Like the Wiseguys' "Start the Commotion" in 2001 and Dirty Vegas' "Days Go By" in 2002, Fischerspooner's "Emerge" just might be the dance song of the year, despite actually being a few years old.
With commercials as an outlet, electronic music hits can have an impressive lifespan, as the New York duo of Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner are learning with their electro-pop single, which is currently the centerpiece of VH1's latest promotional campaign.
"Emerge," which includes lyrics like, "You don't need to/ Emerge from nothing" and "Looks good/ Feels good/ Sounds good," was actually written around the time the duo formed in 1998 and is based on Fischerspooner's mission statement.
"It was written on a $99 piece of software called Rebirth," Fischer said at Coachella, where the duo performed a standout set (see "Iggy, Beasties, White Stripes Lead Three-Pronged Invasion At Coachella"). "It was really a punk rock exercise of making something of nothing. We had a very famous DJ listen to it early on and telling us that it wasn't '80s enough, that we need to amp up the '80s element. I disagreed."
"Emerge," like the rest of Fischerspooner's February debut, #1, is certainly inspired by the decade that produced leg warmers and "The A-Team," with simple Casio beats and vocal effects that would make Max Headroom proud.
The duo, however, are not just about music. Fischer and Spooner first collaborated when they were hired to film footage and write music for a show being pitched to MTV called "Cool Hunt" — "a sort of James Bond espionage thing where this girl was following this really cool person," Spooner said.
The show never made it on air, but the music Fischer and Spooner made inspired them to put their names together, so to speak, even though both say it was not any good and has since been destroyed.
"We dodged a bullet there," Fischer joked. "If that was released, we'd be screwed. We had a whole fire burning ceremony. It was really special."
The guys never lost their visual element and made a name for themselves by playing at art shows in New York.
"We started working on more music and bringing in collaborators — singers, choreographers, dancers, wardrobe, lighting, film and photography — and put together our own, what I like to say is a grass-roots folk version of mega-pop," Spooner said. "It's a strange somewhat contradictory hybrid in that it's kind of homemade, but it's also extremely glossy."
So glossy in fact that since the success of "Emerge" and Fischerspooner's live show, the duo have been asked to develop a cabaret show for a Las Vegas casino, as well as a major motion-picture musical.
After their version of Kylie Minogue's "Come Into My World" won Best Remix at the American Dance Music Awards in March (see "P. Diddy Debuts 'Let's Get Ill,' Timberlake, Dirty Vegas Win At Dance Music Awards"), the group has also been fielding phone calls from pop stars requesting remixes.
Meanwhile, Fischerspooner are preparing for the second single from #1, a cover of "The 15th" by British experimental rockers Wire. The video, which is included on a bonus DVD along with the album, shows a live band "performing" the song, which, ironically, Fischerspooner made entirely on computers and synthesizers.
"When we started, we didn't know anything about the music business or how to produce a record or anything," Spooner recalled. "It just had an appealing rawness to it that we just kept developing and working on for years."