British DJ, salute, delivers a well balanced and innovative remix of Drake’s “How Bout Now,” a track that has a ton of soul packed into a simplified beat and minimal melodic support. As with most rap/R&B tracks, Drake’s lyrics get most of the focus, but what makes the original compelling is that it actually has a ton of elements, but none of them are too complicated. In fact, perhaps the most interesting part of this track, is that most of the verses don’t have a beat underneath, but rely on the bass line to provide rhythm. I can pick out 7 different elements, when the drums are present: drums, bass, two synth lines layered over each other, and 3 vocal lines including Drake’s rap. It’s a really interesting, well layered track that benefits from that simplicity. Salute’s approach, perhaps predictably, adds quite a lot in terms of complexity. First, you notice he adds a lightly staccato synth line (which almost feels like a xylophone) that adds to the “dream” elements of this remix. He puts a pretty strong muffle on Drake’s rap and allows for the melodic elements to come to the front a bit more. Another deviation from the original is that the supporting synth elements, especially in the chorus, are drawn out and connected, giving the track a bit more flow in the verse, which I think is a refreshing change. Salute also makes good use of crescendos and decrescendos to really layer the added synth elements and have stand out a bit more. Filling out the instrumentation gives this remix a lot of flavor, while the original benefits from its simplicity. I think that both tracks are strong in their own right. Listen to both below, and as always please comment with any thoughts or suggestions!