November 22, 2013

Remix of the Week: D33J

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It would be sacrilegious to have a blog about remixes and not mention Wedidit. Wedidit started as a way for high school friends to keep in touch and share their music, but has morphed into one of the most recognizable music collectives in the country (and beyond). Founded by Los Angeles natives Nick Meledandri (known as Nick Melons) and Henry Laufer (Shlohmo), Wedidit is now home to RL Grime, Ryan Hemsworth, the up-and-coming producer Purple, D33J and many others. More than just a group of artists, Wedidit has become a veritable brand. They share a trap/hip-hop/90s R&B aesthetic, usually layered over some spacey synths. Wedidit is constantly releasing remixes, and members will edit anything from the Backstreet Boys to Chief Keef to Haerts (honorable mention to the insanely awesome Shlohmo remix of “Wings”). Above all, Wedidit is known for their distinct DGAF personality. They sample video games, take selfies wearing bucket hats (Groundislava’s trademark) and the telephone number listed on their website is 911-420-6969. I think the best summation of their attitude is the reaction to being named “Best Electronic Collective” by LA Weekly: Wedidit (or whoever controls their account) tweeted “THX 2 LA WEEKLY FOR THE AWARD. FIRST AND FOREMOST I WANNA THANK MY DEALER.” Lulz.

While Shlohmo, RL Grime and Ryan Hemsworth have all made their way into more popular electronic music, I think that D33J (real name: Divan Santos) is probably one of the most talented members of the group. This year, he completed two EPs, the latter of which (released by Anticon – the same label Baths is signed to) is really outstanding.  For the most part, his music is tamer than that of his more famous peers, and though he’s heavier on the synths he retains a characteristic beat in his work. An added bonus about D33J is that he designed a really dope t-shirt. I’ve mentioned this over and over, but I sleep more than any other person I know. So when I saw that D33J had created this, I knew I had to have it (despite the anatomically incorrect stingray). It’s my favorite.

In the beginning of November, D33J released a remix of the latest single, “Tangle,” from London band The Hics. “Tangle” on its own is a fantastic song, with some classic male-female harmonies over slowed down R&B/jazz/electronic. It’s one of those rare songs that doesn’t quite fit into any one genre but can be appreciated by all kinds of music lovers. And this remix represents why I love D33J. He took a really great song that had the capacity to be turned into a grimey bass-heavy edit and made it weird. It’s not too different from the original (he preserved those precious vocals), but it’s slowed down and synthed up. In the first half of the song, D33J added a few more fuzzy layers, but around the four-minute mark there’s a really distinct peak that I love. Major props to both The Hics and to D33J; I’m looking forward to more work from both.