7inch Sunday: Hot Chip – Look at Where We Are

7inch Sunday is a segment devoted entirely to 7” vinyl and the all-encompassing experience surrounding it. Although most publications cover major releases, the vinyl single is often overlooked and given nothing more than a half-hearted nod of acknowledgement. This weekly feature is a hub for 7” reviews, exploring the B-sides and rarities of artists that may often go unnoticed.

Each Sunday I will review 7” vinyl from artists who venture this extra mile to hold their singles high above the sea of digital releases. I hope to embody the spirit of vinyl while sharing some fantastic music with you, the reader. Let’s get started.

If any electronic group is familiar with remixes, it’s Hot Chip. With over 45 remixes of other artists, the electronic septet have reworked efforts from everyone ranging from Queens of the Stone Age to Junior Boys to Gorillaz. In an effort to return the remixing favor, Major Lazer tried their hand at one of the more recent Hot Chip hits.

Hot Chip’s fifth studio release, In Our Heads, is arguably the group’s most complex and philosophical record to date. Although not officially a single, “Look at Where We Are” has garnered the attention of fans and critics with its emotional melodies and poignant lyrics. Major Lazer took the track, sprinkled in their token signatures and left us with a dubbed out original limited to 500 copies.

Unfortunately, unlike the Major Lazer remix of Beastie Boys’ “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win,” this 7” does not have album artwork or colored vinyl. Instead, the packaging is just a white sleeve, and the record itself black. While collectors may be surprised (let down) by a limited edition being so plain, the tracks themselves make up for any disappointment.

The A-side, featuring the aforementioned remix, blends the original vocals with a dub beat that works off the track’s initial progression. While not as reflective as the original, the newly created work makes up for it with an amped reggae synthpop that commandeers the song from the halfway mark until the end. Major Lazer created a track that is entirely their own, but have done it in a way that pays homage to the original composers.

While the B-side does a better job retaining the original format of Hot Chip’s version, it is unable to compare against its counterpart. The Major Lazer vs Junior Blender mix has a similar intro as the dub mix, but doesn’t deviate throughout the track. However, the opposite approaches by both mixes create a duality that helps depict the single as a multi-faceted framework for DJs.

Check back next week for a look at Fishing’s Choy Lin.

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