Monday, June 16, 2008


Dubfire's rework of Plastikman's Spastik came out last November on Minus. I'm not a huge Dubfire fan, but I have to say this is about the most perfect remix/cover I've ever heard.

Messing with a song of such holy grail status as Spastik is treacherous territory for even the best producers, but Ali Shirazinia managed to keep everything that made the original song so iconic, while adding whole new levels of depth and texture which unfold over the course of the track, making it simultaneously respectful and current. I'm normally annoyed by nine+ minute songs [because 90% of them don't do a darn thing which couldn't be said in two and a half minutes] but this one works every last second like good urban design: a constant game of teasing and revealing breathtaking new vistas. There is nothing redundant or tedious here - only pleasant surprises around each corner. I'm almost ashamed to say that I like it much better than the original - which is still one of my favorite tracks ever.

Bethany and I are apprehensive to play techno songs in Dethlab sets, because 1) there are hundreds of much better techno DJs already, and we don't see any point or imagination in doing something that's already been done well, and 2) there is a vast spectrum of electronic dance music out there which is not being addressed, which we feel very strongly about exposing. As Solvent would say, "if you don't have something new to add, please don't bother!" We couldn't agree more.

We did play Dubfire's remix of Spastik this past Saturday at the Bankle. Bethany mixed some vintage religious instructional records over the song, and I thought it was one of the better moments we've had as a duo yet. We also played a handful of songs which fall under the category of "techno according to Dethlab," such as "Joyride" by Jenner.

It was definitely weird - but I hope respectful - playing Spastik at one of the first places I went to see Mr. Hawtin DJ while in college. It certainly said volumes for the song that it works just as well in a totally different context and with a totally different generation of dancing art school freaks.

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