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Pop Muzik: 30th Anniversary Remixes

(Echo Beach; US: 22 Sep 2009; UK: 21 Sep 2009)

To listen in one continuous sitting to all 13 new remixes of M’s “Pop Muzik”—out now to commemorate the synth-dance hit’s 30th anniversary—proves to be a brain-razing exercise. It’s 80 minutes of talk about pop muzik, but, as you can imagine, those lyrics and beats stay in one’s head for much longer. The essential melody, semi-gibberish lyrics, and doo-wop background chants were insanely catchy reminders of why the song, three decades later, deserves to be remembered. Then again, if you were, say, nine years old when the song first broke, there’s little risk in forgetting a single that was part new wave robot-rock, part you’re-living-in-a-disco dance jam, part geography lesson, part call to arms, part pre-hip-hop rap-along. (1979 was the same year as “Rapper’s Delight”, after all, and two years before Blondie’s “Rapture”). There’s an excellent chance that, if you own this collection of remixes, you were involved in making it, but DJs will find it plenty useful. Picks: Devo’s droning take, laced with recombinant sounds and Todd Terje’s remix, which adds rock drums, breakbeats, and an old-school hip-hop bass line. Let’s do the milkshake!

Rating:

Steve Leftridge has written about music, film, and books for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, No Depression, and PlaybackSTL. He holds an MA in literature from the University of Missouri, for whom he is an adjunct teacher, and he's been teaching high school English and film in St. Louis since 1998. Follow at SteveLeftridge@Twitter.com.


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