TABS Remixes Indie Pop and EDM Hits into Ass-Shaking Extravaganzas

Page 2 of 3

"We get tons of fist-pumps at clubs but not tons of dance," Hoss says. "We've got that really high-energy sound down pat, but we also wanted to mix in that '80s, shake-your-ass kinda grooves. I mean, who doesn't like doing that? We're always trying to make things more dancier with our music."

While the pair haven't gotten as many clubgoers' moneymakers moving as they'd like, they've certainly been successful at building a buzz in the Valley scene for reworking songs by local favorites like Peachcake and Super Stereo, as well as props in the EDM blogosphere with their remixes of indie pop and electronica artists.

A writer for San Francisco-based blog Ambassador Beats, for instance, gushed about how TABS' reinvention of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" using pitch-shifting effects, original beats and instrumental elements, and tricking with the tempo created "a completely different vibe [that] make this a big winner."

They weren't the only ones showing the track some love, as New York club DJ Liquid Todd aired the track on an episode of his Sirius XM show "Boombox Radio." TABS' remix of Kaskade and Deadmau5's "Move for Me" that they produced in February also made it to No. 5 on Hype Machine's Top 50.

Jeffly Choi of New York City was one of many who dug the remix, stating on his Tumblr that TABS "[breathed] new life into an already classic dance track."

Hoss, who performs under the nickname Speedy Graffiti, says they're overwhelmed by all the kudos they've gotten.

"We've had lots of people freaking out about many of our mixes," he says. "You wouldn't believe how flattered that makes us feel."

Peachcake's Stefan Pruett says that TABS excels at transforming good music and making it better.

"They have an earnest capability to take a song from one place and bring it to another," he says. "And ultimately, whichever direction they choose to take it, you'll end up liking it."

To wit: TABS took the band's poppy track "You Matter" and dialed it up with house music verve.

"It has some twists which leave it effervescent," Pruett says. "They'll throw in a dubstep breakdown amid a sleek electro track, but not the kind of abrasiveness you're used to. Something more palatable to the ears, that flows with the song as opposed to [transforming] it entirely."

Hoss says that in addition to dope grooves, the duo typically infuse their indie pop remixes with the over-the-top aesthetic of main room house, which is similar in spirit to the electronica bombast of superstars Martin Solveig and Alesso.

"Our soul is in house, that four-on-the-floor, 130 BPM style, heavy on the kick drum, that just goes, 'Boom, boom, boom,'" he says. "We love that shit. It's our heartbeat. That's the music we decided on instead of the ever-growing dubstep or moombahton scenes."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.