Paper Planes (DFA Remix)

    Even an avowed remix grouch like me perked up at the mere mention of this. In general, continual remixes of a great song are like successive slices of birthday cake, even if they’re great, there’s only so much one man can take. But here we have one of last year’s most untouchable singles, lovingly molested by arguably the best dance production squad of the decade. So fine, I’ll have another sliver. In my mind, the only way to make a remix completely vital is to toss out huge swaths of it, recasting key elements to fit a distinctive sound. Changing the drapes, so to speak, is not enough. The DFA team do just that, swapping the Clash riff for an obese funk bassline. A subliminal Italo-throb keeps the originial’s choppy feel, but gives it a much smoother texture.

     

    The first decision any "Paper Planes" remixer has to make is whether or not to keep the signature gun shots and cash registers intact. Those elements are wisely excised here (I mean how can you make it your own if its still got Switch’s fingerprints smeared on it?). Their solution is to punctuate each "All I wanna do is…" with a quick laser shot, and then get back to the sweet synth horns and cosmic squiggles. Not heard is the sound of a dozen remixers slapping their foreheads at the sublime obviousness of that decision. They seal the deal by offering up a lazy piano roll as coup de grace. The rub is, though, that the actual narrative weight of Maya’s border outlaws is completely lost. Her vocals are just abother DJ face card to be slapped on the table for crowd reaction. But hey, that’s the trade-off.