If you’re anything like me, you catch a minor case of vertigo every day scrolling through the babel of blogs. There are 40 popular music blogs and all of them post the same co-signed songs and vomit out a few under-thought, largely context-free sentences about the new MP3 that magically appeared in their inbox this morning. Someone’s publicist contracts a premiere with some magazine and regardless of whether the song is actually great or not, it gets posted.
Once you get peer approval, you can get your songs everywhere with a basic degree of competence. If your name is big enough to draw clicks (read: have plenty o’ Facebook Like), you can satisfy editorial bosses, corporate oligarchs, and the little gnome responsible for this entire lowest common denominator system. I believe his name is Rupert.
This site isn’t infallible. Some days I wake up and do the exact same thing because I am pressed for time or nothing inspires words or… But it’s never mandatory to post mediocre songs from good artists because that fucks up the whole system. You don’t need to waste your life away listening to middling remixes of The xx or whoever you’re being told is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT OUTFITS IN MUSIC TODAY. Personally, I think the most important outfit in music today is Drake’s sweater. It is lustrous and keeps you warm on wintry Bar-Mitzvah eve’s.
So I skipped listening to Todd Terje’s remix of Hot Chip’s “How Do You Do,” when it dropped a month ago and all the blogs wrote 3.2 sentences about it and it promptly disappeared down some Scandinavian glacier. And although you will never read another word about it on the Internet ever, it has assumed a second life, appearing in European DJ sets you can find on Soundcloud and racking up over 100,000 Soundcloud listens, including almost 7,000 this week. I was reminded of its existence thanks to a random Facebook link and didn’t listen to it until this morning and have spent the last thirty minutes listening to it on repeat. That means I’ve heard it three times.
Todd Terje is a producer from Norway who calls himself the “Remaster of the Universe,” and thankfully, his remix game is slightly more subtle. He takes Hot Chip’s wounded heart disco, refurbishes it with a fireproof nylon suit and a plexiglass helmet and blasts it into outer space.
The term space-disco always seems a little strange and misleading. I have never been to a space disco and the silent disco’s I’ve been to were underwhelming. But I can understand the impulse to brand this that — Terje builds little black holes inside the beat and the track achieves a zoned-out repetition that makes you think you can see to the dawn of time, or at least back nine minutes. It’s the sort of song that doesn’t do anything spectacular, except for make you want to listen to it over and over again. Which, I think was Hot Chip’s point from jump. So it is a perfect remix, if anything can be perfect. But you should probably ask Todd Terje about that sort of thing because he’s the one who has the graduate degree in physics.