SPTL042: Sneaky Sound System
A change is gonna come,” sang a great man a long time ago – and it’s fair to say that time is here. In 2010 there’s hope in everything from the way the world is being run to the state of pop music.
A certain group from Sydney has had a lot to do with the latter. Ever since they branched out from their lives as titans of the local club scene to make and release their own music, Sneaky Sound System have done it all and, being proudly independent, done it pretty much on their own.
Spent a hard-working year spreading their electro-pop gospel in such exotic club capitals as Miami, Ibiza, Mykonos and London? Been there. Won over thousands, from British indie snobs at Glastonbury to salt-of-the-earth Aussies at V8 car races? Done that. Blurred the lines between the charts and the clubs to the great acclaim of peers, critics and punters alike? Got the ARIA awards, rave reviews and platinum and gold discs to prove it.
The debut album, simply titled Sneaky Sound System and chock-full of hits (UFO, Pictures, I Love It, Goodbye, Hip Hip Hooray), broke the mould for Australian independent dance music and, having lingered in the domestic chart for more than a year, beautifully paved the way for the follow-up, 2 – which was no slouch in the top-tunes department, either.
After Sneaky clicked their heels together to get to Kansas City, the second album spawned more typically hook-filled, inventive singles: When We Were Young, 16 and It’s Not My Problem, whose Thin White Duke mix went to No. 1 on the UK club chart. A compilation of the best bits of the two albums was put together especially for the UK, also titled Sneaky Sound System and released there in April 2009.
Even more recently, in news that will surprise no one with an idea of what this band are capable of, Sneaky’s collaboration with Dutch uber-DJ Tiesto, I Will Be Here, topped the US club chart.
Of course, there have been changes along the way, none more significant than the impossibly amicable departure of the much-loved MC Double D. He has been happily playing the occasional show with the band despite officially “leaving” in September 2009.
But, having grown at an exponential rate as performers (singer Miss Connie), producers (DJ and multi-instrumentalist Black Angus) and songwriters (both of them), the dynamic duo that is the 2010 model of Sneaky Sound System isn’t moping around, bemoaning the loss of friends and partners, or twiddling its thumbs and looking back admiringly at its myriad glittering achievements.
Black Angus released the white-hot DJ mix album You Only Live Once, a collaboration with his friend Dangerous Dan from the Bang Gang Deejays, via Ministry of Sound in October 2009. The club night Sneaky Sundays celebrated its 10th anniversary in December 2009 and continues to thrive. And Miss Connie continues to bring star quality to everything she does, as a modern fashion icon as well as a pop star.
As ever, all eyes are on the future for Sneaky Sound System as they continue doing what they do best: making timeless tunes that’ll have people dancing and smiling from Trafalgar Square to Traralgon, Victoria.
Angus and Connie have already started on the third Sneaky album and there may even be a taste of it before the end of 2010. For the fans, clubs and radio stations worldwide still hammering the likes of It’s Not My Problem, Pictures, Kansas City and UFO, brace yourselves: you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.