Over the past year or so, Alan Wilkis, the creative mastermind behind indie electro pop sensation Big Data has blown up the blogosphere and radio airwaves as his debut single “Dangerous” featuring Joywave landed at number on Billboard’s Alternative Charts, amassed 3.25 million YouTube views, several million Spotify plays, and an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. And with a seemingly unexpected massive hit, Wilkis caught the attention of Warner Brothers Records, who signed him and released 2.0 a few weeks ago.
The effort features collaborations with Twin Shadow, White Sea, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, Dylan, Bear Hands’ Ted Feldman, Dylan Rau, Jamie Lidell and Kimbra, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, Joywave, and others and thematically takes a paranoid, uncertain view of technological present and future; in other words, it paints a picture of a society in which privacy no longer exists, the government knows your innermost thoughts, secrets and desires, and where everything is mass marketed to you constantly. If that world sounds frighteningly familiar, it should – because it’s the world we actually live in. Album single “The Business of Emotion” featuring White Sea is a slickly produced, danceable and deeply paranoid song with an ironic viewpoint, full of industrial clanging and banging drums, cascading synths paired with seductively cooed vocals that says that our hearts, souls, emotions and desires are exploited for profit and personal gain – and in the end, the individual is left feeling empty and cheated.
Now if you’ve been following JOVM for a bit you’d also be familiar with an up-and-coming producer and remixer Lefti, who has received attention for remixes of AVAN LAVA, Solidisco and Fireflowerz and others. He recently remixed Big Data’s “Business of Emotion” and his remix replaces the industrial clanging for cascading sheets of shimmering synths, a disco-inspired bass line, glitchy vocal samples while retaining the song’s original vocals, which essentially turns the song into a slickly produced club banger – although with a subtly paranoid feel just underneath its surface.