Colorado future-bass producer Illenium has come to be known as one of the most dynamic names in modern dance music. He’s constantly pushing himself to incorporate more organic rock notes into his recordings, and he balances it with ever-improved live elements in his stage performances.
His striving creative resolve has made him one of the most sought-after remixers in dance music. He’s even moving into the pop crossover realm, and below, we honor his greatest remixing moments. It’s quite the decorated list of collaborators, a regular who’s-who of modern electronic leadership. Which Illenium take is your favorite?
“Say It” is one of Flume’s biggest crossover hits. This must have been a full circle moment for Illenium, seeing as how he’s inspired by the future bass sound Flume created. He adds organic guitar notes and big dynamics. The soft parts are heart warming, and the rush is a waterfall.
Even if you’re not a big fan of The Chainsmokers, you know “Don’t Let Me Down” featuring Daya. It was one of the duo’s post-“Selfie” breakout hits, thanks in large part to its iconic melodies. The original hook is a real biter, but Illenium leans on the song’s musical opening chords. He uses Daya’s powerful voice to great effect, and gives the new version a sweeping euphoria.
Kill Paris ft. Royal – “Operate” (Illenium Remix)
If you’re looking for a song to get you through that final dark hour, “Operate” is a good bet. The original is a bright stomper that plays to strengthen the listener’s inner resolve. Illenium adds his signature warmth, sparking the light inside your chest so you can carry your head high.
From Kaskade’s 2015 album Automatic, “Disarm You” is a practice in juxtaposition, both beautiful and crunching. Illenium brings the song to an immediately deeper place, slowing the tempo and drawing each note of his bright electric guitar slowly across Ilsey’s fairy-like vocals. Marching brand snares bring the song to its climactic, hypnotic hook.
Oh Wonder – “Shark” (Illenium Remix)
What does Illenium do with a song that’s already heavy with whispery mood? With Oh Wonder’s “Shark,” he keeps that shimmering sweetness and turns up the heat with a hard-punching beat and energetic synth lines. This one calls on his Porter Robinson influences to make the music smile.
Phoebe Ryan – “Mine” (Illenium Remix)
There’s a fuzzy loveliness to Ryan’s original. Illenium lets her instantly-recognizable voice ring out above a heartbeat rhythm and heightens the experience with a feel-good vibe that could totally soundtrack some teenage joyride on the Pacific Coast Highway. The drop on this one is the hardest we’ve heard on the list yet.
Niykee Heaton – “Infinity” (Illenium Remix)
Heaton brings the lights down in the bedroom with her smoldering acoustic original. Illenium puts meat on those bones with layers of electric sound, though there’s plenty of organic guitar work to keep Heaton’s skin-to-skin vibe. There’s a serious rush toward the classic future bass drop. This one must have gone off when he dropped it in his DJ sets.
Galantis – “Gold Dust” (Illenium Remix)
Listen to the first few seconds of “Gold Dust,” and it’s easy to see what Illenium saw in it. This Galantis tune screams for his touch, what with its yearning piano cords and soulful vocals. Illenium keeps the feel of the original in tact, but he puts his own spin on both the lead up and the bright dance-pop drop.
Marshmello and Khalid struck gold with their collaborative hit “Silence.” The masked producer and Illenium share pop-punk roots, and Illenium lets his show on this almost arena-ready ballad. Clap your hands, stomp your feet and sing along to this one. Let them hear it in the nose bleeds.
ODESZA – “Always This Late” (Illenium Remix)
You can’t talk about sweeping, orchestral dance music without mentioning ODESZA. The Seattle duo is beloved for its layered sonic landscapes, so Illenium is an obvious choice to remix. His take on “Always This Late,” from 2014’s In Return, is ’80s-inspired and ecstatic as anything he’s ever produced. Reach for the stars with this one playing, and you’ll get there.