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    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    And do that stuff that your mama calls smut

    Photo by Micah Carmody

    Dance music should be dumb. It should be dirty and visceral and commanding--in short, it should make you want to dance. Feadz' "Back It Up" covers those bases from the outset, opening with chords that boom like warning shots. Spank Rock's assist on the track is just as eager to please, declaring apropos of nothing, "You a down-ass bitch, you a down-ass bitch, you a down-ass bitch." Those unsubtle choices won't surprise anyone who's heard Feadz or Spank Rock before, but somehow, the combo works perfectly here. Feadz's boundless energy gives Spank Rock's horny come-ons new spark, and Spank Rock's garish lines make the song that much more memorable.

    Even as an instrumental though, "Back It Up" would make an excellent dance track. For all its crowd-pleasing tendencies, the beat features lots of great, even nuanced choices. The way it ramps up, building from slower, more percussive verses to jittery, hyperactive bridges, keeps it exciting throughout. The little electronic bloops it randomly tosses in add some nice variation and fun extra textures. And I love the way it progressively incorporates new elements into the structure, like a snowball rolling down a mountain. It's stupid, ass-shaking music done intelligently, and it sounds miles ahead of your average club banger.

    But Spank Rock also does his bar-raising part by bringing his own crypto-intelligence. All his pronouncements come off like simple instructions for ass-shaking ("Here we go again: bend. You need to back it up now"), but they could just as easily be metacommentary. As Spank Rock implores the audience to bend, the beat obliges with key changes and contortions in pitch. As he tell us to back it up, his vocals loop back on repeat and first-verse techniques get reprised. Even the catchiest suggestion, "And do that stuff that your mama calls smut" takes on another meaning, as the beat becomes more sexual on command.
    And of course there's the title too, winkingly hinting you head back to this song as soon as it's over. Between the extremely dynamic music and fun throwback rap, the irresistible summons to the dance floor, and the interplay of idiocy and smart calls, you'd be dumb to turn it down.

    * MP3: "Back It Up" - Feadz ft. Spank Rock from Ed Banger Records, Vol. 3 [Preorder it]

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