A good remix takes the soul of an original tune and shines a light on something completely different. It takes the familiar, flips it upside down and reinvigorates the dance floor with surprise. It’s a ’70s disco vibe turned into an acid electro sniper. It’s a high-energy alt-rock jam reinterpreted in introspective beauty. It’s a mainstream radio smash brought to life in a totally different way.
In 2017, we saw a lot of great remixes, but 10 stood out to us in particular. We’ve got an electrified K-pop American invasion, a strong woman’s rallying anthem, a left-field take on conscious rap and more. If you’re looking to go up, down, left, right or into a different dimension entirely, one of these remixes is the move for you.
Check out Billboard Dance‘s picks for 10 best remixes of 2017, in alphabetical order, below.
BTS, “MIC Drop” (Steve Aoki Remix)
The numbers don’t lie. Steve Aoki‘s remix of BTS‘ “MIC Drop” is cruising toward 50 million Spotify streams and 100 million YouTube views — and it has only been out for a month. BTS’ popularity has exploded in the past year thanks to their incredibly loyal fan base and is quickly spreading its digital footprint in the U.S. The remix can be seen as the cherry on top for Aoki’s monstrous year as his brand equity climbs to an all-time high. —DAVE RISHTY
Dua Lipa, “New Rules” (Alison Wonderland Remix)
Dua Lipa became a solo force to be reckoned with in 2017, thanks to her dance floor single “New Rules,” which came armed with a strong remix package. Among the five on the pack, though, Alison Wonderland’s takes the cake. The Australian producer gives the record a brassy trap makeover. Her rework has accumulated over 25 million total streams to date. —D.R.
DJ Snake Feat. Lauv, “A Different Way” (Devault Remix)
Devault is a name that may not be known to many dance listeners yet, but we believe that’s all going to change in the new year. The up-and-comer completely reimagines DJ Snake’s song “A Different Way” featuring Lauv by providing it a cinematic overhaul laced with dark, ominous accents. With each listen, you’ll hear something new. —D.R.
Ella Vos, “White Noise” (R3hab Remix)
R3hab’s remix of Ella Vos’ “White Noise” is wildly euphoric and beautifully produced. The original record lends itself to a minimal pop structure, while R3hab decides to let Vos’ vocals run free. This is the song you’ll play at full volume when you reach the top of the the highest mountain, extend your arms toward the sky and have a camera do a victorious 360-degree lap around you. —D.R.
Justice, “Randy” (Boys Noize Remix)
Justice and Boys Noize have moved into divergent worlds of sound, but back in 2007, they were cut from the same gritty and influential cloth. It’s only right that the German acid techno god who wrote “&Down” be the one to reinterpret the duo’s prog-rock electro-metal. Released as part of Ed Banger’s celebratory Ed Rec 100 compilation, the remix is a dark, metallic take on the singles disco-funk brightness. It moves through a variety of moods and motifs with dexterity and edge. It’s a total flip,and an industrial killer worthy of your nostalgic bloghouse love. —KAT BEIN
Kendrick Lamar, “Humble” (Skrillex Remix)
It was a long time coming, but when Skrillex finally dropped his long-teased remix of Kendrick Lamar‘s “Humble”, the dance community agreed it was worth the wait. It came out in September and it’s already garnered more than 19 million streams on Spotify. The “Humble” remix showcases both Lamar’s incredible diction and flow, as well as Skrill’s unparalleled versatility. It opens with a cappella, comes in slick with some Asian inspired keys, hits funky with sporadic drum ‘n’ bass drums, and booms with monster bass. It’s massive and heavy without beating you over the head. It just drips with finesse. —K.B.
Kygo & Ellie Goulding, “First Time” (Gryffin Remix)
2017 was a major year for Gryffin in the originals department with songs like “Feel Good” featuring Daya, in addition to “Nobody Compares to You” and “Love in Ruins.” However, Gryffin continued to rule the remix game. His uplifting rework of Kygo‘s “First Time” featuring Ellie Goulding is simply a jam. As soon as those piano chords come in, you know you’re in for a treat. It expands upon Gryffin’s signature sound while still retaining certain indie dance elements that fans know and love him for. —D.R.
Portugal. The Man, “Feel It Still” (Medasin Remix)
“Feel it Still” was one of the biggest hits of the year. You can turn on your local pop station today and here it still (Dad pun intended). A lot of artists have remixed it, but Medasin’s chilled take is our favorite. It induces immediate relaxation. It’s like taking a slow stroll in a cool breeze, walking into a purple haze and floating on a dream. Its lo-fi beat and fuzzy soundscape brings the familiar hit to a whole new dimension. —K.B.
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, “Something Just Like This” (Don Diablo Remix)
Coldplay and The Chainsmokers struck gold on their collaboration. Don Diablo takes the original’s melodic foundation and delivers an extraordinary remix. It’s dynamic and funkadelic, a real put-your-hands-up groove that can turn any night out into a fairy tale. —K.B.
The xx, “On Hold” (Jamie xx Remix)
When the London trio started writing third album, I See You, it let electronic percussionist Jamie xx take its downtempo emotional sound to the club, but it was still kind of a wallflower. The In Colour producer had grander dance floor dreams for the album’s lead single, and his kicked-up reinterpretation is a cool, classic U.K. groove. It’s a little bit tropical and a little bit aloof. It’s disco, it’s throwback, it’s tribal, and it’s now. No wonder every influencer you know has it on repeat. —K.B.