A trait of the cyclical nature of this beast we often refer to as ‘music’ that rules you and I with an iron fist is this – a song, genre or artist that at one point was at the bleeding-edge of a new sound , pushing boundaries and setting our hearts ablaze from the first listen, in time can morph into merely mild affection. A kiss on the cheek, a saucy wink – sure, maybe the fire is out but the embers are still burning. Then over time, perhaps, we might stray into disenchanted apathy as it becomes disconnected from the box-fresh jam you heard so long ago, now a shadow of its former self. It’s not new anymore, it’s not special or exciting, it’s been hijacked and now it’s public property. You’ve stopped communicating, you’re from different worlds now. It’s not you, it’s me. Then sometimes we may even segue into pure, unbridled loathing as it becomes so ubiquitous and irritatingly overdone you feel an overwhelming urge to rip off your ears and hurl them, weeping, into the night should you be subjected to even one wretched note of the song that you once embraced so passionately.
But wait, there can be another final stage in this saga, and one I daresay we may be about to embark on together here. Sometimes, albeit rarely, a song considered to be beyond rescue from the swirling depths of naffness the passing of time has smothered lavishly upon it can be redeemed and re-animated into something really quite lovely. Swedish disco cadets Drop Out Orchestra it seems have done exactly that and performed a triumphant u-turn with Rick Astley’s 1988 hit ‘Never Gonna Give You Up,’ a track (through no fault of its own) that many would be forgiven for associating with mediocre wedding discos or dodgy hen nights, and the musical equivalent of a vintage cheddar on toast suspended in a Gruyere fondue and topped with a generous slab of Edam. This is no edit, either, this is the real deal – the Drop Outs enlisted actual, real-life musicians with eyes and hands and feelings and emotions, a strings section, a gospel choir, and live brass including a trombone solo from Orchestra member Mats to re-record a lush new (or should that be ‘nu’?) spaced-out disco soundscape for Ricky to frolic upon. And if that hasn’t sold it to you, one word – cowbells. ‘Nuff said.
That D.O.O charmingly describe themselves as a ‘Swedish dance band’, summoning quaint visions of wholesome flaxen-haired Scandi-folk gaily hopping about and banging sticks at appropriate musical intervals, belies the fact that these guys have been bothering blogsville and online charts for a while now with their accomplished edits and re-jigs, perhaps most notably with their awesome Daft Punk cover ‘International Track’ which hit number 1 on Juno’s Disco Chart recently. With an album about to drop in January, you know some big ol’ things are a-happening here.
So, listen – leave your prejudice at the door. Let’s loosen up, stretch it out, endeavour to brain-wipe any previous associations with cringeful drunken Karaoke, bland Now That’s What I Call The ‘80’s Vol. 237 -esque compilations and get some fingers clickin’. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking ‘bout! I daresay that deep down and whether we like it or not, the fire is still ablaze after all.
Download: Drop Out Orchestra – Never Gonna Give You Up (320 kbps)