Remain and the duo Populette have both peddled their disco-tinged house wares on New York juggernaut Throne of Blood of late. Their first official collaboration—or, as the "vs" on the label of the Discomfort EP suggests, ultimate studio battle—finds life on Remain's own Meant Records. If the Frenchman gets home-court advantage, though, he's not exactly lording it over Andrew Potter and Max Pask: both acts feel at home with the sort of live band-style stompers they deliver here. "Discomfort" never quite finds an easy hook, but there's plenty that's catchy in this agglomeration of synth squelches, shimmering drums and contagious hums.
Troy Pierce of Items & Things delivers a remix that—improbably—maintains much of the original's live feel, though his band sounds like robots playing instruments assembled in a 3D printer. It's excellently programmed, giving you the sense he's actually playing his plug-ins off each other. Chloe's mix is all about the simple pleasures—snappy live snares, in-the-pocket syncopation, lick-happy disco bass. It grows a little overstuffed as the track shuffles on but remains tasty, like a particularly opulent hamburger. Marc Piñol, the Hivern Discs up-and-comer, goes a similar route to Pierce, even if his android band sounds more like guys wearing cardboard-and-foil costumes than actual circuit creatures.
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Tracklist: Remain vs Populette - Discomfort A1 Discomfort
A2 Discomfort (Troy's Flight LH 436 Remix)
B1 Discomfort (Chloe Mix)
B2 Discomfort (Marc Pinol Remix)