I thought the days of the twelve-inch single were long gone. The extended remix seemed to have faded away with The Brat Pack and `luudes, giving way to a decidedly “us or them” culture of seven-inch collectors and radio-edit CD single mall shoppers. The twelve-inch got lost in the divide, ending up in the crates of superstar deejays but nowhere near the record collections of the home listener.
There are some labels, however, who look to change that. One such label, with a catalogue consisting almost entirely of singles, is DFA, home to LCD Soundsystem and Black Dice. Pixeltan, consisting of members of Black Dice and Plate Tectonics, is one of the newest to make their home at DFA, debuting with “Get Up/ Say What,” released on, what else, twelve-inch.
Listening to “Get Up/Say What” is like a trip down memory lane, bringing me back to the days when my brothers would bring home New Order’s import singles with the super-extended club versions of “Perfect Kiss” and “Blue Monday.” The A-side is an extended remix of “Get Up,” that’s repetitive and atmospheric, but totally groovin’. It sounds something like a cross between The Rapture and Chemical Brothers, though even more minimal than either group. Featuring female vocals and a funky dancepunk beat, the song shuffles along, perfect for the hip-shaking hipster amidst a sea of pretty drunk people.
The original version of “Get Up” is shorter and slightly more raw, though not entirely different from the extended remix. It’s more digestable, if nothing else, which benefits those who don’t do dance music for nine straight minutes. The second track on the B-side is “That’s The Way I Like It,” a raucous, frenetic electro track that shares almost nothing in common with the KC and the Sunshine Band classic. It’s a little dirtier and grimier than the two versions of “Get Up,” which makes it the real standout here. And the b-side, after all, is what makes a single worth buying.
The DFA have some exciting new signings and Pixeltan is definitely one of them. It’ll be interesting to hear more from this dance trio, as they’ve proven their abilities on this twenty-minute triple-header. But as groovin’ as Side A is, side B is, without question, the half that you’ll be returning to the most.
The Rapture – House of Jealous Lovers
Chemical Brothers – Out of Control
J.O.Y. – Sunplus
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.