Roundtable: Revisit 10 iconic DJ Snake tracks in honor of his birthday
ROUNDTABLE: THE DA STAFF REFLECTS ON 10 ICONIC DJ SNAKE HITS
Though time comes and goes, DJ Snake’s birthday comes but once a year. To honor everyone’s favorite Frenchman, join the Dancing Astronaut staff in reflection on 10 of his most iconic tracks to date. From the ubiquitous to the regrettably underplayed, they’re all here.
Perhaps no other song is better suited for inclusion on this list. “Bird Machine” is not only a fond reminder of the days before DJ Snake set his sights on the charts and Alesia veered toward future bass with Point Point. It is the impetus for DJ Snake’s success (and quite possibly the birth of dance music’s twerk movement, in general). It’s always a stab in the gut to see Snake neglect this track in his sets today. But, in a way, its absence from the main-stage helps preserve its purity.
HERE COMES THE NIGHT FT. MR. HUDSON
When DJ Snake’s album arrived in August of last year, I was stoked as hell. I mean really stoked. And while Encore impressed as a whole, the album’s innocuous closer became one of my favorite DJ Snake releases of all time.
“Here Comes The Night’ loops forgotten Kanye collaborator Mr. Hudson right back into his element. Best known for his collaborative and production work on 808s & Heartbreak Hudson’s efforts are uniquely well suited for the track which manages to hover along the razor’s edge between the dark and the danceable. This dark, synthpop inspired song plays out like the last magical dance in a Brat Pack prom movie, sparkling with the effervescent melancholy of a great night’s inevitable end.
Because he is a merciful god, DJ Snake released a killer remix EP for “Here Comes The Night.” Tucked alongside heavy hitting flips (Crankdat OWNS the release), was an almost unbelievable acoustic version that has to be heard to be believed.
This enormous track took the world by storm in March of 2015, since garnering more than 40 platinum certifications worldwide and literally more plays than humans on Earth. The collaboration with Major Lazer and MØ — which was passed on by the likes of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj — was at one point the most streamed track on Spotify and to date remains in their top 5. Many have even credited the track with a change in the RIAA certification process which now considers streaming metrics when bestowing records with “gold” and “platinum” honors.
At 100BPM and with a breezy vibe, “Lean On” helped usher in the tropical, dancehall feel that is currently dominating popular music, proof enough of its cultural impact.
YOU KNOW YOU LIKE IT
DJ Snake and AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It” hit the internet just after I had attended Spring Awakening–my first-ever electronic music festival. For me, this iconic remix takes me back to my early days of electronic music discovery: summer days spent combing the depths of Soundcloud for anything and everything that would further fuel my love for this scene I was discovering. Snake’s “You Know You Like It” remix was so innovative – smoothly mixing Aluna Francis’ sultry vocals into an ungodly catchy, dark beat. I still have to hit repeat when I hear it even to this day.”
I remember hearing “Middle” for the first time during a SoulCycle class. As the track came on, the energy in the room completely changed. The spin instructor started singing along and by the end of it, I was completely hooked.
“Middle” has an easy beat and catchy lyrics which add a euphoric vibe to an already vibrant bouncy melody that makes grooving along to DJ Snake’s uplifting arrangement irresistible. Although I’ve heard the anthem at countless shows and many festivals, every time I hear it, I am brought back to that dimly lit studio where I completely jammed out on the bike where, in that moment, DJ Snake’s sound made me feel limitless.
The phrase “Get low when the whistle go” activates primal instincts to hit the dancefloor with reckless abandon when uttered. It’s almost involuntary at this point. “Get Low” and its countless remixes and edits have the uncanny ability to turn nearly any setting into a hedonistic dance sauna: club floors, festival stages, school dances — it doesn’t matter.
Like the inescapable hit by Lil Jon and the Eastside Boys of the same name which is 11 years its senior, DJ Snake and Dillon Francis’ “Get Low” has solidified its place as one of current decade’s most defining party jams, as well as one of dance and pop’s biggest crossover moments to date.
TURN DOWN FOR WHAT
“Turn Down For What” is the alpha and omega of trap crossover hits. It’s the unofficial anthem that characterized rambunctious spring break trips, kegger parties, and those weddings where the bride and groom like to be “hip.”
DJ Snake created this song in his bedroom with a Redman sample before pitching it to Lil Jon via email, and was surely unaware of the tsunami effect it would soon have on the world.
I, like most others, went through many stages of denial before accepting that this song simply owned my 2013… and then my 2014… and, finally, my 2015 before it started to die down. As such, “TDFW” maintains in a special place in my heart, and will never fade.
LET ME LOVE YOU
At the time of its release, crossover tracks between pop and dance weren’t exactly the thing just yet, so I was more than a little taken aback when I heard Justin Bieber was set to be featured on DJ Snake’s debut LP, Encore.
Lo and behold, “Let Me Love You” became an instant chart-topper, showcasing DJ Snake’s creative sensibility as a producer. Aside from resonating with millions of fans, the track helped blur the lines between various genres, which I think, made dance music culture slightly more accessible in the mainstream.
From lovelorn lyrics to booming synth pads, “Let Me Love You” rightfully earns its place as one of the DJ Snake’s best.
– Matt Sia
Photo courtesy of Ultra
The beauty of DJ Snake’s sonic identity is that one minute he’ll release the summer’s biggest festival anthem, while the next, he’ll collaborate with pop’s biggest stars for the next Billboard chart topper.
In Encore, the Parisian producer decided to highlight this ability to pull from different ends of the dance spectrum. While its first single, “Middle,” went on to be a global hit, “Propaganda” was directed towards at DJ Snake’s original fans – the diehard devotees who spent 10 hours at the Ultra main stage wearing Mad Decent apparel.
At its core, the track is a haunting number dominated by a drop of metallic clamors, thunderous 808s, and bellowing synths. Arguably, “Propaganda” solidified Snake as one of trap’s most influential titans.
Photo courtesy of Ultra & Rukes
TCHAMI - PROMESSES
Then a breakout producer, Tchami delivered a striking deep house masterpiece in 2013 with “Promesses.” The track featured stunning vocals by Kaleem Taylor, as well as Tchami’s signature mysterious, future house style. The piece is a bruising addition to Tchami’s arsenal, showcasing transparent layers of sound and weighty bass progressions which create a clean arrangement that’s tied together by suspenseful builds, and enticing percussion.
Many don’t realize that the track was actually co-written and co-produced by fellow Pardon My French cohort–and the man of the hour–DJ Snake. Together, the two producers nailed “Promesses” with a raw energy and a kinetic vibes that beckon listeners to the dance floor.