I met Ruth Blatt through a completely random chance through a sumer camp for kids. When I found out what she does (write about organizational behavior and business management through the lens of rock bands) I was very excited to get her to do a playlist and interview her. (You can read that interview here.)
The nature of the music on this playlist, the ephemeral and multifarious nature of the remix and DJ culture in general, brought into sharp focus some challenges and opportunities that have been lingering around Faux Sounds for a while. Simply, not all of these exact versions of these songs seem to exist in one convenient place, either on Spotify or YouTube. Most are on YouTube, though, so I've dragged Faux Sounds out of the Spotify safe room into the dark alley that is YouTube. The top player on the right is a YouTube playlist, which you can also find here. Below that is the shorter, less comprehensive Spotify playlist.
A deep thinker with a clear passion for both music and human behavior (are those really different things?), Ruth has an effervescent charm coupled with a no nonsense conversational rhythm. She writes a regular column for Forbes magazine, and is working on a new book about the history of the modern concert industry. You can follow her on Facebook or the Twitter (@RuthBlatt) and visit her website The Rock Band Project.
I love electronic music and remixes that completely reconsider the original. I also love to dance, so most of my playlists, including this one, start with ambient music and end with a dance party.
Paul Oakenfold — Bliss - This one is not actually a remix, but it’s a great opening song. I always put it on right before people are supposed to arrive at my place. It’s both exciting and calming. The party’s begun but there is still a sense of anticipation. I love Paul Oaknfold. He convinced me that a DJ is real musician.
Lady Gaga — You and I (Wild Beasts Remix) - I’m not a huge fan of Lady Gaga, but I love this remix. It takes great imagination to take that song in such a new direction.
Gregory Isaacs — Night Nurse (Cottonbelly Remix) - This is sexy song made even sexier in the remix. It’s a song about longing, and it always makes me think of summer.
Lana Del Ray — Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix) - This version is much better than the original, which was flat. This one has much more energy and tension.
Bob Marley — Sun is Shining (Fire House Club Mix) - The pace is picking up here, get ready to dance! Any song that starts with “I’m a rainbow too” is a happy song. This song used to be my ringtone. It was kind of ironic, because the ring began with the line “To the rescue here I come!” But it’s also a great song to hear many times a day.
Whitney Houston — It’s Not Right But It’s OK (Thunderpuss Remix) - When this song came out I used to frequent a gay dance club (I loved the be-yourself vibe and the fact that people were there to DANCE, at least the straight people). When this song came on the crowd went crazy, especially the climactic moment when she sings “You were making a fool of me Ohhhhh.” It’s like suddenly she goes from angry to hurt and everyone just celebrates. Definitely a better version than the original. (ed. note - The original version of this song showed up just a couple months back in DeMisty D. Bellinger's Guest List.)
Delerium featuring Sarah McLachlan — Silence (DJ Tiesto’s In Search of Sunrise Remix) - This song is a “classic” for those of us who got excited about electronic music way before EDM, when everyone else was listening to Britpop, or Brittney doing Pop, or whatever was left of Rock after Kurt Cobain died. We were drowning our sorrow in nightclubs that didn’t open their doors until 1 am.
Cass & Slide — Perception (from Sasha’s Global Underground Ibiza set) - Within two seconds of this song, I’m energized. This is my productivity music. I put it on repeat when I need to get things done. I write to it in noisy coffee shops. I cook to it. I’m not sure this is a remix actually.
Led Zeppelin — Baby I’m Gonna Leave You (The Quiver Mix) - I saved the best for last. If you only listen to one song on this list, let it be this one. I am a huge fan of Led Zeppelin and unlike most of the songs on this list, I love the original too. But this is one of those rare instances where the interpretation surpasses the original. Kind of how Led Zeppelin redid the Joan Baez version or the versions that came before hers.
I remember exactly where I was when I heard this song for the first time. I picked up my husband in my metal-blue Toyota Starlet and he put in the CD. He said, “You have to hear this remix of ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.’” I was skeptical. This is way before EDM versions of country songs. I didn’t see how that song could be made electronic. Or in any way improved upon. But about a minute into it I had to stop by the side of the road. I was totally entranced. This was way more than creating a danceable version of a good song. It was brilliant.