At the heart of Matthew Dear’s electro-pop opus Asa Breed lies “Pom Pom,” a miniature slice of sound and vision whose rallying cry of “I’ve got to figure out love” is one of the record’s most neck-tingling moments. For “Pom Pom”’s 10” release, Dear hands the tune over to DFA’s Juan Maclean, who teases out the modest track’s wilder side in four slick disco-house remixes.
If the protagonist of Dear’s original “Pom Pom” stands shyly in the corner, “The Juan Maclean Mix” shoves him in a car and sends him hurtling downtown at top speed, chattering sixteenth-note high-hats in his ear as the city lights whiz by. Maclean drops a gonzo P-Funk guitar solo halfway through his “Instrumental” mix—which, to his credit, somehow feels entirely appropriate—and adds Dear’s train-whistle coos of “looooove” into the “Backup Vox” mix. The “Acid Overhaul Dub” mix closes things out on a spacey note, all dirt-caked bass squirts and double-delayed pianos dotting the skyline.
By the time you get to Dear’s original “Pom Pom” at the record’s end, “I’ve got to figure out love” seems less a statement of confusion than a sideways smile, an ironic aside by a master of pop-music ambiguity.
Depending on whom you ask, Matthew Dear is a DJ, a dance-music producer, an experimental pop artist, a bandleader. He co-founded both Ghostly International and its dancefloor offshoot, Spectral So...check out Matthew Dear's page and other releases