*thud* *thud* *thud* *thud*
March 9, 2009 4:40 PM   Subscribe

BubbleGumPopFilter: My deep shame as a professional musician is that I love European bubblegum techno pop music. I've heard a bunch, but I'm craving more - what should I be listening to?

Here's something to guide the suggestions - I'll take anything and everything.

* Both of Aqua's Albums
* Tarzan & Jane by Toy-Box
* Space Invaders by Hit'n'Hide
* Jet Set Life by Smiles & More
* Butterfly by Smile.DK

Most of this stuff includes a sickeningly sweet melody, poppy sounds, heavy bass line, and (usually) contrasting male and female voices.

I'll take album suggestions, as well as individual songs. I just nee more of this stuff.
posted by SNWidget to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Anything by the Tough Alliance. Check out "KokaKola Veins" from the link first.
posted by PhatLobley at 4:42 PM on March 9, 2009

TODOfuckingMONDO. Bunch of Romanian dudes.

User 'kamaraalbnegru' (the youtube account of Kamara, one of the members of Todomondo) has links to essentially all their crap.

They're not technopop, they're guitar, but they're still very pop and they've been on Eurovision. That has to count for so-bad-it's-good European pop.
posted by kldickson at 4:52 PM on March 9, 2009

Best answer: Speaking of Romanian, the inimitable O-Zone, the crapass really-Moldovan band who sings in Romanian, has the infamous Dragostea Din Tei (which is a horrid song).

There's also Activ, who has such hits as Visez and Doar Cu Tine.

There's also Mihai Traistariu, who has Tornero and has an ear-splitting five-octave vocal ability.
posted by kldickson at 4:54 PM on March 9, 2009

Response by poster: kldickson - Dragostea Din Tei is another one of those types of songs I'm looking for. I know it's bad. I know it's mindlessly pop-y. But man, after practicing bassoon for 2 hours and listening to some really heavy duty 20th century music, I love getting lost in bad lyrics and sweet melodies.

I'll check out the rest as well. Keep the suggestions coming!
posted by SNWidget at 4:56 PM on March 9, 2009

SNWidget - look for Eurovision songs.
posted by kldickson at 4:57 PM on March 9, 2009

Also, Morandi. Marius Moga, according to my Romanian friend, is the kind of plagiarized, bad Romanian pop.
posted by kldickson at 5:00 PM on March 9, 2009

Best answer: Oh gods, Eurovision.

I personally love Scooter, but you may want to look more towards Italo-Disco. There's also Dj BoBo, Captain Jack, 2 Unlimited, and a LOT more early 1990s mainstream techno-dance stuff (watch what you call techno around some folk - Frankie Bones might punch you).
posted by filthy light thief at 5:05 PM on March 9, 2009

Best answer: If you want a very Captain-Jack-y song, try 'Wolves of the Sea', which is Latvia's incredibly ridiculous entry from Eurovision 2007. LATVIAN FUCKING PIRATES.
posted by kldickson at 5:15 PM on March 9, 2009

Ace of Base
Eiffel 65
2 Unlimited
Culture Beat
Alice Deejay
posted by fire&wings at 5:18 PM on March 9, 2009

Best answer: I'd advise you to look for acts that aren't from English-speaking countries, but sing (er, perform) in English. Look east, especially.

Nexx - Synchronize Lips, Paralyzed (from Spain, but exactly what you're looking for, I think)
Dima Bilan - official site link
Sergey Lazarev - official site link
List of all Eurovision Contest winners here

Also check out:

- Various MTV variants around the continent: MTV Baltic, MTV Russia, etc.

- Festivals that might highlight acts from corners of Europe you may not be familiar with the music of; many former Soviet-controlled states send acts to the Jurmala New Wave festival in Latvia, for example.
posted by mdonley at 5:21 PM on March 9, 2009

Caramelldansen (Speedycake Remix)

A lot of Girls Aloud too. Not usually techno, but it's some of the most perfect, catchy pure pop out there. With occasional complete nonsense lyrics to match.
posted by cmgonzalez at 5:25 PM on March 9, 2009

Response by poster: For those suggesting Eurovision, could I please get specific suggestions? I've been through some of the top Eurovision songs, and a lot of it is just ballads and things like that.

The Latvian Pirates are definitely on the right track, though.
posted by SNWidget at 5:32 PM on March 9, 2009

Venga Boys!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:42 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

St. Etienne might be a bit , mm, upscale?, for what you describe, but I bet you enjoy them. New best-of 2CD comp released last month.
posted by exogenous at 5:44 PM on March 9, 2009

Best answer: Okay, let's see if I can dredge up some good bad songs.

Ukraine - Verka Serduchka - Dancing Lasha Tumbai (Warning: Manic transvestite)
France - Sebastien Tellier - Divine (perky and produced by Daft Punk)
Germany - Dschinghis Khan - Dschinghis Khan (It's all about Genghis Khan, and they have a song 'Moskau' which is all about Moscow. Weird Germans in pseudo-Mongol costumes.)
Belgium - Telex - Eurovision (previously linked on Metafilter)
posted by kldickson at 5:45 PM on March 9, 2009

DJ Bobo
posted by PenDevil at 5:57 PM on March 9, 2009

What about Gunther?
posted by Memo at 6:04 PM on March 9, 2009

posted by kldickson at 6:07 PM on March 9, 2009

Absolutely shocked that no one's mentioned Alphabeat yet. They're very consciously bubblegum-y and sweet. Try and get the original Danish (release, not language) version of the album, if you can.
posted by Gotham at 6:12 PM on March 9, 2009

Oh, and, lest we forget: Basshunter's Now You're Gone. 55,259,407 views. That's 6.10912444 views per Swede.
posted by mdonley at 6:21 PM on March 9, 2009

To add on, before 'Now You're Gone' came some Basshunter's more nerdier creations like Boten Anna and Dota.
posted by shoebox at 6:52 PM on March 9, 2009

Annie! Chewing Gum!
posted by yellowbinder at 6:52 PM on March 9, 2009

Best answer: Ohhh man, I share your secret shame. It's just too good, that stuff. Look to the 90s, I say. That was the height of it in my opinion, though there has been some nice stuff this decade. Most of the below is 90s.

I always loved it when the English-as-a-second-language groups would do a formulaic fun dance number with awesome synthesizers and the inevitable cameo by the accented Euro guy rapping in a voice that sounded like he was straining hard to sound tough, and not making much sense in what he was saying. The ultimate example of that is Another Night by Real McCoy. If you like that, try their other big hit complete with rap cameo, Run Away.

Another example (European?), was Mr. Vain by Culture Beat

It's almost interchangeable with Rhythm Is A Dancer, by Snap.

Similar, and a total classic of cheez, Be My Lover by La Bouche. Their other good one was Sweet Dreams

Another great example with a less tough rap cameo is Slave 2 The Music by Twenty 4 Seven. Very happy.

My favorite kind of eurocheezdancepop is the happy kind. Here are a bunch like that:

Sweet Happy. Sarina Paris - Look At Us

Pleasantly happy. Bellissima by DJ Quicksilver.

Party happy. One of my favorite dance songs ever was Cut n' Move's 1993 remake of KC And the Sunshine Band's Give It Up

Smiley happy - Corona - Rhythm of the Night

Fun happy - I'm Gonna Get You - Bizarre Inc.

Bubbly Happy - Saturday Night, by Whigfield

Fluffylightsmooth Happy. Saint Etienne - He's On The Phone.

Infectiously Happy - this was just a little clip that Lenscrafters commissioned for a commercial. And some guy made an extended version at home with a bit of copy and paste. The group was called Human Factor and the jingle was called Happiness.

Ebulliently Happy. You must crank this one. There's Nothing I Won't Do by JX

Absolute Happiest Ever? Qkumba Zoo - The Child Inside. I absolutely love this one. You WILL dance, pal. Heard this one in a Sea World commercial and had to track it down.

The way these groups looked always made me laugh. Because the girls would look totally hot and the guys would be such douchebags or weirdos, like in sailor suits or other stuff that just didn't translate, often with horrid facial hair experiments. Why, just like in this absolutely wonderful turn of the century track, Boom Boom Boom Boom by Vengaboys. Awesomely fun song and a great album. Incidentally, this group did the song that Six Flags used for their weird dancing old man commercials.

Alice DJ was fantastic. And hot. Will I Ever is excellent. So is Back In My Life. That whole album is really good, which is a rarity in this one-hit-wonder-friendly genre.

One that I love that's a bit more upmarket than pure Eurocheez is Dario G. They did the theme song for the World Cup when it was in France, called Carnival de Paris. Holy crap that's absolutely punch you in the face fierce once it kicks in, and yet manages to turn out so joyous. It even has bagpipes!

A lot of their other stuff is more typically dancey, and yet arted up, such as one of my all time favorites, Sunchyme. So pretty. Great album.

And here's another by them, more typically Eurocheez crowd pleasing and super super happy. Say What's On Your Mind.

You can't forget Ace of Base. Granddaddies of the genre. Here's The Sign. Slower than I remember, but still very nice. Here's a faster one by them, Beautiful Life.

Here's the song that maybe got me started in this genre. Just wonderful. Move This by Technotronic

A lot of eurocheez songs are less bubblegum happy and have a more "serious" sound. They're close cousins of the happy ones and still very danceable and exercisable.

ATC's Around The World

What is Love by Haddaway. The famous/infamous Night at the Roxbury song, This guy always sounded like Steve Winwood to me.

Encore Une Fois by Sash. Starting to get fierce.

Sandstorm by Darude. Completely badass instrumental. Makes me want to beat up a long sequence of people in a dance/karate/gymkata movie montage. I'll probably have to be wearing a vest.

Speaking of holy motherflipping cool instrumentals, if you're at all into the more DJ side of things, here's Xpander by Sasha

Olive - You're Not Alone. Sort of serious, more like moody. Cool sounding.

Sonique - It Feels So Good. Serious and sultry.

Everything But The Girl - Missing. More sultry. She misses you like the deserts miss the rain (call her, dummy!)

No wait, maybe it was this one from the 80s that got me started in the genre. Theme from S-Express


DJ Sammy and Yanou, a remake of Bryan Adams' Heaven

Eiffel 65 - I'm Blue. Kind of catchy.

This one has probably been burned out for you by unrelenting plays at sporting events for about a decade, but you can't not include it. 2 Unlimited - Get Ready For This.

Here's one I'm including not because it's Eurocheez pop, BUT BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME. Thunderheist - Work It. Super tough. You will dance because you must.
posted by Askr at 12:42 AM on March 10, 2009 [5 favorites]

Sylver does this.

Anything from Milk Inc. should qualify, and the guy behind Milk Inc. (Regi Pinxten) is like the Phil Spector of this kind of music, so if you google him and follow his footsteps, you should find a wealth of this kind of bubblepop.

Also seconding Ace of Base ('All that she wants' was thumping in my head for about 6 years). There's another one with a video clip of a blonde woman with glorious curls who plays opposite a huge black guy in a glittery decor but I can't remember the name... (this will now drive me crazy for an entire day). Found it!!! It's Capella. And don't forget Leila K, who takes it easy, one two three, no lickee lickee.
posted by NekulturnY at 3:28 AM on March 10, 2009

The group Freezepop does this, with the catch being they're actually American.
posted by spamguy at 6:43 AM on March 10, 2009

Lucky Twice: "Lucky" (A fan video.) You'll love it, you really will.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:13 AM on March 10, 2009

The great thing about pop in a foreign language, however, is that YOU DON'T KNOW IT'S BAD .

Seriously, I thought Activ was possibly some good shit until I found out their formula was sing two verses and repeat.

Also, if you want more really bad stuff sung in English, listen to Elena Gheorghe. I guarantee you, it is terrible, but it is pop. She actually did a duet with one of the Todomondo people.

Now alternatively, if you want GOOD Europop, listen to 'Le Cafe' by Oldelaf. It is manic and funny .
posted by kldickson at 9:04 AM on March 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all - once I get all of the music that I like purchased, I'll post a giant list of everything new I acquired. Eurovision was a great lead - I'd been through a bunch of it before, but I'd never actually dug through to the stuff I really liked.

Apparently, most of the stuff I like doesn't make it to the finals, hehe...
posted by SNWidget at 4:50 PM on March 11, 2009

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