Remixing is one of the most vibrant and exciting aspects of the electronic genre, as it allows for collaborations by artists who might never be seen together on a lineup. A space for DJs and producers to really flex their creative muscles, remixing is where genres collide, BPMs speed up and slow down and sounds mutate in surprising, playful and often sonically evolutionary ways.

A great remix is also often definitive, transcending the original to become the most enduring version of the track.

Here are our top 20 remixes of 2014.

20. Above & Beyond “Satellite” (Ilan Bluestone Remix)

It’s crazy to think it’s been 10 years since Above & Beyond, via their Oceanlab project, gave us permanent tingles with their anthemic single “Satellite.” A decade later, rising Anjunabeats star Ilan Bluestone sends the seminal trance record back into orbit by brushing it up with contemporary embellishments. Justine Suissa’s crooning carries the same endearing grace as it did from when it was first conceived; only now her vocal delivery echoes out across a modern fixture of trance music. Many would walk away, scorned for putting hands on such a classic gem, but not Bluestone. He gives us something worth holding onto until we get word of an Oceanlab reunion. —Sam Yu

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19. Ryan Hemsworth “Ryan Must Be Destroyed” (Wave Racer Remix)

No one can deny how much Australia came up in dance music this year, and at the crest of this wave of emerging talent is Future Classic’s Wave Racer. As part of a friendly back-and-forth remix showdown between the Sydney-based producer and Ryan Hemsworth—a double-sided pressing aptly titled WavesWorth—Wave Racer blew Hemsworth’s tune out of the water with his quirky take on “Ryan Must Be Destroyed.” With his remix, trap-heavy percussion arrangements and video game-inspired arpeggios take future bass to the next level, while idiosyncratic textures play up the randomness of his signature playful styling. Oh, and the Yoshi samples he works in here are as dope as it will ever get. —Sam Yu

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18. Henry Krinkle “Stay” (Justin Martin Remix)

You came for the basslines and stayed for the feels. There’s a certain long-lived, intoxicating effect Justin Martin manages to achieve through his rework of “Stay.” Earmarked as one of the most memorable dance music offerings of the year, the dirtybird player flips the tune into an open-armed piece of production with tremendous dancefloor charm. Punchy low-end phrases rub up against magnetic melodies and alluring tones, as Alicia Keys vocal sample begs the listener to hang around just a little while longer. The fleeting moment Justin Martin captures here seems just as genuine as it is sublime. —Sam Yu

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17. Duck Sauce “NRG” (Skrillex, Kill The Noise, Milo & Otis Remix)

Skrillex, Kill the Noise and Tampa-to-L.A. newcomers Milo & Otis apply a not-so-liberal dose of microwave energy to the Giorgio Moroder-established electro template and fry Duck Sauce’s champion festival sounds of “NRG” to a point of near non-recognition. However, in leaving just enough funk in the bottom-end to let folks feel the rhythm and percussion, they showcase their excellence. When melodies escape from the mix, they sound like fireworks or solar flares, amped to explosion moments of something that’s beyond euphoria but not quite pure delirium. —Marcus Dowling

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16. Duke Dumont “I Got U” (Tensnake Remix)

Tensnake takes Duke Dumont’s and Jax Jones’ gorgeous shuffler from its gentle, breezy, daytime island vibes and positions it at the peak of the night. Chopping up Kelli-Leigh’s gentle vocals into mesmerizing loops, Tensnake keeps the most sentimental bits for a chorus. The remix extends the original by a couple of minutes, replacing Dumont’s and Jones’ steel drums with bouncing house beats, making this track an absolute roller. —Lily Moayeri

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15. Fred V & Grafix “Recognise” (Emperor Remix) (Hospital)

In the shadowy world of subgenres within drum & bass, Hospital is often erroneously pegged as “just” a liquid label, when their output is actually much more diverse than it appears. This remix is a testament to that openness, as Emperor transforms the silky smooth lead track off Fred V & Grafix’s debut album into a gnarly neuro-funk number that puts a healthy dose of meat on the bones of the original. Fred V’s vocals are still front-and-center, but Emperor re-visions the soundscape into a lurching, bassbin-rattling beast sure to please even the most battle-hardened dancefloor warrior. —Chris Muniz

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14. Mapei “Don’t Wait” (R3hab Remix)

Dutch producer R3hab takes Swedish singer Mapei’s formerly slow-paced BFF ballad “Don’t Wait” and turns up the tempo, transforming the song into a brighter, lighter and more danceable version of its former self. The house-oriented remix is outfitted with touches of piano, spacey flourishes and a newly auto-tuned chorus, making this version the clear standout from the slew of remixes the original received. A feel-good, pop-oriented track on par with Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be,” this remix maintains all of the sugary sweetness of the original but stays sophisticated enough for adult listening. —Katie Bain

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13. Alex Metric “Heart Weighs A Ton” (Cassian Remix)

Australian house has arrived. Names like Anna Lunoe and Flume may be at the head of the movement, but here’s fellow countryman Cassian reworking UK electro champion sound-maker Alex Metric’s smash “Heart Weighs a Ton.” He does so with a level of surgical precision that leaves a listener in absolute awe, while still grooving to the four-on-the-floor beat. It’s in this track’s deceptive simplicity that it wins. The kick/snare is direct, the pianos are refreshing, and the subtle nod to festival electro’s build/drop structure at the 3:30 mark takes it to another level. —Marcus Dowling

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12. Bastille “Pompeii” (Audien Remix)

American boy Audien really hit a home run with this one. Not only did this big room rework get massive play at every summer festival worth mentioning, but it won the 22-year-old a Grammy nomination. If you do like the song says and close your eyes, you can almost feel the sun on your skin, no matter if you’re stuck at the office or just lying in your bed and waiting for the night to begin. It’s incredibly catchy, heart-warming and energetic, and for those reasons and more, I’m sure it will stand the test of time. One day, years from now, you’re going to put this on and remember all that 2014 was about. —Kat Bein

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11. Moons “Bloody Mouth” (Kauf Remix)

Disco continued to be a huge trend in 2014, and it saw a lot of growth in that time. One of the leaders of that pack came by way of Kauf for his stellar remixing of the lo-fi indie jam “Bloody Mouth” by Moons. Letting go of the pop feel of the original, Kauf laid in thick layers of dreamlike synths and samples to create a tribalish chunk of disco that lifts listeners right off of their feet. Simple in idea yet stunning in execution, something here catches the ear and won’t let go, making this track a favorite for DJs and fans alike. Kauf’s remix can both let a dancefloor breath and carry it to a higher level of feeling and consciousness. With fervent reply to its January premiere on XLR8R, Moon’s “Bloody Mouth” remix has added even more fuel to the fire for Kauf’s rising popularity. With a very busy 2014 for the artist, tracks like this will ensure an even bigger 2015. —Denman Anderson

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10. Chromeo “Come Alive” (Grum Remix)

There are fewer remixes that encapsulate and elevate the spirit of the original quite like what Grum did for Chromeo’s “Come Alive.” Sparkling from the jump with sleek synths—an ideal soundtrack for basking in the sun’s glistening glory on either the California coast or the beaches of Ibiza—the rework has a brightly anthemic, dance-till-you-drop quality that’s undeniable. Funky and spunky grooves are the foundation, but the song glides along with ease, reflecting the post-disco sound that the British house producer is renowned for. —Daniel Kohn

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09. Aden “Whip” (Jimmy Edgar Remix)

Jimmy Edgar has skyrocketed to become one of the hottest techno producers in the game. He brings a versatile approach to his music, combining his Detroit–influenced sound with trippy, spiritual and electroclash-influenced art covers. The Ultramajic boss’ spin of Aden’s “Whip,” released back in January, is a slice of raw, industrial ghetto-funk laden with chopped vocals that playfully intermingle with dark, bouncy deep house grooves. The driving percussion, though subtle, immediately hypnotizes a dancefloor, which is why I’m still vibing to this heater. —Rishabh Bhavnani

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08. Bassnectar “Loco Ono” (Bassnectar and Stylust Beats Remix)

Ahead of his fall tour, Santa Cruz-bred Bassnectar released remixes of his entire Noise vs. Beauty album as free downloads. This particular track highlights his work with the Vancouver-based producer Stylust Beats, whose chainsaw bass is all over “Loco Ono” 2.0. The collaborative track is heavy on the turn-up and decidedly more anthemic (but equally as bombastic) as the ultra-aggressive original. With a big build and multiple drops, the track exemplifies that the 36-year-old producer is willing to grow and expand his own work to ever-hyphier sonic realms. —Daniel Kohn

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07. Oliver $ & Jimi Jules “Pushing On” (Tchami Remix)

Remixing one of the biggest tracks of the year is quite challenging, but when Tchami reworked “Pushing On” into his own distinctive club anthem, the reception was through the roof. Rapidly rising to the top of the DJ/producer elite, Tchami has created a remix to be reckoned with. Starting with a UK pop house intro feel, Tchami steers the track into a chime-like synth breakdown in the first bridge, layered with the extremely catchy vocals from the original. He brings out his true sound at the drop by sneaking in his signature “future house” bassline a half-bar short, until the kick comes back in to give the track a huge club-record vibe. Letting the vocals ride throughout the track, Tchami pulls his usual technique of automating the cutoff of the lead synth to create movement. Mastering the concept of tension release, he’s constantly pulling layers in and out of the record to keep the listener glued throughout. The remix has all the elements of a hit and has been received accordingly by fans and DJs alike to be listed as one of the top remixes of 2014. —Joe Wiseman

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06. Moderat “Bad Kingdom” (DJ Koze Remix)

The term “burner” has been used and abused more than a scratched pair of cheap sunglasses, but this Berlin vs. Hamburg matchup should be the precedent for what properly constitutes such an elucidation. The bassline in Moderat’s “Bad Kingdom” was quite possibly one of the largest, most dominating basslines in 2013, and Koze takes nearly three minutes before he unexpectedly drops the hammer. The stripped house groove chugs while Koze transposes and manipulates the poignant phrase, “This is not what you wanted,” while the angelic vocal pads harmonize with the bass in a way that gives you that uncomfortable feeling of being happy and sad at the same time. I can only imagine how many rapturous times this track pumped out at 8:30 in the morning at Berghain. —Troy Kurtz

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05. Clean Bandit “Rather Be” (The Magician Remix)

Clean Bandit’s already undeniable (and Grammy-nominated) hit “Rather Be” got a deliciously deep remix courtesy of the Magician, who turned the pop anthem into one of the year’s brightest and most popular house-oriented dance anthems. Decidedly lustier than the original, the remix is a mood-booster on par with kittens and freshly baked cookies. It provided a similarly significant rise in profile for the Belgian producer, who premiered the track in January (listen for it in his Mixtape 39) and dropped it for the happy masses at clubs and festivals around the world all year long. —Katie Bain

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04. GusGus “Crossfade” (Maceo Plex Remix)

As many times as the GusGus line up and concept have shifted over the past 20 years, a couple elements that have remained recognizable are their affinity for vocalists and remixes. Case in point: “Crossfade,” the lead single from their 2014 album Mexico. Bursting with loopy lyrics that frame love in DJ terms, the original track bounces straight onto the dancefloor, awash in layers of harmonies. Maceo Plex strips most of the verse (and story) out of his remix, keeping the chorus/hook, stretching out the build, and plunging the whole thing into a syncopated K-hole that rebounds on a heavy bass drum and a menacing synth line. Whereas the original is a fantastic piece of techno-pop, Maceo’s take is pure after-hours decadence. —Jorge Hernandez

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03. Wilkinson ft. Talay Riley “Dirty Love” (TC Remix) (RAM Records)

Wilkinson is one of those producers who seems to be able to knock out anthem after anthem with ease. So it was no surprise when the original “Dirty Love” was slated to be the tune of the summer. The harmonized vocals of Talay Riley sit so perfectly atop Wilkinson’s uplifting groove; it didn’t seem possible to improve upon the original—until the one known as TC stepped in for the re-lick. Rendering Wilkinson’s original down into a stomping, rewind-worthy number for those who like it extra-dirty, TC pulled off the impossible task of staying true to the dreamy vibe of the master before adding just the right amount of grimy kick to make it outshine the original. —Chris Muniz

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02. Caribou “Can’t Do Without You” (Tale Of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix)

Along with Four Tet and Toro y Moi, Caribou (Dan Snaith) has been “going disco” for a couple of years now, adding a bit more soul to his cerebral, astral pop. Tale of Us (Matteo Milleri, Carmine Conte) have pledged to rewrite the rulebook for “moving, emotional electronic music.” Mano Le Tough (Niall Mannion) has the Innvervisions crew swooning to his deep, romantic house. As one might expect, then, Tale and Mano’s rework of “Can’t Do Without You,” from Our Love—Caribou’s follow up to 2010’s Swim—is a deeply layered and textured slice of moody deep house. Starting with a mellow 4/4 shuffle, Tale and Mano layer warped melodies, minor chords and percussive flourishes on Snaith’s plaintive vocal loop, building on the original’s motorik beat to a stadium-size climax and extended breakdown that slowly and magnetically recollects all the dark and disparate sounds into a cathartic stomper unlike anything in Caribou’s own work. —Jorge Hernandez

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01. Arcade Fire “Afterlife” (Flume Remix)

Australian wonder kid Flume took what was already one of the best songs of the year—“Afterlife,” Arcade Fire’s ode to New Order dance rock—and turned it a masterpiece. By isolating the vocals, he transformed the Canadian group’s single into a dark, almost ghostly beast of a track. Taking shape midway through via a ready-for-the-floor house beat, the track truly puts value into every second of its 10-minute playtime. Flume’s remix is ultimately so successful because it adds enough to warrant the release without ever losing sight on the original track—the most important facet of creating a remix. —Kevin Camps

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