If electroclash is over, is this record its swansong? Or is this the start
of something new? WIT – or Whatever It Takes – are the “fantasy” girl band moulded into a rather appealing shape by Larry Tee. Tee is the middle-aged New York promoter who runs the Mogul Electro label. He coined and, belatedly, copyrighted the term “electroclash”. His timing couldn’t be worse.
At the start of the year this seemed like a genuinely refreshing new movement that would inject some much-needed glamour and frivolity into the charts and clubland, and it has to an extent. Hyped to certain death, electroclash was all the rage in May but by October people had grown bored.
Electroclash asked you to invest the music and bands with your own meaning and ideals. It assumed that people like to dream. A naïve idea in these cynical times. Perhaps that’s where it went wrong.
For most of their brief career, New Yorkers WIT have existed only in glossy magazines and on the dancefloor at fabulous parties; in many ways they are the perfect electroclash act. Melissa Burns, Christine Doza and Danielle Top even look like they’ve just stepped out of a Robert Palmer video from 1987.
With WIT, the music is almost superfluous; why, say some, let the reality
spoil the fantasy? Actually, their debut (and probably only) album contains a handful of superb soft-focus pop moments. Penned by WIT and Tee, who wrote celebrity tranny Rupaul’s ‘Supermodel’ hit back in the day, torch songs such as ‘I Surrender’, ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Hold Me’ are a fragrant blend of trash and slush that wouldn’t sound out of place on Kylie‘s ‘Fever’.
Melissa’s lyrics about boys, heartache, love and loss – traditional girl band fodder – embellish the illusion of WIT as regular girls-next-door, and brighten the shoddy electroclash-by-numbers of ‘Ooh I Like It’ and ‘It Kills’.
This is no classic, of course. Nor is it the shambolic disaster some folk predicted – nay, hoped – it would be. WIT’s moment may have passed – this should’ve come out months ago – but rest assured, electroclash is evolving into something far more interesting.