[31 October 2006]
There’s a sense that these tightly-sequenced dance floor-designed remixes are going to last just as long as they need to, that the grooves demand a specific, unalterable build sequence that will play out for exactly as long as it can and then end. It just happens that in many cases the songs demand to play out in a measured manner over 10 minutes or more. Despite the long running times (eight tracks require 70 minutes), the DFA (LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy) manages keep their production lean, essential, and often irresistible. Opener “Far From Home”, originally by Tiga, builds momentum as a sleek pop song for the first half, then lets waves of pristine synth melodies roll in under snapping cowbells and quick-stepping house drums, eventually to inundate the track in blinding analog glare. Goldfrapp’s “Slide In”, here, is allowed a four minute break in which the kick and snare drop out entirely, leaving only a mesmerizing pulse of cascading keyboards and ride hats. Shorter efforts from Chromeo and Junior Senior display a paired down formula that manages effectively in half of the time. Remarkably, all the original vocal tracks, from acts ranging from Nine Inch Nails to N.E.R.D., seem perfectly at home in their new DFA-context. These are, however expertly engineered, primarily club material. Extended, minimal intros that will work magic in the hands of a DJ aren’t necessarily optimal for home listening, and Remixes suffers slightly as an album, as a result. Fortunately, it ships both as a CD and as a double-vinyl set, allowing leeway for this set of solid remixes to sound their best out on the dance floor where they ultimately belong.