"King of the Witches" opens with a Ron Trent-reminiscent analog pulse nestled in the middle nicely accented by stereoed tambourines, a balance that allows human disco and inhuman techno to fold snugly into one another. Then halfway through, pad swoops appear over an 808 pattern and everything falls into a lock-groove that sounds as if a loose-limbed electro jam has been caught in a 4-bar time loop headed for infinity. "Witches" is immediately arresting in an understated, thoughtful way, capturing your attention not with a bludgeoning hook or gripping vocal sample but by pulling off the delicate act of sounding classic and fresh at the same time. Needless to say, every DJ needs tunes in the bag that are guaranteed party propane regardless of time and place, and it's hard to imagine a situation where you drop "Witches" and it doesn't add fuel to the fire.
New York's drug-disco kingpins Rub-N-Tug hand in an unpredictable beast of a remix, which is more or less precisely what you want them to do. Their version keeps the snakewinding, style-hopping spirit of the original, sounding a bit like one of their sets in nuce, all gritty throb and late-night left-turns. It opens with a lock-loop of one of the original's '90s-style house breakdowns, and you'd have every right to expect a mighty build into some serious stratosphere-scraping, but the groove suddenly dissipates and then reforms, finally gathering steam, but then, before there's really a chance to peak, the propulsion cools off again and things settle into some trippy, vaguely Reichian synth noodling. Leave it to these guys to casually toss off a burning disco-house groove and then prefer to leave it in the dust when the mood strikes. A bit frustrating? Yes, but you don't roll with Rub-N-Tug because you expect them to hold your hand and follow the rules. The same is true of DFA.