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‘Time Would Change Me’: Weekend Pop

In 1992 Scottish group Nightcrawlers released ‘Push the Feeling On’, an acid jazz track which one member, John Reid, commented was dated even for the time. DJ Marc Kinchen remixed the track and almost totally transformed the song. The only surface level recognisability of the original track is the repeating line ‘their lives again […] their li […] to pull us’ and the occasional and eponymous ‘push the feeling.’ The remix became very popular and dwarfed the original track, eventually ending up as the official version on the Nightcrawlers’ album; it soon became a staple of 90s house and dance music.

            In 2009 American rapper Pitbull sampled Kinchen’s remix in his song ‘Hotel Room Service.’ What started as acid jazz then house became a sort of hip-hop-oriented pop with repetitive and catchy lyrics:

Forget about your boyfriend

And meet me at the hotel room

You can bring your girlfriends

And meet me at the hotel room

Forget about your boyfriend

And meet me at the hotel room

You can bring your girlfriends

And meet me at the hotel room.

One could imagine this section repeating infinitely.

            In 2021 ‘Friday’ was released by English DJ Riton and Nightcrawlers. This track sampled Kinchen’s remix once again, seemingly evoking dreams of the ability to party after the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. The song begins by sampling internet personalities Mufasa and Hypeman whose line ‘It’s Friday then…There’s Saturday, Sunday what?’ becomes the central repetition. As the song goes on the sensation of trying to conjure the weekend, of being able to go out and safely party feels…mismatched. The song feels backward-looking despite trying to create hope for the future. Where is the sense of newness in this track that relies heavily on the musical pull of a nearly thirty-year old track? Perhaps the almost ‘stuck’ sense of the track is best exemplified in the lyric ‘Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday / Endless Weekend on a Wave.’ This desire of infinity or infinite desire feels impotent, as if it nearly reaches some form of conclusion around the drudgery of the week that makes the weekend so significant socially. The roster of drugs might have changed a little since the 90s but the music here feels stuck in a loop, wishing only to revert to the sedate period before the pandemic where social relations felt less vulgarly exposed.

            Another line that unconsciously compounds the sense of stagnation is:

I thought the hands of time would change me

And I’d be over this by now, yeah

It’s been too long since we got crazy

I’m lowkey spinnin’ out.

In a sense, the experience of static existence here correlates with the general thesis of hauntology, that although technological and material relations may develop and change over time, our psycho-social and cultural experiences have slowed if not ground to a halt. Whilst the world is trying to bounce back economically from the pandemic, and certain modes of labour relations like working from home might become further engrained, collapsing previous boundaries of place, pop culture has yet to fully realise or reckon with this.