- Readers of a certain age may recall with some fondness those odd television episodes in which characters from one show would make cameo appearances on another, like Rick and AJ Simon turning up on Magnum, P.I.'s turf. Such television crossovers provide a good analogy for what's happening on NDF's "Since We Last Met": it's a confluence of narrative arcs, rather than the collision implied in the typical collaborative model, as New York's DFA opens its doors to an icon of Berlin's minimal techno scene, Bruno Pronsato (in the context of NDF, his duo with Sergio Giorgini of Birds & Souls and Benoit & Sergio), and some guy named Ricardo Villalobos.
Rather than NDF trying to seduce DFA with a label-appropriate demo, it was DFA label manager Jonathan Galkin who reached out to Pronsato, and it's a testament to NDF's aesthetic vision that their submission sounds like little DFA has ever released. The New York label has never been as monotonically "dance-punk" as their reputation suggests, thanks to occasional remixes from the likes of Carl Craig, Luomo or even Baby Ford, but it's true that DFA's core aesthetic is a long way away from NDF's spiraling, digital flicker.
Pronsato's signature percussion is a cornerstone of the 11-minute track, but with its chiming, guitar-like chords and hushed vocals, it sounds far more overtly pop than his solo work, and closer in spirit to the output of his label thesongsays. It's propulsive and linear enough to slot easily into a DJ set, but its air of sweet melancholy is equally suited to a mixtape for your crush.
Villalobos' remix, which also came about thanks to Galkin's suggestion, is a remarkably restrained intervention, preserving the original's gliding feel but pulverizing its harmonic elements into a fine spray of glitter dust. Villalobos' trademarks remain in the shape of percussive squelch and hiccup, but most of his efforts seem to have gone into reduction and rearrangement, shifting and folding chords and vocals until they feel like an onionskin overlay. Villalobos on DFA could have gone any number of ways; that this unexpected crossover episode is so profoundly understated comes almost as a relief.
A Since We Last Met
B Since We Last Met (Ricardo Villalobos Remix)