This year Matthew Dear has hit the mark under all three of his aliases. His False album on M_nus was concise and conceptual, his Audion output has been reliably peak time techno, and his 'Asa Breed' album under his own name somehow managed to make depressed pop sound primed for the dancefloor. 'Don & Sherri' is the second single from that album, now arriving with remixes from likeminded pop fans M.A.N.D.Y., Hot Chip and DJ Koze.
Dear's original pulls off the neat trick of satisfying both dance heads and pop fans, which is no easy task. His gruff '80s-inflected vocal might be an acquired taste, but the layered techno in the instruments more than makes up for it. At 3.24 it's a case of shoehorning a dance track into a pop format, but if there was any justice in the world, you'd hear this on the radio instead of Britney or Whitney.
Then come the remixes. M.A.N.D.Y keep the vocal but replace the music with jolly, bright chords and clip-clop beats, giving the track a more nursery rhyme, hollowed out feel. It's not up to much, sounding half-finished and not distinctively M.A.N.D.Y. enough to compete with the original.
No problems there for Hot Chip - their slowed down 'remix' sounds absolutely nothing like the original, and doesn't even feature Matthew Dear. In truth, this is a cover version, complete with new harmonies, melodies and deadpan Joe Goddard vocals. It's a sound that Hot Chip fans will love, but unfortunately it's too sweet for me - it's more for couples to cuddle and kiss to than something which will unite pop fans and electronic fans on the floor.
Finally, and most oddly, is DJ Koze, who pulls apart 'Elementary Lover' from 'Asa Breed' and rearranges it as pure loop-de-loop melody action. It's hot. Dear's problematic vocals have been tinkered with and beefed up, and hip-hop rhymes and techno textures poke out of the track's core structure at odd angles. Overall, it's highly original stuff, a ghetto twisted and mad-tastic oddball track that works as a remix and on its own terms. Play this.
But the original stands tall, too. Matthew Dear creates big, memorable tracks with exquisite production and personality, and he's getting better at it all the time.
Tracklist: Matthew Dear - Don & Sherri A1 Don & Sherri (Original mix)
A2 Don & Sherri (M.A.N.D.Y. remix)
B1 Don & Sherri (Hot Chip version)
B2 Don & Sherri (Hot Chip instrumental)
B3 Elementary Lover (DJ Koze remix)
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