Album Review: The DFA Remixes - Chapter

BlackPlastic still believes the DFA to be one of the most exciting record labels in existence, not to mention the supreme production talents of the duo themselves. It is therefore with somewhat bated breath that the first CD in a two part collection of remixes by the pair was opened up and slid into the CD player in the car.

Little present here is likely to shock much. If you have been a fan of the DFA for long you are likely to have heard, if not own, most of this already. For example the album opens with the wondefully snappy 'Deceptacon' by Le Tigre, at one point ubiquitous but still welcome here since the full, un-edited and un-mixed version is somewhat harder to come by.

Probably the best thing on here and almost certainly the track you are least likely to have is Blues Explosion's 'Mars Arizona'. A dubby, blues-y, punk-y mess of a track. Frantic keys stab away whilst the vocalist (presumably John Spencer?) freaks out to an increasingly acidic backing. If Arizona was on Mars, it would sound like this.

The Chemical Brother's 'The Boxer' gets sedated, slowed down to a hypnotic, druggy slab of psychedelia. The collaboration / remix with Soulwax, 'Another Excuse' (originally a b-side to the re-release of NY Excuse and then featured again on Nite Versions) is pure punk-trance, a best an absolute fucking riot, at worst the worst headache you've ever had - avoid listening to this with a hangover.

The DFA remix of Radio 4's 'Dance To The Underground' is probably better known than the original, jerky keys and fuzzy basslines mixing with snappy drums to great effect, although it is a shame more of the vocal couldn't have made it through.

Terminal fashion botherers, Fischerspooner have one last dance on he DFA with 'Emerge'. If you haven't ever heard the DFA remix of 'Emerge' then you're in for a bit of a treat - much more spun out and organic sounding it is somewhat like being in someone's head whilst they suffer from a bout of paranoia. It lacks the all out pop-sensibilities of the original but is rather great nonetheless.

The remix of 'Dare' by The Gorillaz seems to go on for days. Somehow Shaun Ryder managed to survive the mix and the production is rougher so he actually sounds more at home. Halfway through this becomes full-on acid heaven, freeing itself from any silly constraints that involve a remix having to sound anything like the original.

Metro Area's 'Orange Alert' has been everywhere, and Metro Area are ace so if you don't know this, don't admit it. BlackPlastic has to admit that it actually feels there are several tracks on the Metro Area LP that outshine this, particularly 'Caught Up', but 'Orange Alert' is in keeping with the DFA's style. Everything is slightly disjointed, lush live basslines chugging along supporting some lovely synths and a wicked high-hat.

Hot Chip's '(Just Like We) Breakdown' is as good as Hot Chip are, in other words, fantastic. Vocals are obscurred and then eventually deemed unessecary altogether as this does what it says and offers a superb synth and live drums breakdown. A fitting close to the album.

Overall the only problem with this album is the amount of it you may already have. If that doesn't represent a problem then tuck in because frankly, this is worth getting even if it is for nothing more than 'Mars Arizona'.