Steve Aoki resurrects one of the oldest electronic singles on Earth, with a little help from some friends, on "Popcorn" (Gatusso Remix).



Smuggling archaic dance tracks onto the main floor of an EDM club is no easy feat. Big name DJs and mainstream clubs are expected to fill the sound system with the latest, up-to-the-second taste-of-the-moment. You're more likely to hear whatever's filling the anonymous Beatport charts than a classic dance floor anthem, no matter how good it might be. If you're playing older tracks, you're automatically slotted as a throwback artist and downsized accordingly. Sure, you could fill the upstairs or the basement of a bar on a Saturday night with classic electro, acid, techno, house, or disco. But a major EDM club or festival. Nuh uh, no way, forget about it….

Keeping that in mind, Steve Aoki has pulled off the nearly impossible with "Popcorn," a remake of Hot Butter's proto-Acid anthem "Popcorn" from 1972. It's impressive, as "Popcorn" sounds like something you'd hear at a roller rink circa 1975, belted out on some Hammond organ. It's more Wurlitzer than Wolfgang Voigt, sounding about as futuristic as a 50s polka party.

That overlooks how forward-thinking "Popcorn" was when it first came out. It also overlooks like the tunes many charms - it's damn catchy, an early Acid-ic version of the Nyan Cat song, destined to loop forever in your brain's central processing unit. Steve Aoki, with the assistance of Ummet Ozcan and Dzeko, are doing a public service here, transforming Hot Butter's original into an absolute banger, full of rave-ups and dripping, gelatinous basslines.

Hearing Gatusso's remix of Steve Aoki's "Popcorn," you'd never guess it was an archaeological artifact. It sounds like something you'd hear on a Beatport house chart. That speaks to both Aoki's remake as well as the strength of the original. It's a great tune, chirpy and fun and hooky and memorable. It just needed to be polished up a little bit and put in a modern context.

Hey, Steve Aoki, can We Are: The Guard request Kraftwerk's "Pocket Calculator" next?


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.