Scooter – 4AM

You’re probably thinking, “Hang on, I’ve heard this a lot.”

Tim: Their newest one, Army of Hardcore, is a bit crap, so we won’t talk about it. This previous one’s still only two months old, though, so let’s have a listen. (Couple of gratuitous F-words up ahead, if you care.)

Tim: Let’s get the small things out of the way. First: his yelling. Heard it all before, standard fare, but to be honest it’s a bit distracting.

Tom: The yelling is part and parcel of Scooter – you couldn’t have them without HP Baxxter BRINGING THE NOISE.

Tim: Second: female vocalist. Not sure we’ve had one before (at least not on a single release), but I like it – works well.

Tom: Not without it being extensively reprocessed, certainly. But then, Scooter went jumpstyle for a while, and they seem to change direction every now and then: having actual vocals is fine by me.

Tim: Now let’s talk about the big thing. The massive thing. Which that you’re probably thinking, “Hang on, I’ve heard this a lot. How is a new Scooter track so big in 2012?” Well, sorry to disappoint you, but it isn’t. The lovely Million Voices by Otto Knows, though, is. Was. Whatever. The point is, theft.

Tom: Well, let’s not be so hasty. Scooter has always sampled or re-made tracks: I’m Raving was Walking in Memphis, Rebel Yell was Rebel Yell, and Ramp! was The Logical Song.

Tim: Sort of, but those were all direct covers (although I’m Raving has a slightly convoluted legal history – they covered “Raving I’m Raving” by Shut Up And Dance, although not before that track had been banned and proceeds been directed to charity following intervention by Marc Cohn’s people).

Here, though, it’s different – they’ve just tweaked it enough not to get sued, and now I’ve got a dilemma. We’ve established before that I’m happy to take the ‘probably a coincidence’ view, but this is such a blatant rip-off that anyone with an ounce of moral conviction can’t help but feel a little queasy.

Tom: I’d find it difficult to believe that there hasn’t been some kind of agreement about sampling or remixing here.

Tim: Well, this tweet from Otto Knows would suggest otherwise.

Tom: Ouch. It’s up to the lawyers, then.

Tim: But yet. BUT YET. Much as I love it, I always felt that Million Voices could do with a bit more – three minutes of “ey ey ey ey ey, ah ah ah ah ah” is fine, but after a few plays it gets a bit, well, samey, and I’ve occasionally wondered what an added vocal layer would sound like. And dammit, it turns out it sounds great. So, I shouldn’t like this because it’s evil stealing and all that, but I do like it because it sounds really good. Oh, God.

Tom: It’s an improvement. That’s not even an ironic statement, which is saying something for Scooter. But you’re right: it’s a ripoff.