DJs have been creating club remixes from rock and pop songs since the early 1990s, but no one has attempted to create electronica-infused club remixes with country music until the last few years.
These days it's not uncommon to see a DJ on stage with a country artist or slated as an opening act on a country bill.
Tucson's own DJ Du — aka Duhamel Cassell — and Nashville-based Dee Jay Silver are at the forefront of the country DJ movement. Silver, who has toured with Jason Aldean and is now on the road with Brad Paisley, recently released his debut album. Cassell, who is now on the road with Aldean, posts his remixes on his Soundcloud page, which has gotten more than 150,000 hits.
Both DJs create dance mixes from other artists' songs by overlaying electronica tracks and sometimes ramping up the vocal tempos like Cassell did with his remix of Kacey Musgraves' "Blowin' Smoke." Occasionally the country accents get lost in the shuffle; the fiddle or steel guitar is muted or eliminated, replaced by infectious thumping dance beats.
Some country music purists may balk at this point, but frankly the DJ remixes add a layer of fun and fresh to a genre that has mostly laid low when it comes to innovation. Aside from erasing the country accents in attempts to create pop crossover (think Taylor Swift) country has held strong to its three-chord conventions.
So here's the question: Is there a place for club remixing in country music? Join the conversation by posting your comments here or on our Facebook page. And check out Cassell's Soundcloud for examples.