Even before it became the subject of 28-minute remixes and plagiarism allegations, you could tell DJ Hell's "The DJ" was something special. The track was a far cry from the usual electro business that the first disc of Hell's Teufelswerk had in spades. With horror film strings streaking across the back, an honest-to-god synth solo and P. Diddy at the front cussing up a storm, it was unlike just about anything Hell had ever released previously in fact. And, considering how full the track was, it also made ripe for remixers of all stripes to get involved and take it in any direction you could imagine. Per usual, some of them were up to the challenge. And some of them weren't.
Radio Slave is the undisputed star here. He takes Diddy at his rant and makes the nearly 30-minute track that Diddy suggests are missing from the dance scene these days. His words are wrapped into Slave's normal boom-boom stomp, but the psychedelic swirl is enough to keep your interest. And then there's the piano solo that begins at about 22 minutes into the track, which lets light in and helps cement its place as one of the most adventurous remixes of the year. Or any year.
Elsewhere, Jay Haze wields a sticky and complex groove that confuses deliciously, while Deetron goes epic with Diddy taking a backseat to keening strings and furiously insistent tech house. Paul Woolford's Blackout remix is pure big room fodder, shoehorning it into his electro house template seamlessly, and SIS misses the boat completely by bypassing everything interesting about the tune and focusing on a simple melody to the point of distraction. When Diddy talks about "15 or 20 minute versions," it sounds silly and out-of-place. Luckily, he sounds right at home just about everywhere else.
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Tracklist: DJ Hell feat. Diddy - The DJ 01. The DJ
02. The DJ (Radio Slave Remix)
03. The DJ (Deetron Remix)
04. The DJ (Paul Woolford Blackout Remix)
05. The DJ (Jay Haze Remix)
Vinyl Only: The DJ (SIS Remix)