In late August, Avicii announced an open search for the best remix of his and Sandro Cavazza’s recent single, “Without You.” The contest, held in conjunction with Geffen Records and DJcity, offered up $5,000 for the best take on the electro-pop nugget, and received submissions from around the globe.
Avicii – “Without You” (Notre Dame Remix) [Official Winner]
It’s unsurprising that a producer under the name Notre Dame would epitomize the sound of French dance. Their position as a textbook-definition darkhorse is curious (as far as we could find, Notre Dame had no social presence under this pseudonym before the contest), but the combination of looping disco percussion, hot saxophone and a clean, whipping bassline is undeniably sticky. The vitality that pours out of this “Without You” remix nearly outshines the original.
Avicii – “Without You” (Tokima Tokio Remix) [Official Winner]
Japan’s Tokima Tokio could have earned their crown on the bizarre, reedy lead alone. The joyful, unpredictable melody line Tokima tops a wild combination of dub and dancehall-inspired grooves, all while remaining true to the progressive house Avicii’s built his brand on.
Avicii – “Without You” (AFISHAL Remix)
U.K. DJ AFISHAL has carved out his own niche in YouTube’s remix community by hand-building a gigantic set of drum pads to live-trigger samples. For his newest creation, he’s loaded “Without You” with playful video game samples from Super Mario Brothers and Crash Bandicoot. His one-man rave display is as cathartic to watch as it is to hear.
Avicii – “Without You” (Jacob Tillberg Remix)
A fellow Swedish producer takes a sprint through the record in his “Without You” remix, softening Cavazza’s assertive lead melody with acoustic guitar and electronic marimba. The sweet, pecked-out breaks pepper in a bit of bounce, giving the cut a bright, gentle contrast.
Avicii – “Without You” (Culture Code Remix)
Just when we thought “Without You” couldn’t get any glitzier, Culture Code’s remix ups the ante by dropping in whirring drums and grand strings. The song’s dreamlike aesthetic steadily builds into a drop that’s halfway between dubstep and Eurodance.