See, thing is, I was gonna write about ‘Teenage Crime’ a couple of weeks back now. It was a jam that had somehow made it onto commercial radio and got spun at a couple parties I went to and I was pretty intrigued by the female accented vocals on it – a breath of fresh air given the stale ballad voices that tend to dominate: think Rozalla on ‘Everybody’s Free’ or the vocalist on Snap’s euro-blah ‘Rhythm is A Dancer’. It’s like ‘get this girl who sounds universally excited about peace and love and happiness, drop a beat behind her – synths, glockenspiel work particularly well – and flog to the DJs of the world like nothing else. That’s the formula. And it shits me. And that’s why I was pretty excited by Adrian Lux’s ‘Teenage Crime’. It sounded different, vaguely foreign but not doof-doof Eastern European style (a whole other story) and was generally pretty laid-back. Unpretentious. That’s what I’d call it.
Which is exactly what this ‘Axwell and Henrik B Remode’ – so fucking cool they don’t even use the word remix – is. So I guess this is a sort of message post. About how Swedish House Mafian (that last one’s not a word, just roll with it) sound is taking over the world. And how I’m not altogether happy about it. Surely, I love what the Swedes do. I’ve laboured over my love of ‘One‘ and pined for the lifestyle Tinie Tempah previews in ‘Miami 2 Ibiza‘ but what I’ve come to realize, after having had SHM’s first LP ‘Until One’ spinning around in my CD drive this afternoon, is that what we’re witnessing is a homogenization of music. And a Swedish homogenization at that. Who the fuck would have thought?
‘Until One’ isn’t actually all original SHM stuff. In fact, bar those two tracks I mentioned above, there’s nothing on here by the three house musketeers bar some lazy remixing of their friends’ shit. I mean, they’ve got Supermode’s ‘Tell Me Why’ (circa 2006) in the mix. That is just downright mediocre. But the more shocking fact is that you might not know that they’ve got a lineup including TV Rock, Empire of the Sun, Coldplay, Miike Snow on there. It all sounds so much the same. I’m all for marimbas. I even don’t mind some of that deliberate euro-glam/trash that the lads try on. But 24 tracks into the CD (I didn’t think you could legitimately put instrumentals on albums when the real thing is just one track before?!), I was left feeling pretty dejected by it all. So for your listening pleasure today is the glammed up Swedish House Mafia treatment of what I think is one of the best dance tracks of the year. Please. Please listen to the original afterwards. You might end up swimming with the fishies, but, I urge you, don’t give in blindly to the musical steamroller that is the Mafia.
Adrian Lux – Teenage Crime (Axwell & Henrik B Remode)
Listen to more Lux, labelled ‘the next Eric Prydz’ (ironically/tragically a former Mafia member) here.