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Teenage Dream

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Album Review

IQU's Teenage Dream EP collects a generous amount of remixes and different versions of the title track, including a version by Looper, as well as different mixes of "Can't You Even Remember That?," a track off their debut album Chotto Matte a Moment!. The first version of "Teenage Dream" finds the band moving in a brighter, more playful direction, blending big guitars and a four-on-the-floor dance beat with samples of Japanese children singing and Japanese instruments from a kitschy "discover the music of Japan" album. Though not all of the six other mixes of the song are illuminating, several of them are enjoyable: the Looper remix, somewhat predictably, emphasizes the song's already prominent guitars; the third version of the song sounds a bit like a hip-hop tinged Stereolab, with some glitch thrown in for good measure. Pared down to a hypnotic beat, the children's chorus and a few synths and kotos, "Teenage Dream" (Norowareta Mix)" sounds the most quintessentially Japanese, while the "Bad Blood Mix" features kinetic beats and a spare, rubbery bassline. Two versions of "Can't You Even Remember That?" — the spare, spooky "Q>C Mix" and the even more minimal drum 'n' bass of the "Sonic Mix" — round out the EP. While too many of the remixes on Teenage Dream are too repetitive to recommend it to casual fans, those already familiar with the band's other work might want to explore the in-depth approach to IQU's music.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Olympia, WA lo-fi electronic trio IQU (pronounced ee-koo) consists of keyboardist Michiko Swiggs, bassist Aaron Hartman and guitarist/turntablist/theremin player K.O. Though their music began as free-form improvisation incorporating analog synths, upright bass, guitar and dance beats, it progressed into more structured songs by the time K.O.'s boss, Calvin Johnson of K Records, invited them to record an album at K's studio. The album, 1998's Chotto Matte A Moment! mixed drum-n-bass with the immediacy...
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