In 2009, nothing short of Gordon Brown appointing Simon Cowell to advise the government on financial policy could have captured the country's mood more. Only Skream's 'Let's Get Ravey Mix' of La Roux's 'In For The Kill' was a lot more fun.
In a year when the newspaper headlines were either full of the economic gloom of recession or the tawdry spectacle of The X-Factor, the music magazines and style supplements were instead focused on two other trends - DiY female electropop and the inexorable rise of dubstep. Two styles which were sewn together with one sinuous bassline when dubstep maestro Skream got his hands on the major label debut single from flame-haired synth chanteuse La Roux, blowing away all thoughts of Britain's dodgy bankers and manufactured pop mannequins for four thrilling minutes at least.
"It really surprised me how big it's become," Skream admits. "But I guess it could be because it brought two hot things together. I mean, the whole '80s electropop thing is really good when it's done well, and the first mix I sent them was a sort of synthpop version I'd done.
"With the 'Let's Get Ravey Mix', I'd been working on the instrumental for a while and was just searching for the right vocal. The vocal on 'In For The Kill' was really strong, and it fitted it perfectly. I think that's the secret to doing a good remix, identifying what you like about the original and then finding a way to draw that out. It ended up becoming quite an anthemic 'hands in the air' tune that worked really well at the festivals."
With 'In For The Kill' peaking at No.2 in the charts, Skream's remix has not only earned him spins on national radio, a wider audience and now the Best of British award for 'Best Remix', but also hundreds of remix offers since. Most of which he claims to have rejected out of hand, especially if the artists are just seeking to bathe in his reflected glory by asking them to "do a La Roux" for them.
"If they're looking for some kind of 'Skream sound' then they ain't going to get it because I'm not some one-trick pony," he declares emphatically.
And the remixes he has turned his hand to recently have all come from unexpected sources far away from either the mainstream pop charts or the dubstep scene; with the eldritch balladry of Bat For Lashes' 'Pearl's Dream', the dirty disco throb of Chromeo's 'Night By Night' and the greasy rock of 'I Cut Like A Buffalo' from Jack White and The Kills' The Dead Weather side-project all being on the end of Skream's dubby dissections.
"Since La Roux I've tried to make my remixes as diverse as possible and make them more underground than overground," he explains. "The Bat For Lashes one I actually asked to do and did it for free just because I loved the original so much and wanted a way to work it into my sets. I just really liked the whole idea behind The Dead Weather and the music they're doing and I thought that I could add a new darker element to the track.
"It's always nice to do something different that isn't dubstep because I can reinterpret it in my own way when I know it's going to be heard by a broader crowd. And I've always been a massive Chromeo fan - I met them at the Miami WMC last year and when they offered me the chance to remix them I jumped at it. Now they're returning the favour by appearing on my next album."
Entitled 'Outside The Box' and due for release on Tempa next year, Skream's new album "does exactly what it says on the tin" according to the man himself, broadening out beyond dubstep to incorporate a whole plethora of different sounds.
"There's going to be a big change in my music and club shows over the next year," he reveals. "I'm going back to how I started out and just producing what I want, so the album is a real mish-mash of styles.
"There's one tune on there called 'Listening To The Records On My Wall' that I'm really proud of - it's like a '92 rave number with rolling Amen breaks and a big euphoric breakdown. I've got a hip-hop instrumental on there, some drum & bass stuff and a tune called 'Give You Everything', which is an old skool garage track that's causing quite a stir.
"I've tried to get some actual songs on there because I've got a bigger audience after the La Roux mix now and I want to do something that will really captivate them. But it's going down really well everywhere I've played, and nearly every gig I've done over the last year has been completely sold out."
All without selling out himself.
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The Other Nominees
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