Hear now: Remixers destroy Miley Cyrus’ hit ‘We Can’t Stop’

Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic

Those politicking for the total destruction of Miley Cyrus’ recent teen-pop insipidity “We Can’t Stop” are in for a good day: Los Angeles-based Mabson Enterprises has just released its new 37-track remix/rework collection that tears apart the song from countless angles, then patches it back together.

But before her legions of fans launch an attack, Miley’s army should take note: A few artists transform the song in ways that successfully argue for the validity of “We Can’t Stop.” But only a few.

Taking to heart the gluttonous message of Cyrus’ song -- “It’s our party we can do what we want, it’s our party we can say what we want” -- the musicians involved proceed to variously demolish, celebrate, deconstruct and otherwise have their way with the former Hannah Montana star’s work.

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Mabson Enterprises has been tearing through the pop catalog in recent years, using hits from artists including Gotye, Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift as aural canvases worldwide.

With Bandcamp as a platform, artist Kyle Mabson issues a call-for-remixes and compiles the best onto collections. He’s got exquisite taste, and he has in the process built a following and stable (Geis, DJ mdmHEY, Extreme Animals) whose work shines across the various projects.

And they keep getting better. The biggest name on “We Can’t Stop” is producer-composer-artist Dan Deacon, who builds something grand from Miley’s record. In a previous installment, Deacon famously layered Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” 147 times, and the four-bar exponential build led to a crescendo unlike anything you’ll ever hear.

To examine Cyrus’ song, he does the opposite. His “We Can’t Stop 50% Reduction (Straight Chop Remix)” is a more formal exercise. Using only the original track, he eliminates half the music, making it something more minimal. Here it is below.


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Josh Slavin reworks the original as a heavy rock song that descends into weird double bass-kick madness and electronics at the end. Parents who want to make their tweens angry might succeed with Slavin’s version below.


One of the most convincing versions is a sincere cover by DJ mdmHEY, who offers a soulful, live version that argues for the song’s structural and melodic integrity.



Cyrus fans will probably be angry at Extreme Animals’ chopped, screwed and twisted “Only God Can Judge Us,” a noisy, reverb-heavy rework. Filled with a sheet of distorted guitar and a crawling beat, it successfully argues that even the lightest, most commercial jam can be transformed into serious density.

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Signals, which features former members of longtime Smell mainstays the Mae Shi, begin within a Kraftwerk-suggestive rhythm before devolving into a synth-voiced, hard-beated breakdown that would throw Hollywood velvet-rope types into fits of tantrums. 

Warning: 37 versions will succeed mostly in embedding “We Can’t Stop” into your psyche for the rest of the day, so proceed with caution. 



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