Pop Tics

German at heart but with tentacles stretching to France, Japan, America, Britain and beyond...

German at heart but with tentacles stretching to France, Japan, America, Britain and beyond, this ambitious pan-global project set its artists the task of composing the last great two-minute pop song of the decade – and that’s just for starters. They also had to provide suitable artwork and a “web gimmick” for the accompanying Internet site (www.poptics.com).

An ongoing project, apparently, with contributions promised from [a]Beck[/a], the Beasties and the mighty [a]Chicks On Speed[/a], this is just dandy to be getting on with. It’s light and breezy stuff, chiefly, all primary colours and muzak melodies. But both sound and visuals share an engaging sheen of self-ironising 21st-century optimism. There are also skewed, subversive twists beneath the soothing loungecore Krautronica of Erobique and Dauerfisch.

Some of it is inconsequential fluff, like Helen Love‘s Bis-style Fisher Price kiddypunk or Dob’s approximation of a Stereolab hum-and-thrum Francodrone. The technoid cybernauts generally scrub up better than the kitsch retro-fetishists and indie classicists, although the dividing lines are pleasingly porous.

Especially noteworthy are the doorbell-tastic and strangely moving ‘No-one At Home’ by Doktor Kosmos & Sweden Graphics, plus the ineffably jaunty ‘Goute Cerise’ by the splendidly named Olaf Hund.

If this is the future, it gets my vote. It wears its pristine silver jumpsuit backwards, clearly still hungover from last night’s protein pill party, dancing a wobbly jig through the central monorail terminal of Space City 2000.

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