Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Atrak remixes Kayne West. Rating 4 of 5 turntables

Premiere: Kanye West: "Stronger (A-Trak Remix)" [MP3/Stream]

It was Kanye West's DJ, Montreal-based turntable maestro A-Trak, who introduced the Louis Vuitton don to Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". West leans heavily on the track as robotic source material for Graduation lead single "Stronger", working in his recent hypeman mode between verses positing women as interchangeable and West as quite possibly God's gift to them. "Baby, you're making it..." Kanye starts the chorus, as Daft Punk finish, "...harder, better, faster, stronger." Ask the dudes from SuperBad to explain that to you.

West has made a point in this album's press push of trying to establish himself as an MC; he initially said Graduation wouldn't include guest rappers, and more recently traded verses with the "best rapper alive" himself, Lil' Wayne. But A-Trak's remix uses West mostly as a source of spoken-word hooks, looping his most memorable exhortations and chopping up Daft Punk's vocoded vocals while leaving most of the verses on the cutting-room floor. The result is part the talk-box electrofunk of A-Trak bro Chromeo, and another part the room-shaking filter-disco of Justice, without any awkward references to "blond dyke[s]". In West's words, "Me likey." A lot.

A-Trak explains further: "I played Daft Punk to Kanye about two years ago for the first time. And he always said he wanted to flip 'Harder Better'. I was skeptical of the idea at first. But he sent me the beat when he first made it and I thought it was crazy. Then it took a few months for him to come up with all the vocals. And while I was working on recording scratches for the track he told me he wanted me to remix it too. Fast-forward to now, the remix is done and he's really behind it. They're still working out how they're going to release it (probably something on iTunes), so in the meantime we decided to leak it."

Posted at Pitchforkmedia.com

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