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WEDNESDAY 13 JULY 2005

FOUND ALBUM REVIEW #1:
VITALIC,
OK COWBOY [PIAS]

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They climbed into the cab. The girl pushed herself back like she wanted to fold into the leather. It swallowed her a little. The right angles melted together; her knees, the seat edge, the boy's arm where it folded around her neck. He did a little sigh as the girl leaned into him. He smelled of sweat even through his coat. It was on his neck. She liked it.

Her ears were hurting. She thought how the inside bits, her eardrums, felt bigger. They felt like they'd been filled up with foil, like a whole sheet crumpled up and pushed inside. Yeah, the music had sounded exactly like foil, the sharp rip as you tear it against the corrugated edge: the lightning-crack as you take it in both hands, the crinkly sound as you crush it in your fingers. Can't you kill someone by pouring molten metal in their ears? She felt like the night had stuffed her ears full of foil and melted it with a lighter.

His fingers were fidgeting on her dress, plapping his stubby forefingers against the hard round drum of her kneecap. He bounced his head in time with the tapping. London spun by in the background. They were on their way now, whispering across bridges, raindrops smearing their way backwards across the windows. She looked at him; his jaw was set rigid, his lips moving as he whispered the sound of bass pulses and synth rushes.

'Are you thinking about that song?' she says, trying to mimic it with her mouth. 'The one that goes wau-wau-wau-wau…' She lifts up her hands and raises them up in little jolts till they're at eye level. She tails off, embarrassed, and he turns to look at her, half with lust, half with pity: then he laughs. 'That song when we fucking…ran… to dance to it?' he says. 'Yeah.'

'That song,' she says, 'It's like, at first, the high-up bit sounds like a pair of hairdressing scissors but very high up, in the sky. And then when the bass comes in -' she makes the wau-wau-wau noise for a bit - 'that's like a giant coming striding across the land, shaking the ground, and then it's like the scissors are falling, and flying around…'

The girl keeps talking, sitting up straight now, smiling as she remembers. The boy pulls his arm away and shoves it in his pocket, rummaging around for the hard little packet of chewing-gum he stashed there earlier for exactly this time. He gets a piece for her and a piece for him.

'…and they say this music is all about alienation and how messed-up and trashy everyone is, but when we ran onto that dancefloor, everyone was smiling and bouncing like they wanted to kiss each other, even the really nasty fashionable people. And it was like the song was crawling around under our skin and making us all want to do the same thing, which was scream, and bounce, and kiss. It was fucking fierce, you know? I think it's by someone called Vitalic. It's on that compilation. I'm going to check.'

The boy hands her the chewing-gum but she opens her mouth and points at it, so he puts it on her tongue. Then she's biting through its crispy-hard shell. Then they're getting out the cab. When they're inside they will sit up and talk, and when it starts to get light they will pull the curtains closed as though, if they just pretend hard enough, the daytime will never happen. But it always does.

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