Born in Melbourne, Australia, Charlie is an avid music fan whose music collection and taste spans a wide range of genres.
The Best House and Techno Remixes
Once in while, a remix comes along that lifts the original track to another level. Sometimes a remix maintains everything great about the original, yet beefs it up for the clubs. Other times, the remix becomes something entirely different, with the remixer creating a completely new structure, using the stems of the original track in a variety of ways.
Remix vs. Cover vs. Version
There is a blurry line between what is a remix and what is a cover (or version). Whatever a remix is, it doesn’t really matter. The point is, the original track is not always better.
In this article, I present 10 fantastic remixes that are generally preferred to the original among fans. Most of the songs on this list fall roughly under the umbrella of house and techno. Vote for your favourite at the end!
Top 10 Remixes That Are Better Than the Original
- Guy J—"Lamur" (Henry Saiz Remix)
- Robert Babicz—"Dark Flower" (Joris Voorn Magnolia Remix)
- Omar Feat. Stevie—"Feelin You" (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
- Nathan Fake—"The Sky Was Pink" (Holden Remix)
- Kirlian Camera—"News" (Room 506 Edit)
- Code 718—"Equinox" (Henrik Schwarz Remix) (Dixon Edit)
- Wolfsheim—"The Sparrow and the Nightingales" (Ancient Methods Ode to the Night Remix)
- Dappled Cities—"Fire Fire Fire" (Loving Hands DFA Remix)
- Stateless—"Bloodstream" (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
- Apparat—"Holdon" (Modeselektor Remix)
1. Guy J—"Lamur" (Henry Saiz Remix)
Remix Release Year: 2009
Original Release Year: 2009
The original of "Lamur" is very good. In fact, had the remix not been released with the original, it is likely I would have played it many times. This record came with just two tracks, Guy J’s original, and the remix by Henry Saiz. Let’s be real, Saiz turned "Lamur" into an absolute monster. Despite the quality of the original, the remix is so phenomenally epic that it is unlikely many people play the original. "Lamur" (Henry Saiz Remix) is undisputedly one of the prog-house anthems of the decade. In fact, I’m going to say… the century.
I discovered a Resident Advisor review written around the time of release, rating the record a 3.5/5, which is the most ridiculous chin-stroking review I have ever come across. At the time of writing in 2018, the asking price for the 12” vinyl is $141 on Discogs, with a superb rating of 4.64/5.
2. Robert Babicz—"Dark Flower" (Joris Voorn Magnolia Remix)
Remix Release Year: 2008
Original Release Year: 2008
In 2008, a somewhat already accomplished Joris Voorn catapulted himself into electronic music folklore with his remix of "Dark Flower" by Robert Babicz. The first time I heard this I was blown away, and it has never become old. This is one track you can play to techno beginners to get them excited. The remix in this case is so good that Babicz himself prefers to use this version for his live sets.
3. Omar Feat. Stevie—"Feelin You" (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
Remix Release Year: 2009
Original Release Year: 2005
Coming in at ranked #16 on the Resident Advisor List of Best Live Acts, Henrik Schwarz is a well renowned electronic music producer. There a multiple versions of this remix; this is the unofficial release with Stevie Wonder chiming in on the vocals. Schwarz’s remix turned the soulful original into a genuine house classic. Schwarz gets the dance floor moving with "Feelin You" at his live shows. If you haven’t heard it, you have missed out on years of happy listening. This track could still change your life if you let it.
4. Nathan Fake—"The Sky Was Pink" (Holden Remix)
Remix Release Year: 2004
Original Release Year: 2004
There is no doubting that James Holden is a genius. His remix of Nathan Fake’s "The Sky Was Pink" came at a time when Holden was (arguably) starting to fulfill his potential, flexing his muscle as the bossman of the Border Community label. It is hard to believe this track came out in 2004. The sound is distinctively Holden and still fresh today.
5. Kirlian Camera—"News" (Room 506 Edit)
Edit Release Year: 2016
Original Release Year: 1980
Kirlian Camera are an Italian darkwave group that formed in 1979 and rose to prominence in the 80s. In 2016, Room 506 (aka Michael Wollenhaupt, aka Ancient Methods) released an edit of Kirlian’s track "News" to the delight of EBM (electronic body music) and techno-heads.
Wollenhaupt, a brilliant producer in his own right, is known for creating thumping hypnotic and industrial techno. The Room 506 version ramps the drums up to pounding and features searing acid-like build ups, yet maintains the catchy chorus of the original. While technically labelled an edit, it is much more than that.
6. Code 718—"Equinox" (Henrik Schwarz Remix) (Dixon Edit)
Remix/Edit Release Year: 2009
Original Release Year: 1992
Danny Tenaglia only released a couple of records under the Code 718 alias, and he has always been known better for his DJ skills. Nothing against Tenaglia, but this is one example where I don’t care much for the original. To my ears, there isn’t much difference between the Schwarz Remix vs Schwarz Remix + Dixon Edit, so I have to give the credit to Schwarz here.
7. Wolfsheim—"The Sparrows and the Nightingales" (Ancient Methods Ode to the Night Remix)
Remix Release Year: 2016
Original Release Year: 1991
I was surprised to find out that Wolfsheim’s fantastic synth-pop tune "The Sparrows and the Nightingales" was released in 1991, as it sounds very '80s. Fast forward to 2016, and the track was remastered and repressed by the Dark Entries record label, with Ancient Methods called upon for the B side.
Classifying the remix as better than the original in this instance will probably make Wolfsheim fan’s blood boil, but I will stand by it. Michael Wollenhaupt (Ancient Methods) takes the listener on a journey far removed from the original; it is too wild for the masses, but genius to those who understand it. Lets call it brutal, pounding, dark, techno/EBM gold… that some will also find hypnotically calming.
8. Dappled Cities—"Fire Fire Fire" (Loving Hands DFA Remix)
Remix Release Year: 2008 (officially?)
Original Release Year: 2006
Dappled Cities released their album Granddance in 2006. A little while later a quirky remix appeared on some blog pages as a low quality download. The track is only legitimately available on the Japanese release of Granddance, along with some other bonus tracks. The remix is a well orchestrated, chilled out number from Tim Goldsworthy (aka. The Loving Hand), which probably deserves wider recognition. Unfortunately, you will need to fork out for the CD to hear this in a high quality audio.
9. Stateless—"Bloodstream" (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
Remix Release Year: 2007
Original Release Year: 2005
Stateless are an interesting band whose style is difficult to describe. The original "Bloodstream" is beautiful, slow, chilled-out, trip hop, yet has enough space to allow a remixer to think. Henrik Schwarz came up with the goods again with his version, turning an already brilliant song into a (marginally better) deep-house classic.
10. Apparat—"Holdon" (Modeselektor Remix)
Remix Release Year: 2007
Original Release Year: 2007
Modeselektor’s remix of "Holdon" by Apparat appeared on the 12” single released the same year. Let’s call it bass-heavy electronica for the purpose of this article. Whatever you want to call it, this is one remix that I have always believed was undeniably better than the original. It is however entirely different, but I don’t think many would disagree.
This remix is great for warming up a house or club party when things are normally a bit sluggish to start with. Perhaps Apparat himself thought the remix was better, selecting it on his Things To Be Frickled compilation, and eventually joining the two members of Modeselektor to become Moderat.