November 22, 2002

Ed's Underground

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Who said pop music was bad? Well, OK, I’ll admit I’ve said it myself on more than one occasion, but Osymyso almost makes me want to take it back. A British DJ with a keen ear for surprising juxtapositions, his “Intro Inspection” is a 12-minute montage of over 100 pop song intros from the entire history of modern music.

Throughout the mix, the emphasis is on making unusual leaps between styles, eras, and influences — witness the way Osymyso deftly points out the similarities between Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” and The Who’s earlier “My Generation” by making the songs’ beats transition into one another. Elsewhere, Britney Spears is accompanied by The Cure’s “Lovecats,” Guns N’ Roses gets deconstructed into a mess of stuttering guitars, and that unmistakable riff from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is pasted into “Stayin’ Alive.”

There are plenty of hilariously unexpected moments (the Spice Girls leading into “Eye of the Tiger,” for one), and just as many poignant ones. Early on, the two titans of ’60s pop clash, as “Hey Jude” and “I Get Around” alternate beautifully. And naturally, the whole thing closes on a moody note with Frank Sinatra singing “and now the end is near,” segueing into Jim Morrison intoning “this is the end.”

“Into Inspection” is an able deconstruction and reconstitution of music history, crossing lines of genre and time without fear. Alternately danceable and contemplative, but always lots of fun, it’s certainly the best thing to emerge out of the whole “bootlegging” craze. If you want to get your hands on this, try checking the currently under-development for info. There’s also a CD single (available at that’s paired with a killer 30-minute bonus mix. And if you’re a true bootleg fiend, Boom Selection’s ( exceptional 40-plus-hour bootleg compilation features a wealth of Osymyso material, this song included.

Archived article by Ed Howard