*Not actually definitive at all.
This started with my recognition that BuzzFeed has decided to carve up every phenomenon in the world into ‘definitive rankings‘ and ‘which x are you?‘. Not to be outdone, here, then, is my contribution to this growing corpus. I hope Mr. Matthew Perpetua is paying attention.
15. The Rapture, “Sister Saviour (DFA Dub)”
“This song is so good we can re-release it exactly the same as it was but without vocals, call it a remix, and noöne will know better.”
14. Soulwax, “Another Excuse”
Dare I call this a bit of an excuse for a remix? It’s great and everything, but three years later Soulwax returned the favour with a remix of “Get Innocuous!” that was far more radical.
13. The Chemical Brothers, “The Boxer”
A case of alchemy: turning subpar, brittle source material into something gooey and psychedelic and altogether more pleasant.
12. Black Dice, “Smiling Off”
Black Dice do not believe in ‘songs’ or ‘music’. Black Dice do not recognise this to be a ‘remix’ of their ‘song’.
11. Hot Chip, “Just Like We (Breakdown)”
When you break up, break down with DFA. This not a remix for lads and lasses out on the prowl for a good time.
10. Blues Explosion, “Mars, Arizona”
Explosion at the acid factory. Jon Spencer made a career paying homage to the blues; this remix throws them in a blender along with every DFA hallmark, with predictably unpredictable results.
9. Clinic, “Tomorrow”
The day after tomorrow. As if the original wasn’t enough of a curio, this remix is like a busker’s take on the last party in the universe.
8. Nine Inch Nails, “The Hand That Feeds”
Trent Reznor fed them an actual, against-all-odds hit-single; they chewed it up and spat out a slinky disco number with literally no trace of industrial rock. This is no bad thing.
7. Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom, “Rise”
The original, a thirteen-minute ambient drift, didn’t even have a beat. This one’s got a killer one. Someone else reckons if you slow it down to 33 RPM you can hot knife to it.
6. Gorillaz, “DARE”
I love pop music, but I’ve chosen darkness. What was once a cheeky four-minute chart-topping single is transformed into something dark, terrifying and really quite stressful.
5. Goldfrapp, “Slide In”
Thirteen minutes to Venus. Arguably, the navel-gazing second half takes the piss. Arguably, if you think this you are a killjoy.
4. Le Tigre, “Deceptacon”
Less riot grrrl, more ‘fire in the disco, fire in the Taco Bell’. Four minutes in, a guy intones “Edit. Dee. Eff. Ay. Fresh.” and it doesn’t sound like the daftest thing in the world.
3. David Bowie, “Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix)”
Ashes to ashes, Ground Control to Major Murphy, minimal music turns pixels into cavorting naked lovers.
2. M.I.A., “Paper Planes”
Slumdog squillionaire. Squelchy synth brass and a nagging pulse soundtrack Dev Patel’s stowaway train journey across India.
1. Justin Timberlake, “My Love”
Sometimes trying to be the definitive DFA remix requires serious hard work and commitment, much like JT’s own attitude to relationships. This song has got it all.