With You. – “Ghost (Major Lazer Remix)” (Feat. Vince Staples) (Stereogum Premiere)

Switch (aka David James Andrew Taylor) co-founded Major Lazer with Diplo but isn’t involved with the group anymore. Last year he unveiled his new project With You., a collective that also features Rick Trainor and Daouda Leonard, and “Ghost” was one of the first racks they released. It’s a glitchy haze of warped siren synths, rumbling drums, and a murky bass line with Vince Staples spitting rhythmic, perfectly paced rhymes about drug-induced delusions. Today, the original Major Lazer duo comes back together to rework the track via Big Beat Records.

The “Ghost” remix exponentially amps up the energy of the original, as if the hallucenogenic drugs Staples speaks of have been replaced by steroids. It builds slowly, with an immediately infectious synth loop and resounding claps like a syringe being carefully drawn before immense bass, booming drums, bell tings, intricate tribal percussion, and contorted synths inject the beat with a barely containable energy and potency. Staples’ vocals are sped up, careening into a frenetic urgency that wasn’t present in the original as they are stuttered and soaked with alien-like reverb. “Ghost” was already like the strongest guy in the gym maxing out on the bench press, but the remix just came in and used that max as warm up. Check it out.