The recent outrage over a Danish cartoon’s lampooning of the Prophet Mohammed emphasised Islam’s status as the most sensitive subject of our age. So it’s tough, then, to remain indifferent to ‘God Is Dead’, a single which splices excerpts of the Koran with hardcore porn dialogue, all over a resplendent glam rock beat.
From Mosul, Iraq – via the Brooklyn, NY home of the Metal Postcard label – this is as ballsy and provocative a single as one could imagine, exceedingly rich in both humour and fearless critique. The DJ Foundation nails its colours to the mast only too clearly, yet the lack of any direct comment only serves to draw the listener in closer to ponder the finer points for themselves. For instance, was porn dialogue chosen simply to cause maximum offence, or is this a more specific comment on gender roles? The listener is only met halfway, and must therefore become actively engaged in the issue.
In similar fashion, b-side ‘I Shot You Babe (Sunni & Shia)’ transcends the sniggersome wordplay of the title to deliver a damning indictment of the present situation. In pummeling the Sonny and Cher original with gunfire and abrasive electronics, the hostility is rendered incongruous and nonsensical, clashing starkly with the harmony and togetherness expressed by the tune.
It’s a remarkable single, then – one which perhaps has to be heard to be believed, and which ultimately bolsters popular music’s status as an art form.
8Dan Cooper-Gavin's Score