#1 (2001)

In the wake of Lady Gaga, the face-painting and odd costumes of Fischerspooner seem somewhat tame in comparison, but this duo is more about dirty, underground showmanship than shiny pop. “Emerge” is their calling card, a triumph of incredible music production, at times quietly skittering along with chopped-up vocals and submerged instrumentation, at other times forcefully hammering at you with a rapid-fire, fat-synth bassline and a shouted chorus. And despite the song not having any of the trappings of a typically uplifting pop tune, the repeated refrain is oddly optimistic: “you don’t need to emerge from nothing / you don’t need to tear away.” This is sung in half-time and double-speed, pitch-shifted up an octave, and layered until the song explodes in a scream near the end. Fischerspooner never really lived up to the promise of this first single with subsequent work, but on its own, this is easily one of the best songs of the decade.

Also check out: The Fischerspooner remix of Kylie Minogue’s “Come Into My World,” which transforms a bubbly pop tune into a desperate, sexual plea.

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