Quix breathes new life into Skrillex and Nero’s legendary ‘Promises’ remix
Though Nero had already proffered a supremely acclaimed Essential Mix in 2010, their release of “Promises” in 2011 was one of the group’s most pivotal moments. With its slick synthesis and masterful blend of catalyzed verse rhythms and aggressive, broken-beat choruses, the song was perhaps the best showcase of the act’s skills hitherto, and unquestionably highlighted Alana Watson’s vocals better than any release prior.
What really made “Promises” become a historic song, however, is undoubtedly the joint remix that Nero provided with Skrillex. The juxtaposition of Nero’s cool, calculated production with Skrillex’s virulent, frenetic, and (at the time of it’s release) innovative LFO work characterized the track as a masterpiece for bass aficionados, and is as well received in DJ sets today as it was five years ago.
To try one’s hand at remixing such a momentous song is no easy task to undertake. Given the legendary statuses of the remixers and the remix itself, any further alterations require a Midas touchup and risk significant and passionate scrutiny. Burgeoning trap producer Quix, who first broached the public eye with his Party Thieves collaboration “House Party” in early 2015, has undertaken this risk in a well-planned manner.
When remixing the work of legends, less is almost always more in terms of achieving a successful end result. Quix leaves the foundation of Nero and Skrillex’s remix largely intact — save for the addition of some trap rhythms — and his handling of the first drop is similarly approached. The producer edits the first drop by rearranging the original synthesis and enlivens the percussion by amending the tempo and introducing some 808s. For the secondary drop, Quix proffers his own synthesis, purveying a sinister trap composition that allows him to insert his own voice into the song to a greater degree.
Though obviously not as astounding as the Nero and Skrillex remix, Quix’s alterations are astutely implemented, and add value to the song while respecting its authenticity. To see Skrillex give this remix a nod in a set wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise.