Lost American Fans the Flames on “Robot Spark (Rauch von Konig Remix)”
Is it possible to simultaneously be retro and contemporary, futuristic and dated? If so, that’s just what Lost American’s achieved on his latest single, the ebullient “Robot Spark (Rauch von Konig Remix)”.
As the title suggests, there’s a dominant electronic motif pervading this nearly three-minute affair, which is as postmodern as this post-millennium gets these days. Nevertheless, the track’s strength, its peerless chorus, unmistakably hearkens back to the disco era during the genre’s heyday in the 70’s. The verses, meanwhile, are as 80’s pop as you’ll find on the best of the recordings by, say, the Tom Tom Club.
But the song structure, the musicianship displayed on the arrangement, is solely ascribed to Lost American (who also goes by the name Chris E. Kelly). It’s a little equivocal as to who’s responsible for the production on this number, as American is credited as producer while DJ Stash Konig is responsible for the remix. It’s hard to envision these vocals on another track and, if so, even more difficult to fathom which elements of the beat were transferred from the original version to the remix.
But whoever, however the pair came up with this one, this is the type of catchy cut even grandparents could see themselves gigging to. We’ll skip past the intro, the flammed snare that builds anticipation and get right to the best part, the hook. Can you say “nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah nah”? Evidently Kelly could, or he was able to coerce some babes to do so (you’d almost swear you hear a female on there), but that’s the makings of the refrain you’ll remember well after this tune’s gone off. If you’re thinking no words needed you’re absolutely right because the music, the high and low voices scaling this melody, work all on their own.
Sure it’d be arduous to top this sumptuousness on the verses, but American comes very close. With a hybrid of singing and talking, as well as a knack for tossing out Alice in Wonderland type quips in the lyrics, the verses add to the magic with a decidedly restrained verve that’s, well, plain fun. Add in a couple of timely breakdowns, a healthy dose of that hook, and American triumphs on this one, as royally as any ex-patriot or monarch ever did.