Tuesday 11 February 2014


First, Saint Pepsi – the Long Island producer with his roots in the familial vibe of vaporwave – took care of Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' in a steamy, slow edit of the track; now, especially for Valentine's Day – or V-Day like some dotty old war veteran – he's remixed a Justin Bieber track; yep that's right – BIEBER. Taking vocals from the troubled Canadian child star's 'Boyfriend', Saint Pepsi (real name Ryan DeRobertis) has created a wonderful slow jam simply called 'Bieber'.

There's something wonderful about the track, something unique despite its apparent simplicity; but in the vein of the new punk that he is (and many affiliated with vaporwave in general, or more specifically with the collective New Generation), samples come from everywhere and anywhere, are used in any which way, and the intent of the song is contentious or as innocent as you want it to be. So there. Now listen up to 'Bieber' if you haven't already and share it with all of your friends because I'm sure they'll like it. Despite the utter meh-ness of the original, this takes Bieber's best feature (his voice) with none of the putrid production that goes with it and turns it into something fun AND good.

Beginning with a sparklingly cheesy intro, we're led into a world of slow-jam heaven with choral voices singing as you saunter along the way. Bieber's voice appears altered, low-register, at first, crooning over percussion and warm muffled synths that gradually thicken as the song goes on, rolling R&B snares skittering over thumping kicks. Even Bieber's rap is in there, the end of which includes his own catchphrase "swaggie" – and which Saint Pepsi throws at you again later. What the hell swaggie? Jesus H. Some aching synth solo beeps towards the end of the track – notes bending with an almost sarcastic lilt – adding candy-coloured electro fun.

So whether you think this is a joke or whether it's serious or if it angers you and you want to shove your own head through your laptop and jump out your window – that's up to you. The facts here are these: firstly, the song is a vast improvement on its original; secondly, it's clear that Saint Pepsi is going to continue to sample whatever takes his fancy – whether it's an emo band, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, or anything else in the public domain. Not only is it simply about doing what you want, sticking to no genre and feeling free to capture any mood or summon any feeling, but also the truth is, copyright laws aside, everything in the public eye ceases to belong to its owner the moment it is released to the masses. So just enjoy it or don't – it's your life.

PSSST… Saint Pepsi plays his debut West Coast (USA) show in San Francisco on 15th February, can you make it?

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