Remember the ‘90s, an era of multi-million dollar music videos, Bill Clinton and a pre-social media internet. It’s also the decade that some of today’s hottest stars of dance music were born (the boys of Disclosure, Martin Garrix, and Krewella’s Yasmine Yousaf are all ‘90s babies). Whether you remember the ‘90s because you lived through them or because you’ve studied your parents’ vintage compact disc collection, everyone can agree there’s something fun about that time.
Be it Duke Dumont interpolating Whitney Houston or HNNY sneakily sampling Christina Aguilera, some of the most iconic hits of the end of last century are serving as source material for producers of today. While Cyril Hahn may have been a forerunner in this trend with his slo-mo remix of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name,” other artists are going beyond remixing, reworking chart-toppers into a brand new tracks. Take a listen to the cuts below and see if you can hear a dial-up modem in your heart.
Duke Dumont featuring Jax Jones, “I Got U”
[Original: Whitney Houston, “My Love Is Your Love”]
As the third single from the album of the same name, Houston’s “My Love Is Your Love” rose to No. 4 on the Hot 100 in late 1999 and enjoyed a week atop the Dance/Club songs chart, making it one of Houston’s most successful singles ever. Dumont’s “I Got U” samples Whitney but adds some new vocals too, creating an original house track that cleverly embraces its ‘90s influences.
Yolanda Be Cool featuring SYF & Fritz Helder, “All That She Wants”
[Original: Ace of Base, “All That She Wants”]
In 1993, Ace of Base’s song about having children grew into a surprise No. 2 hit, giving birth to the career of a Swedish pop quartet that liked Jamaican rhythms. Twenty years later, Aussie duo Yolanda Be Cool tapped former Azari & III singers SYF and Fritz Helder to join them for a darkly yearning deep house cover.
[Original: Amber, “Sexual (Li Da Di)”]
As the lead single from her self-titled second album, “Sexual” was dancefloor diva Amber’s last Hot 100 entry, hitting No. 42 in early 2000, more than six months after it topped the Dance charts, thanks to some crossover radio love. Los Angeles-based, ‘90s-born producer CRNKN (aka Gabe Baer) pitches down the pre-chorus for a brooding, trap-inspired rework that’s somehow more romantic than the original.
Bastille, “Of the Night”
[Originals: Corona, “Rhythm of the Night” & Snap!, “Rhythm is a Dancer”]
Corona’s “Rhythm of the Night” and Snap!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer” captured the ears of Americans who were eager for European club music though not necessarily actual clubbing. Snap! charged the Hot 100 first, taking its “Rhythm” to No. 5 in 1993. Corona followed in 1994, eventually peaking at No. 11. The twenty-something boys of Bastille were barely tweens when both tunes invaded British radio but they must have made an impression. The electro band combined the “Rhythms” for the crooning, earnest, and breathy “Of the Night,” first released on a mixtape in 2012 and re-released as a single late last year.
[Original: Christina Aguilera, “What A Girl Wants”]
Aguilera released “What A Girl Wants” in the fall of 1999, eventually surpassing her idol Whitey’s “My Love” on the Hot 100 to hit the top spot. Enigmatic Stockholm-based HNNY strips the original of its teen queen cheer, converting portions of the verse and chorus into a sweetly sad house track that pays only subtle homage to Xtina. He repeated the ‘90s magic again later with a version of TLC’s “No Scrubs” he titled simply “No.”