First and foremost ‘My Red Hot Car’ is definitely (definitively) a pop song, albeit one in disguise, but to understand why it is so fucking good you need to cast your mind back to 2001 when it was first released and think briefly about the landscape into which it was launched.
Garage, that shiny descendant of jungle, was (unbeknown to most) pretty much peaking on the back of huge hits from the likes of Artful Dodger (introducing Craig David to the masses), M.J. Cole, Shanks & Bigfoot, and in the same year as ‘My Red Hot Car’, DJ Pied Piper and the Masters of Ceremonies’ released their inescapable (for one summer only) #1, ‘Do You Really Like It?’. They all had that frictionless 2-step sound, having removed the bass kick on the 2nd and 4th, but with all the classic formula of pop intact: melodic choruses, sing-a-longs and call and response hooks. It was all really just pop R’n’B with a different BPM, or alternatively, melodic Drum ‘n’ Bass slowed down and smoothed out (fittingly described by Giles Peterson amongst others as ‘Drum ‘n’ Bass for girls’).
It’s appropriate then that Squarepusher a.k.a. Tom Jenkinson, with his own background in drum ‘n’ bass, was the one to skewer this sound and create the best garage tune in the last ten years, because if ‘My Red Hot Car’ wasn’t so warped, it could easily be another slice of sunny 2-step pop. Indeed the single included an alternate version – ‘My Red Hot Car (Girls)’ [check the video below]– titled as such in a nod to the drum ‘n’ bass for girls insult I assume, which kept the pop elements intact and lost some of the drill ‘n’ bass and glitch to make it a little more palatable for your girlfriend (we apparently endorse sexism and stereotypes here). . . read more . . . http://www.whatisthegrain.com/feature/tunes-of-the-decade-30-my-red-hot-car-by-squarepusher/