A quick perusal of the excellent Black Melody site this morning alerted me to the fact that it's ten years this month since the pseudonymous Richard X (or Girls on Top as he was even-more-pseudonymously known at the time) released a hard-to-find and completely unsanctioned seven inch single that, IMHO, became the most influential sound of the noughties. Being Scrubbed and its b-side I Wanna Dance With Numbers took the now-familiar but then novel trope of combining the vocals from one track with the melody from an entirely different track, usually from a different genre, to produce a new track that, in some instances, transcends its constituent ingredients.
This, of course, led to a further single by Girls on Top (Warm Bitch/We Don't Give a Damn About our Friends), legitimate production work by Richard X for artists including hits from Liberty X and the Sugababes, Kylie's Blue Monday performance at the Brits and a whole slew of artists, producers and DJs (step forward Eddy Temple-Morris, the Freelance Hellraiser, Osymyso and hundreds more) jumping on the mash-up bandwagon. While the mash-up industry is still going (notably in the guise of one Mark Vidler, aka Go Home Productions- two recent productions are below), its apotheosis/nadir arguably arrived in 2004 with DJ Food's 40-minute masterpiece Raiding the 20th Century, to which I'll return in February.
I mentioned transcendence. For me, the B-side of Being Scrubbed (I Wanna Dance With Numbers) manages to achieve this, somehow finding a seam of melancholy in Whitney Houston's original by marrying it the insistent, minor key melody of Kraftwerk's Numbers. In doing so, Richard X managed to change the song's subtext entirely, from a joyous shout of euphoria to a lonely plea of desperation. You can hear for y'self below.
Download Girls on Top- I Wanna Dance With Numbers (mp3) (deleted Dec 11)