Winner's Announcement 2014 - Turntable Lab Remix Contest presented by Legitmix




With over 250 entries, our 2nd Remix Contest saw an overall advancement of production technique. Whereas the first contest had a large proportion of mash-up style mixes, this year we saw a higher frequency of full reworks and productions. Thanks to our contest partner Legitmix.com  (without whom, this open style of contest wouldn't be possible) and our prize sponsors: AIAIAI, Arturia, Audioengine, Audio-Technica, MonoNative Instruments, Nocs, and Teenage Engineering.

GRAND CHAMPION AWARD: The Penelopes


For our Grand Champion prize we picked the London-based (by way of Paris) duo, The Penelopes, for their masterful revision of The Cure classic. Although the original is pretty much perfect, you could probably swap in this complete overhaul without the dancefloor twitching. The replayed synth lines and professional polish put it over the top for us. A unanimous pick.

 

REALIZED AWARD #1: Shoe Scene Symphony


OC's Shoe Scene Symphony win our Realized Award for their thoughtful, well-executed remake of JJ's fan favorite. The song structure is spot-on, transforming the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis stepper into a multi-movement 12" version.

 

TIME & SPACE AWARD: DJ Platurn


The Bay Area's Platurn is 2014's first repeat winner. His left-brain-expanding remix bends time and genres, mixing two styles that flourished in separate, faraway places: the 1989 Rhythm Nation and 60's Island Ska. Although seemingly simple in execution, the thought process and timing are to be commended.

 

ALTERNATE ROUTE AWARD: Cousin Cole


Fleetwood Mac was a popular choice in our contest. With so many popular "Everywhere" and "Dreams" edits floating around the white label universe (esp. Psychemagik versions), our ears were a bit jaded in this category. However, Cousin Cole delivered brain pops by mixing in Marcia Griffiths' reggae version with the usual Cole kick and finesse.

 

SMOKEY AWARD: Paper Tiger


Doomtree's Paper Tiger took a smoldering, trap-ish approach to his remix. It's interesting to hear JJ with lots of space to breathe rather than the hyper-produced soundscapes she usually inhabits. We also like how he transforms the sentiment from poppy-puppy-love (populuv) into sexy, backroom desire.

 

DUBPLATE AWARD: Melos


If this came out in the late 90s on scrawled white label, it probably would have charted in the back of those UK electronica mags. Personally, we can't remember a d&b remix that sampled DM, but what a stylistic match: black on black on black. Love how the drums cut out when the vocals are introduced and the muted, distant vocal effects.

 

HEARTFELT AWARD: DJ Bvck


"Little remix I made in honor of the man himself, Mr. Wonder. One of my favorite tracks of his." You can hear the sincerity in DJ Bvck's rework which adds footnotes, exclamations, and bold rewrites to this Stevie classic. Love the lo-fi approach and the frantic, theme-changing outtro.

 

STEINSKI AWARD #1: Ali Bomaye


Yeah, we have a soft pocket for the now lost art of Cut & Paste. Ali Bomaye multi-tracks inna Fostex style, expertly layering hip-hop prepaid gift cards and funk fro-yo. Shouldn't every remix include that Darondo bit?

 

EASY PEASY AWARD: Max Tannone


This is like Steph Marbury playing at The Rucker (pre-Starbury shoes, which is incredibly still in business). Max Tannone, author of several Lab bestsellers, goes Benihana on Nas' "Heaven" with the Pete Wingfield "smoking onion mountain" as the wow factor.

 

CONSTANT REPEAT AWARD: Benja Styles


Out of all the entries, we listened to Benja's DJ tool the most. It's like those J Cole drums were cosmically aligned to be blended with Fleetwood Mac's "Never Going Back Again." Benja Styles, if you're reading this, please make us a 8 minute version and email it over.

 

UNEXPECTED BLEND AWARD: King Most


When you first look at the samples sources, you might be inclined to just skip over the Stevie / Chris Brown value meal. But King Most has earned our trust, so we hit play, which activates that puzzle box in Hellraiser and they're suddenly made into siamese entertainment twins. Nice echo effects too.

 

BEST / UNEXPECETED INTRO AWARD: False Tropics


Yeah at first glance, you might flashback to your $30 2 Many DJs CD and hit skip, but we're crushing. The straight play of "Ceremony" rolling into the loop... that perfectly time Method drop. We could award the song on the first 10 seconds alone (and that double-time "Disorder" outtro).

 

ARTHUR BAKER AWARD AWARD: DJ Freddy G


A quality re-edit captures the essence of a song and re-organizes it into a DJ-friendly song structure. DM's "Strangelove" is a classic, but lacks that mixable intro and gives up the goods way too fast. FreddyG's version remedies the #djproblem with period correct dub-effects and superb foreplay and pay-off. Ungh.

 

HELEN FOLASADE ADU AWARD: Mean Martin


Sade's "Give It Up", in all its gorgeousness, is one of those songs where you're always waiting for it to breakdown (but it never does). Enter Mean Martin's expertly disco-fied remake, adding much need bump and movement.

 

THE CLEANER AWARD: DJ Smash


DJ Smash is right there with Max Tannone... let's say he's like Alexis Sanchez playing pickup at the Chinatown cage. DJ Smash should write a PDF manual on how execute these blend tracks. Aside from manipulating the originals, the mastering is on another level.

 

SKETCH AWARD: N-Jin


We have a deep appreciation for these half-finished beatscapes. Maybe they're meant to be kept at this level of raw loops and basic MPC small screen structure. This song by N-Jin has that end of the night / last track feel to it...

 

EXTRA 20% AWARD: DJM


"Time To Get It Together" is one of those tracks that probably doesn't need to be messed with. There's so much soulful nuance built-in. However, for DJing, it just lacks that extra 20% to take it to mass playable. DJM does just enough drums to get it there without defaulting to the 4/4 thump.

 

"THROWBACK" CLUB AWARD: Trayze


The first remix contest was characterized by the dominance of mash-ups and club tracks. This time around, club (Bmore, Juke and its derivatives) was rare. Trayze did a fine job executing this Method Man jawn (haven't used that werd in a while) by picking the right sample (90% of the equation) and adding some tricked-out drums and rolls.

 

TRANSFORMATIVE AWARD: HOT16


We appreciate how producers can be inspired by the seemingly insignificant moments in music. Portland's HOT16 runs with a morsel of Stevie's "Rocket Love" and turns it into a full, instrumental house track.

 

CHOPS AWARD: Skizzaz Skullface


Opinion was split on this chopped-up version of "Lovecats." Yeah it sounds steroid-y at first listen, but the more you listen, the more you understand the method. Find a capable emcee to go over it, and it could end up featured in your Facebook feed (simultaneously reported by 5 music blogs).

 

RAINY DAY AWARD: WLVRN


Brooklyn's WLVRN brought a unique stylistic approach to the contest, transforming "Dreams" into a downtempo dub soundscape. We like how he develops that slightly jarring intro that setups the the serene midsection and end.

 

CONCRETE JUNGLE AWARD: OpenOptics


OpenOptics dreamy rework of "Life's A Bitch" offers a plot twist at the end, dropping double-time drum and bass patterns (a la late nineties Konkrete Jungle parties). Execution.

 

REALIZED AWARD #2: Jay-Vee


Impressive vision from Jay-Vee tackling the Yonce' hit without sounding out of his league. Jay-Vee keeps the sparseness of the original, while adding a good amount of interpretation.

 

STEINSKI AWARD #2: Datto


Our second Cut and Paste winner, Datto takes full advantage of the Legitmix platform mixing up Biggie, Marvin Gaye, Joy Division, Fela, and The Fugees.... without sounding crazed.

 

LEGITMIX'S CHOICE AWARD: Wonderlove


The UK's DJ Wonderlove used the original studio multi-tracks to create this rework of the Stevie Nicks staple. Another DJ version that you can swap in for the original. You're welcome.

 

NEIL NICE AWARD: DJ Al Corino


Labhead / Legitmix representative picked DJ Al Corino's remix of "One Love" which smartly utilizes the "one love" chorus from Frank Ti-Aya & Yardi Don's "One Love, World Love."

 


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