Picasso himself could not have created a finer piece of surrealist art.
Until this otherwise unremarkable day, I held comparatively few opinions about Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You.’ Despite it dominating the UK chart for the last five weeks, I’ve always found it somewhat bland; a perfectly enjoyable track benefitting from Sheeran’s vocals and production but seemingly weighed down by the need for slightly inauthentic crowd-pleasing consumerist perfection. But perhaps, in this, Sheeran was merely waiting for something greater. For just as it took Pablo Picasso “four years to learn paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child,” perhaps the destiny of ‘Shape Of You’ was always to be distilled down to its component parts in this stupendous post-modernist pastiche.
If you’ve ever yearned to know what EDM as performed by Alvin & The Chipmunks would sound like, I’ve got some great news for you. Galantis’ treatment of the track drove me towards pretentious artistic terms I had never before desired to learn in an attempt to describe its very essence. I literally read the Wikipedia entry on psychoanalytic theory this afternoon in the hope that it would bring me clarity. (It did not.) Instead, I am left in the wake of this indefinably absurdist remix trying to reconcile what I have heard.
This is the technological singularity produced by auditory accelerationism, the driving of popular culture to the point of abstraction. It is the musical unit deterritorialized; that is to say, it transcends boundaries in a world that consists of things fundamentally in motion. As removed from its inspiration as the soul is from the body, to some listeners it might read merely as a house edit of the song-of-the-moment. But, to this reviewer, Galantis has drawn component pieces from ‘Shape Of You’ and thrown them together into a whirlwind of catastrophic beauty, just as a kaleidoscope produces fractals of the surrounding world.
‘Shape Of You’ (Galantis Remix) is out now via Asylum