Image: Kate Green

Tame Impala: 8 Essential Remixes

In the wake Four Tet’s remix of Tame Impala’s ‘Is It True’, Music Feeds found itself with a burning question. What other Tame Impala remixes were out there? And, of these, which could be counted amongst the very best? Having given the matter no small amount of consideration, here are our top eight picks.

1. ‘End of Line’ (Remixed by Tame Impala) – Daft Punk (2011)

One of Kevin Parker’s early career highlights arrived when on tour in Paris. Learning musical heroes Daft Punk had been in the audience during his concert he was ecstatic. Sharing the news backstage with Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT, a slightly embarrassed Parker was informed one of the members of the iconic French duo (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo sans robotic helmet) was standing right beside him. Nevertheless, Parker must have made a good impression as he was later invited to remix a track on Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy Reconfigured. With the release of Daft Punk’s follow up to 2013’s Random Access Memories looming, an appearance by Tame Impala is heavily rumoured.

2. ‘Cause I’m A Man’ (HAIM Remix) – Tame Impala (2015)

Danielle Haim has been a Tame Impala fan since witnessing Kevin Parker and company in action on one of the band’s first international tours in 2009. “I was in Japan playing the summer sonic festival with Jenny Lewis as her guitar player,” Danielle wrote via Instagram after the release of HAIM’s standalone Currents remix in 2015. “On a day off of the festival, we played a sideshow at Astro Hall in Tokyo with a band from Australia I’d never heard of called Tame Impala. I remember standing in the crowd and not really understanding how this MASSIVE sound was coming off the stage with just four people playing. They were one of the best bands I had ever seen live. When I went back to my hotel, I downloaded their EP immediately — told my sisters to also — and since then we’ve seen their incredible shows all over the world at various festivals and loved every record. So needless to say, when we were asked to do this remix we jumped at the chance! But we’ve never really done a ‘remix’ before so we decided to put out our own spin on the song.”

3. ‘waves’ (Tame Impala Remix) – Miguel (2016)

The release of third Tame Impala album Currents in 2015 saw Kevin Parker cross over from the realm of indie rock to the world of mainstream pop. A string of high-profile collaborations followed in 2016, further cementing Tame Impala’s reputation. In January Rihanna released Tame Impala cover ‘Same Ol’ Mistakes’. A chart-topping collaboration with Lady Gaga titled ‘Perfect Illusion’ arrived in September. Sandwiched in between was a remix of ‘waves’ from pop star Miguel’s 2015 album Wildheart. A standout track from the Rogue Waves compilation, Parker’s reimagining has been streamed more than 71 million times on Spotify alone.

4. ‘Let It Happen’ (Soulwax Remix) – Tame Impala (2017)

One part rave anthem and another rock epic, Currents opener ‘Let It Happen’ made known to the world that the music of Tame Impala was ready to push away from genre boundaries. Belgian duo Soulwax’s remix, which appears in 2017 Currents bonus vinyl B-Sides and Remixes, toys with the mutant nature of the song, emphasizing its floor-filling funk-rhythms and trance-like feel with mesmerizing effect.

5. ‘Reality in Motion’ (GUM Remix) – Tame Impala (2017)

Jay Watson joined Tame Impala in 2007 and has been a friend of Kevin Parker’s since both were teens. He is the only person to ever receive a co-writing credit on a Tame Impala song, contributing to both Lonerism‘s ‘Apocalypse Dreams’ and ‘Elephant’ in 2012. Watson’s 2017 remix (under his GUM alias) of ‘Reality In Motion’ reflects he and Parker’s mutual affinity for drumming, vintage synths, and neo-disco sounds.

6. ‘Gotta Get A Grip’ (Kevin Parker Remix) – Mick Jagger (2017)

Following the separation of his parents at an early age, Kevin Parker had a difficult relationship with his father Jerry. Yet while they differed in many respects, their love for classic rock remained a common ground. While Jerry passed away from cancer before the release of first Tame Impala album InnerSpeaker in 2010, there are moments in his career Parker is confident would have made his father proud. Not least amongst them is receiving an invitation from Rolling Stone Mick Jagger to remix ‘Gotta Get A Grip’ in 2017. “Wanna tell you ’bout the time,” Parker sings of the experience on fourth Tame Impala album The Slow Rush‘s most emotionally charged songs ‘Posthumous Forgiveness’, “I had Mick Jagger on the phone. I thought of you when we spoke.”

7. ‘Guilty Conscience’ (Tame Impala Remix) – 070 Shake (2020)

Both Kevin Parker and Danielle Balbuena contributed music to Kanye West’s Ye album closer ‘Violent Crimes’ in 2018. Parker again worked with the 23-year-old New Jersey up-and-comer in August this year, this time delivering a spaced-out remix of ‘Guilty Conscience’ from 070 Shake’s debut album Modus Vivendi.

8. ‘The Slow Rush In An Imaginary Place’ – Tame Impala (2020)

This last entry arrives oddest of all. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic putting Tame Impala’s touring commitments on hold in 2020 Kevin Parker has taken a more imaginative approach to releasing music. First came a 17-minute dance mix of ‘One More Year’ for NTS Radio’s ‘Remote Utopias’ fundraising Livestream in March. Shortly after came a remix of The Slow Rush in its entirety. “I made something for all you isolators out there,” Parker wrote via Instagram at the time of this less-than-conventional releases. “I call it The Slow Rush In An Imaginary Place… Headphones required for a fully immersive effect. See you in there.” Overdubbing prerecorded sounds from a live audience while drenching songs in cavernous reverb, Parker’s tripped-out spin on The Slow Rush sits halfway between Tame Impala concert and aural hallucination.

Pending COVID-19 restrictions, Tame Impala’s rescheduled tour is currently set to commence at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Saturday 5 December and continue through Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

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