This year is already shaping up to be a classic. A battle royale between the latest set of industry-approved Britz kids headed by Adele – who recently ’fessed up to an unironic love of Mariah Carey – and a new wave of literate pop activists. The latter, having studied the machinations of the mu-sick biz, have decided to treat pop culture like a surrealist second-hand shop.
Principal amongst these purveyors of cheap thrills are Salford’s Ting Tings, comprising singer Katie White and drummer Jules De Martino. If last year’s limited release ‘Fruit Machine’ saw them set out their stall as a sardonic LCD Soundsystem, ‘Great DJ’ stakes an almighty claim to be the year’s first lo-fi dancefloor smash.
The elements are all there. Scratchy, Peaches-esque guitar riff? Check. Chorus you’d still be humming after a week in Glasgow with Gallows? Check. Mischievous sense of pop as sonic thrift shop? Check! At its beating heart, peroxide philosopher Katie: “Folks got high at quarter to five/Don’t you feel you’re growing up undone?” she intones cryptically, before gabbling something about “The local DJ” having “some songs to play”.
At which point Jules triggers the sound of a thousand boxes being hit by a jackhammer and we’re at a chorus that’ll unleash dancefloor serotonin worldwide: “Imagine all the girls/Ah-ah-ah-ah/And the boys/Ah-ah-ah-ah/And the drums/The drums!” Think of a mash up of CSS, The Waitresses and Le Tigre re-interpreting Indeep’s ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’ and you’re almost there. Better still, it comes in a handmade seven-inch sleeve salvaged from their local Oxfam and subsequently redesigned by the duo, which brings new meaning to the phrase charity begins at home. Bargain, or what?