Major Lazer has been a major hit this summer (duh), thanks not only to the contagious pop hooks and irresistible beats found on their album Peace Is the Mission, but also to the many remixes of nearly all of the album’s tracks. News of a new rework is no longer news anymore. Yet there are tracks on the record that have flown under the radar for many producers. It takes a special kind of beast to go to town with a track that’s not necessarily a club-ready tune for 1 a.m. dancefloors, but that’s exactly what El Freaky have done here.
The Ellie Goulding-sung “Powerful” is an oddity for Major Lazer, since it’s mostly a ballad and not a fusion of barrio or favela beats with other styles of music. It’s definitely not the first song you would immediately jump to remix. Unlike “Lean On” (by our calculations the most-remixed joint in the history of recorded music) or even the moombah-addled “Too Original.” After all, it takes a special kind of artist to touch a song that seems to defy remixes. Thankfully, we have bass alchemists El Freaky from Colombia to bring their game to a song like this.
The reworked track doesn’t jump to a heavy groove from the start like one would expect. Instead, it introduces a boom-clap rhythm to replace the waltzing shuffle of the original. El Freaky adds some sinister synth bass instrumentation as the song progresses. A heavier beat, featuring what sounds like a sampled güiro, drops in the chorus. That said, “Powerful” never renounces the torch song flavor of the original; it only sprinkles some rhythm so you can bump and grind a little to it in the club.
El Freaky are celebrating their one-year anniversary with their unstoppable track “Summer Now,” which has spawned its own army of remixes that might give Diplo a run for his money. Surely, these producers will continue to warp our minds and bodies in the club.