The internet’s music cup continues to runneth over as more and more new releases are crammed into New Music Fridays. Two weeks ago, there were no fewer than eight new projects to comb through, from the cerebral to the groovy. But the one that continues to yank me back with a kaleidoscopic choke chain is Kaytranada’s debut studio project 99.9%. The morning the album came out, I decided to test it on Spotify; halfway through “Track Uno” I was hooked. Once the Craig David-assisted “Got It Good” (reconstructed from one of Kaytra’s best beats from Instrumental Hip-Hop Is Dead) finished, I bought the album right then and there while everyone on the train wondered why I was bouncing around so much.
The Haitian-Canadian producer has been working toward this album since he and his brother formed Kaytradamus back in 2010. Incessant touring kept Kaytra’s album ambitions – and much of his personal life – on the back burner for quite some time, but the solo success he’s found with those trademark customized synths had to start somewhere. He culled a devoted following on Soundcloud and Youtube as a DJ/remixer as early as 2012, which led to his signing with XL Recordings shortly after and the anticipation for a proper album continuing to grow. It’s safe to say with features from Vic Mensa, Phonte, GoldLink, Syd of The Internet, and BadBadNotGood, his intoxicating grooves didn’t go unnoticed.
Since we’ve all been enjoying 99.9% so much (anyone who hasn’t felt like the robot in the “Lite Spots” video is lying to themselves), we gathered 20 of his best remixes so you can get familiar with Kaytra’s bop.
22. Disclosure – “January“
Fellow electronic maestros Disclosure met their match on this Kaytranada flip. I wouldn’t be mad at a full EP from these two.
21. Beyonce & Andre 3000 – “Party”
Kaytra took a a song form Beyoncé’s 4 that swings on its own and gave it some bounce. Andre sounds right at home with the thumping drums, too.
20. Common – “I Want You”
Distorted and airy vocals get Common sounding like a spirit over this reworked boom bap joint. This is the sweat-soaked dance floor conquest to the original song’s post-club mellow lusting
19. Teedra Moses – “Be Your Girl”
You’re bound to notice the special things in your life more with this sultry mix bumping through the speakers.
18. JMSN – “Love & Pain“
JMSN’s music sits firmly in the gray area between Kaytranada and the muted electronic soul of James Blake, but the layered vocals and pounding drums make this remix one of the most dance floor-ready songs on the entire list.
17. Chance The Rapper – “All Night”
This one is technically just a longer version of a song Kaytra already produced, but it’s too epic not to include here.
16. Amerie – “Why Don’t We Fall In Love”
This sunny Amerie classic gets a lunar-sounding flip from Kaytranada.
15. Danny Brown – “Lie4“
Stuttering hi-hats and booming 808s turn this muted cut from 2011’s XXX on its head.
14. AlunaGeorge – “Kaleidoscopic Love“
The precursor to the AlunaGeorge/GoldLink track on 99.9% is proof enough that AG and Kaytra could pull off a whole project together.
13. Azealia Banks & Pharrell – “ATM Jam“
Banks and Kaytra both worship house music, so hearing his rendition of the bouncy Pharrell-featuring single is a treat.
12. Modjo – “Lady“
This already jumpy dance tune from the French house duo gets more thump and textures that turn the song into a certified banger.
11. Busta Rhymes & Janet Jackson – “What’s It Gonna Be?“
The world has had reasons to vibe to Busta Rhymes on a dance floor before, but this remix takes it to the extreme. He and Janet Jackson sound like they’re on another planet.
10. Jill Scott – “Golden“
This reinvention of one of Scott’s flagship songs changes the beat from a sunlight skip to a nighttime bounce.
9. Missy Elliott – “Sock It 2 Me“
Kaytra gave this sultry Missy cut a disco-tinged vibe that inspires a whole new set of flaring emotions.
8. BadBadNotGood – “Kaleidoscope“
BadBadNotGood started off with jazz renditions of their favorite hip-hop songs, so it’s only fitting that one of their cuts gets a groovy redo. The organs and live drums are softened while a new bass line stitches the groove together.
7. The Fugees & A Tribe Called Quest – “Rumble In The Jungle“
Calling two of the titans of 90s rap pushed through a decidedly modern dance filter a pleasant surprise is an understatement. The quiet fast-paced beat from the original is slowed to a groovier tempo with some gorgeous vocal samples adding pomp and flavor.
6. k-os – “Crucial”
A sweet and groovy update to a song that was already affirming and thumping on its own.
5. Robert Glasper Experiment – “More Love“
Glasper’s original somber collaboration with KING from Black Radio gets a thumping low end and reworked vocals strong enough for you to bust out the roller skates.
4. Solange – “Cranes In The Sky”
During a stop at Terminal 5 in October, Kaytra showed his love for Solange Knowles’ newly dropped album A Seat At The Table by sharing a DJ edit of single “Cranes In The Sky.” What a jam this turned out to be.
3. Erykah Badu – “Love Of My Life“
A song from the Brown Sugar soundtrack whose “official” remix showed up on Worldwide Underground, Kaytranada paints a different picture around Badu’s vocals with harp and guitar brush strokes.
2. TLC – “Creep“
Twinkling notes and bumping drums over TLC is too tempting to pass up. Plus stripping out the trademark horns gives the already cautionary song an even more foreboding tone.
1. Janet Jackson – “If“
Jackson was such a fan of this remix, that she reached out to Kaytranada in an effort to make an official mix. Damn, that’s love.