“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, straight ahead 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, pounding beat, deeply guttural, corkscrewing noises and the taut, anxious feeling of anticipation created by the precisely timed landing of each.
The Cosmodelica remix, conversely, 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. - Kali Holloway
Published: 7th September 2011