Moby, Planningtorock – Heroes (Planningtorock Remix)
Last year, Moby released his album Reprise. Tucked into the track list of songs written by the artist along with friends and collaborators was a surprising but logical cover; a version of David Bowie’s Heroes. Moby and Bowie have a bit of a history together, first meeting in the late 90’s and eventually becoming neighbours and friends. It makes sense that two musical prodigies should connect in this way, yet despite their close friendship Moby himself admits that covering “one of the greatest songs ever written” is like “trying to cover the Sistine Chapel.” With Mindy Jones on vocals, Moby’s Heroes is a careful rendition that oozes slowly through the material with a sense of reverence. But where this version delved into the emotional gravitas that forms one part of the multifaceted Heroes, his latest cover of the track extrapolates from Heroes another essential facet; its spirit of hedonism and queer abandon.
A remix by Estonian non-binary producer Planningtorock created for the upcoming remix album of Reprise, on this Heroes Moby is the one lending his voice. His sanctimonious vocals echo isolated on the intro, before Planningtorock’s 90’s house beat drops in. A synthline stutters across the track, a cry-as-you-dance heartbeat that pulls together Moby’s quiet orison with Planningtorock’s disco utopia. The effect is dazzling, made even more awe inspiring with consideration to the context. There’s always been an inherent queerness to Heroes, just as it is with the song’s creator. A sort of hedonistic nihilism that rejects the status quo. Beyond its love song surface, the nuanced anthem acts as a call to arms for the outcasts to celebrate the joy of being alive in a world where their lives are often seen as meaningless. By taking Heroes to the club, Moby and Planningtorock extract its queer meaning like never before. They’re not simply covering the Sistine Chapel with this one, they’re repainting the whole damn thing in glitter and rhinestones.
Watch the music video for Heroes (Planningtorock Remix), which follows a day in the life of sex worker and trans activist Natalia Lane below.