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Sophie: Product review – forehead-slappingly obvious pop provocations from PC Music affiliate | Musique Non Stop

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sophie: Product review – forehead-slappingly obvious pop provocations from PC Music affiliate

MP3 dildos aside, Product has nothing new to add to the conversation about pop’s relationship to artifice and consumerism

The debut album by the mysterious electronic producer Sophie – actually a compilation of two previously released singles and four new tracks – comes in a variety of formats, and not just the usual download, CD and deluxe vinyl options. According to Sophie’s website, Product has also been released as a variety of objects, purchasers of which get MP3s of the songs as well. The shoes, sunglasses and quilted jacket have apparently already sold out, leaving only one item available: it retails for £50, is described as a “skin-safe, odourless and tasteless platinum silicon product”, and looks suspiciously like what would once have been tactfully called a marital aid.

An artist is releasing his album as a kind of addendum to buying a sex toy. Well, of course he is: Sophie – who in reality seems to be a male, London-based producer called Sam – is an affiliate of PC Music, the label/sub-genre that, depending on your perspective, is either responsible for “some of the most compelling pop music in living memory” or “a vapid art project by a handful of rich kids”. Although signed to the respected dance label Numbers, he co-produced PC Music’s best known single to date, QT’s Hey QT, and shares the label’s interest in sped-up female RP vocals, the bubblegum end of dance music – happy hardcore, Europop, the kind of turbo-powered commercial trance with which the Clubland tours used to fill the arenas of the north – and pop’s relationship with consumerism. There is much layering on of irony, giving interviews in funny voices and spouting of blank-eyed, sub-Warhol aphorisms: he is influenced by “shopping – things prohibited in hand luggage”, and says the name Sophie “tastes good and it’s like moisturiser”.

Related: PC Music: the future of pop or 'contemptuous parody'?

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by Alexis Petridis via Electronic music | The Guardian