“Gravelly German vocals! Unnecessarily emotional video! And what sounds like an entire football stadium singing along!”
Tim: DJ Ötzi’s coming up on 20 years in the industry; to celebrate that, he’s releasing a THUMPING remix of his most successful track (which we covered a while back) with a brand new video.
Tom: I am already preparing to yell the words “HAVE IT”.
Tom: HAVE IT.
Tim: Oh, ain’t it brilliant? You start out thinking ‘hang on, are we jumping way out of the usual here and doing it as a piano ballad?’, but then soon enough you realise that no, of course we’re not, we’re sticking true to the sound he’s had for the whole two decades he’s been around, and it’s still sounding great.
Tom: Ötzi! Gravelly German vocals! Unnecessarily emotional video! And what sounds like an entire football stadium singing along! Not a choir — they’re all singing the same note. Or, at least, the synth that’s simulating them is only playing one note.
Tim: Fabulous, all of it. In fact, it’s sounding BIGGER and BETTER than before, with more bass, more banging, more build to what has now become a PHENOMENAL key change, and just all round BLOODY MARVELLOUS.
Tom: And Nik P’s big note at the end! I’ll say it again, Tim: HAVE IT.
“It’s like a better version of Alan Walker’s trilogy.”
Tom: Wait. This isn’t a Flashback?
Tim: Oh, hell no – he’s still going very strong, and in fact in January he’s got a “20 Years of DJ Ötzi – Party Without End” album coming out. Anyway, I had a bit of a rubbish day yesterday, so naturally when I discovered DJ Ötzi had a new track out (the first of the new tracks from the aforementioned album) I thought “oh, this’ll cheer me up”. It took a worrying 55 seconds to do it, but it did.
Tom: Good heavens, it feels wrong for DJ Ötzi to have drone shots in his video. It’s all very… modern. But unlike you, I was cheered up at the start: I trusted that old, clichéd clap sample.
Tim: Now I don’t want to get too deep down into the video, because if I did I’ll ask questions like why are there several dozen people in weird Jeremy Corbyn outfits when there were only five invitations sent out, and then where did they all go?
Tom: It’s like a better version of Alan Walker’s trilogy. But yes, perhaps best not to ask too many questions.
Tim: So instead we’ll talk about accordions, brass, LIVING, chanting, wildlife parks and a pleasantly placed key change.
Tom: “Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao” is such a terrible chorus melody, though.
Tim: Won’t deny that, and it’ll probably not go down in musical history as an Ötzi classic, but there’s a nice combination of everything here that means it’ll do the job. So in honour of that album coming out, everyone together: “LASS UNS LEBEN!”
Tim: Courtesy of Apple Music’s German Pop division, I discovered a DJ Ötzi Essentials playlist, and I was DELIGHTED. Here, as his most successful one in his native Austria, is “A Star (That Bears Your Name)”.
Tom: Hahahahaha that’s amazing from start to finish. Never mind the music, there’s the video: the dodgy CGI, the individual dancers, the acknowledgement that they’ve not got quite enough to make a full video there so they cut to the behind-the-scenes and stock photos.
Tim: Isn’t it just beautiful? Anyway, this here stayed at number one in Germany for 13 weeks, and for 14 weeks in Austria, in early 2007, and I don’t really know what to make of that fact. I mean, it’s good – love the melody, love the electric guitar/dance beat combo, obviously love the key change – but THREE MONTHS?
Tom: Mate, Saturday Night lasted 15 we– sorry, I just got to the key change and BLOODY HELL. This is INCREDIBLE.
Tim: Apparently many pop music radio stations refused to play it, with it not quite fitting into the musical zeitgeist of the time – that could, arguably, have helped it, with fans buying it either in protest or just so they could play it. But even so – three months?
Tim: Yes, DJ Ötzi – despite being just a two (or possibly three) hit wonder in most places, he’s had dozens of hits in Germany and Austria, and here’s his first track after a few years off. I say ‘his’, its actually a beefed-up reworking of Nik P.’s 2014 hit, but it’s a good beefed-up.
Tim: Oh, it’s lovely.
Tom: Take some else’s track! Add a beat and some extra vocals! Shift it up a key! Make sure there’s a bit the crowd can sing along to! It’s a good recipe and it bloody works.
Tim: It’s very, very cheesy, mind – the title translates to ‘Born To Love You’ and the lyrics are in exactly the vein you’d imagine given the title and that video. But I don’t care. Sometimes I’m in the mood for cheesy songs, and this delivers it in spades. The original has considerably less instrumentation underneath, and lacks the amount of energy that this brings, which for me lessens the impact somewhat.
Tom: Mm. I’m not sure about that “considerably”: this isn’t the kind of reworking we’ve seen on Sweet Caroline, for example: this was already a fairly high-energy (and let’s be honest, fairly cheesy) track.
Tim: It is slightly let down (and I’m surprised to be saying this in 2016) by the lack of a key change, because my view is that if you’re going for a song like this you really should go all in, or at least provide a decent soaring vocal, and it sure as hell sounds like they’re building to one.
Tom: That would have kicked it into prime Ötzi territory. Maybe he’s calming down a bit.
Tim: That aside, though – this is the most ‘awwwww’ song I’ve heard in ages, and I love it for that.