The DFA

The DFA Remixes: Chapter Two

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The DFA are one of the few production groups in electronic music that warrants a single compendium of their remix productions, let alone two volumes' worth of material. Whereas the first volume featured the duo not only capturing the ears of slack-jawed bloggers but also figuring out their comfort zone, the second disc highlights their most recent work in hopes of bringing casual listeners up to speed. There are some noticeable differences between the two discs. First, the remixes are more expansive and symphonic, at times extending passages and compositions to almost 14 minutes in length. Second, the group experiments more with textures, atmospheres, and arrangements rather than making a cowbell-driven dancefloor-filler meeting a percussive workout. And while the tracks are longer and more realized, they're still distinctly remixes instantly recognizable as DFA output -- a mark of individual distinction many remixers strive to attain but few reach. There are many choice cuts to select from, but the crown jewel of Chapter Two is their remix of Nine Inch Nails' "Hand That Feeds," which sounds more like a collaboration than a remix. The DFA lift Trent Reznor's vocals like a skilled surgeon out of its original body and transplant it into a funky ten-minute synth-and-percussion opus that surprisingly complements Reznor's angsty screeching very well. To suggest this disc over its predecessor is difficult to do, as they both have their strong points. It's best to get them as a set and explore the treasure trove of quality music that is equal parts cerebral and danceable while never losing the feeling that this is as original and enjoyable as dance music can get in this decade.

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