V/VM : Sick-Love

You can track it down via www.brainwashed.com/vvm

If each man kills the thing he loves, as Oscar Wilde famously claimed, then Stockport-based underground electro-punk collective V/Vm must really worship cheesy teen-pop and naff ’80s one-hit wonders. So devout is their love, in fact, that they have kidnapped 21 chart faves from the last two decades, rammed them through a digital shredder, buggered the vocal tracks to a level beyond normal definitions of indecent assault, eviscerated their flimsy musical hides, and then methodically arranged the royally fucked results into bizarro sonic sculpture. If the Tate Modern was an abattoir, ‘Sick-Love’ would be its prize exhibit.

We could debate the validity of butchering Robbie, Boyzone, the Spice Girls and Sir Elton forever – like, why bother satirising tunes already so close to self-parody? But this isn’t a comedy record, it’s a brutally disturbing treatise on pop and our love/hate relationship with it. Crucially, V/Vm have also created some perversely beautiful new music from their painstaking demolition jobs – Barry White’s ‘Just The Way You Are’ becomes an impressively sinister mutant symphony, Berlin’s ‘Take My Breath Away’ the desperate plea of a 400-year-old rotting corpse. And the Portishead-on-elephant-tranquillisers remake of Martine McCutcheon’s ‘Perfect Moment’ is a real [I]improvement[/I].

If Aphex Twin, Chris Morris and [I]American Psycho[/I] anti-hero Patrick Bateman shared one huge and frightening brain, this copyright-liberating affront to good taste would be its permanent soundtrack. With Les Dawson on piano, obviously. Hard to find in most record shops for understandable legal reasons, you can track it down via www.brainwashed.com/vvm

And you really should.

Stephen Dalton