Planningtorock - Living It Out (Laurel Halo / Billy Lock Remixes)

Planningtorock - Living It Out (Laurel Halo / Billy Lock Remixes)

“Living it Out” – perhaps the most unabashedly danceable song on Janine “Planningtorock” Rostron’s DFA debut album W – comes on (that is to say, seduces) in just the right ways. The song is all addictive disco, with synthesized string skitterings and Rostron’s voice purring out (she sounds like a futuristic Eartha Kitt here) a perfect melody that somehow gets even better at the chorus. It’s pure pleasure upsurge from beat-driven start to pizzicatto end, the kind of song that lets you know that, amidst Rostron’s many musical idiosyncracies, included is the ability to write a song that simply drags you out onto the dancefloor.

The Jackson remix is less dense and, in an odd role reversal for PTR, more off-kilter than her original. The warm disco of the album track is cooled here and things take on a more regimented pace, while Rostron’s vocals have been cut down into breathy, metronomic exhalations. The pizzicato strings fall in a new formation against a tireless beat, deeply guttural, corkscrewing noises and the taut, anxious feeling created by the precisely timed landing of each. Meanwhile, the Cosmodelica remix rearranges house – by adding bouncing bass near the music’s foreground and giving everything a vaguely more relaxed feel, while somehow maintaining an upbeat pace. Just past the song’s midpoint, the energy – and the depth of sound – kicks up a notch, with all the sonic elements meeting and proceeding apace. The track floats briefly, not unlike the original, on Rostron’s airy vocalizations for a brief period, before picking up right where it left off, toward its joyous, high-spirited end.

Billy Lock – aka Felix Martin from Hot Chip – has also contributed a mix.  His reworking starts off feeling deeply anticipatory, the beat pounding against disquieting bass pangs and a slow rising electric scribble, all of which serve to temper the original’s carefree spirit. Denmark’s When Saints Go Machine have transformed the track into a lilting, lovely five minutes of electronic pop – the song here has been remade into something both soft and fluid, with PTR’s vocals raised an octave, so that they  flow as smoothly as the new mix in which they sit. And Brooklyn, New York’s Laurel Halo offers a complete renovation.  She combines synth swells and washes into diaphanous, ambient layers of sound, then lets PTR’s voice echo – in a way that seems both haunting and wanting – amidst those vast atmospheric conditions.

Tracklisting:

  1. Living It Out (Laurel Halo Remix)
  2. Living It Out (Billy Lock Remix)