Swine flu has a bad reputation. All we ever hear is ‘160 deaths in Mexico’, ‘pandemic’ and ‘if your Mum has swine flu, kill her’. But no one’s mentioning the good things swine flu is doing for you. Chief among the benefits we’ve been enjoying since the outbreak of the potentially lethal influenza virus is the inspiration it’s provided to musicians. Swine flu pop is about to go global. We’ll keep you updated, every step of the way, with the developments of this exciting new genre. But this is what we have for now:
1/ The Streets
Never one to ignore What’s Hot, and much more likely to dismiss What’s Not, Mike Skinner has got swine flu pop off to a flyer. He’s even made a video put together using classic footage of zombies, just to give it a bit of authenticity.
Taking a more ambient approach to humanity’s impending doom (or not), is 41-year-old San Franciscan Stephan Zielinski. The electro-wizard has sequenced swine flu’s genetic code into a piece of music. As he explains on his blog, “Each beat corresponds to one amino acid, and the piece is in 3/4 time, so each six measures would correspond to five turns around the alpha structure.” Obviously we have no idea what he means.
He continues, “Amino acids with side chains that are neither aromatic not aliphatic control the piano and organ: the nine non-hydrophobics the piano, and the four hydrophobics the organ. The three amino acids with aliphatic side chains control the low synthesizer, while the four with aromatics control the percussion.”
Hm, exactly. Maybe just listen to the song (and ignore the wanky faux-religious bullshit scrawled across the top of the video screen):
3/ Shaaban Abdel Rahim
Middle-aged Egyptian pop singer Shaaben Abdel Rahim has a history of releasing controversial and catchy bangers like I Hate Israel (But I Love Amr Moussa), Don’t Strike Iraq and We’re All Out Of Patience, about the crazy reaction to the Prophet Mohammed controversy.
He does, however, seem to have grossly misunderstood the swine flu situation and suggested we should murder hundreds of thousands of pigs, an idea the Egyptian government seemed to agree with. But with lyrics like, “"It is not just the birds, but also pigs. If you see a pig, you must quickly fly away!" he’s going to be a difficult man to ignore. Maybe.