Published Nov 09, 2016Remember when electro-house and fidget were heavy-hitting genres in the electronic scene? When artists like Crookers, Fake Blood, Laidback Luke, Jack Beats and the Bloody Beetroots dominated in the mid-to-late aughts? When EDM wasn't a term loosely tossed around to refer to any commercially successful genre under the electronic umbrella?
A-Trak's latest, In the Loop: A Decade of Remixes, is a nostalgia-filled throwback from an artist whose name has become synonymous with the art of the remix. Granted, just under half the tracks were produced before 2010, though it doesn't stop the rest of the album from embracing the 4/4, vocal snippet- and bass-heavy wave of electro — if slightly more subdued. The veteran DJ and producer goes through a range of his most notable remixes here, including tracks by Bingo Players ("Cry [Just A Little]"), Disclosure featuring Lorde ("Magnets") and Bob Moses ("Tearing Me Up").
While his newer tracks have a nice pop sheen to them, A-Trak's older material is what really slays: the vocal snatches and amplified, extended breakdowns on Digitalism's "Idealistic"; the sped-up, hi-hat-laden, glitched-out version of "Heads Will Roll" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; and perhaps the best track on the release, "Oh!" by Boys Noize. While the original is stellar, A-Trak's remix softens some of the rougher edges with a bouncier, rounder bass line, until it hits the breakdown and becomes just as gritty and coarse as the original. In the Loop: A Decade of Remixes is a great display of A-Trak's artistic range and the collaborative possibilities of the remix. (Fool's Gold)