threatened

Back in the 1990s, the right dance remix could make – or sometimes resurrect – a career. Fatboy Slim’s mix of Cornershop’s Brimful of Asha took a marginal indie band to the top of the British charts, Andrew Weatherall saved Primal Scream from potential obscurity with his remix of their lachrymose ballad I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have (which became Loaded) and Todd Terry’s remix of Everything But the Girl’s Missing gave the band a new lease of life in electronic music.

Kelli Ali says that Armand van Helden’s 1997 remix of Spin Spin Sugar by her former band Sneaker Pimps – a classic of the early UK garage scene – introduced the group’s music to an audience “who were maybe searching for something to listen to outside the club, when the sun came up.” She says: “It meant that our music crossed over to a whole generation of hardcore clubbers. I still have friends saying they were dancing to the track recently, which is pretty epic in terms of longevity for a remix.”

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