TARZANA, California — BT is hesitant to reveal that his new album features a collaboration with JC Chasez, but not because he's worried about ruining his dance-music credibility.
"I've been playing it in my sets and I'm top secret about who it is, 'cause I want people to judge it on the song, not the whole 'NSYNC affiliation," the DJ/producer explained Friday at his home studio. "People go f---ing nuts, even my super cool friends that would never admit to [liking 'NSYNC]. They're like, 'Wow, this is such a great tune.' And I'm like, 'It's JC.' And they're like, 'Shut the f--- up,' buggin' out."
It's easy to understand why BT's friends don't recognize the Chasez collaboration, which BT is concealing the title of to keep the details secret. The song is heavily influenced by the producer's trance background and is a far cry even from 'NSYNC's "Pop," which BT produced (see "BT Earns 'King Of Dirty Pop' Title With 'NSYNC, Britney Tracks").
BT first met the pop star two years ago when Chasez started showing up at his DJ shows. After forming a friendship, Chasez eventually asked him to work on Celebrity. Busy schedules kept BT from working on Justin Timberlake's solo effort, but he's set aside time next year to work on some cuts for Chasez's album with Alexander Greggs (Brandy, Aaron Carter).
"Alex has that whole R&B sh-- locked down. He gets that, and that's not my world," he said.
In the meantime, BT is putting the finishing touches on a proper follow-up to 2000's Movement in Still Life. Despite losing several tracks when his studio robbed in late 2001, the prolific BT had 42 finished tracks to choose from.
Twelve of the songs stood out, including collaborations with Peter Gabriel ("Our Loving Silence"), the Roots ("Tao of the Machine") and Gang Starr's Guru ("Knowledge Is Self") (see " 'Emotional' New Album, Korn Remixes, More Film Work For BT"). One epic number, "The Great Escape," features guitarist Richard Fortus (Guns N' Roses) on cello.
One song destined for the new LP, "Superfabulousness," is reminiscent of the Movement in Still Life single "Never Gonna Come Back Down" with Mike Doughty, but with an electroclash slant. It features vocals from Girls Against Boys singer Scott McCloud and actress Rose McGowan ("Scream," "Charmed").
"She totally can [sing]," BT said. "I think she sounds a bit like Shirley Manson."
Although it's packed with guest vocalists, the upcoming disc features several tracks sung by BT, who began experimenting with singing on his last album. One song he sings on, the album closer "Animals," samples recordings from deep sea scuba divers.
"I'm really proud of this song lyrically," BT said. "It's a metaphor for the human experience and just talking about how basically that's what we are — animals who can talk and have consciousness, so therefor feel so grandiose and self-important as to justify all different kinds of behavior."
BT's work in progress covers a wide range of emotions, from deeper reflections to party joints, but the DJ promised the album will make sense when you hear the songs in their correct order.
"I try to make records people can listen to from start to finish that encourage you to not, like, flip to track three," he explained. "This is a commitment. You can't read a book or watch TV while you listen to it."