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Arling & Cameron

You know them, even if you think you don't, whether it's from the Acura commercial ("Voulez-Voooooh") or from any number of other TV spots, shows, or movies for which their humorous kitsch-techno compositions have been borrowed. "They" are the irrepressible Dutch duo of Gerry Arling and Richard Cameron, Arling & Cameron for short (A&C for really short), whose boundless humor and fond appreciation for the lighter side of pop music history -- from French pop to spy movie themes to lounge to '70s light rock to Japanese Shibuya-Kei -- enables them to create hilariously endearing beat-driven pop collages that come across sort of like Devo crossed with the Pizzicato Five. Got all that? Good.

The duo got together in 1994, inspired more than anything by the brilliant kitsch-pop deconstructionists Japan had been exporting to the rest of the world for the previous few years. They started throwing their infamous "Easy Tune" parties around Amsterdam that year; from those performances they culled singles which they released under a variety of pseudonyms (16 actually, including Popcorn and Aloha Sisters) on Cameron's Drive-In/Easy Tune label. Collaborations with the Pizzicato Five, Fantastic Plastic Machine, and Bebel Gilberto followed soon after. Then Emperor Norton introduced the flashy duo to America with their Voulez Vous EP in 1998 and their All-In debut long-player the next year.

In 2000, Arling & Cameron released their sugar-sweet, feather-light Music for Imaginary Films, a collection of theme songs for nonexistent movies and TV shows. The next year, the prolific pair returned once again with We Are A&C, an epic collection of kitschy dance-pop that works in everything from smooth R&B to psych to electric blues to Krautrock to tropicalia-tinged lounge, without ever losing that spongy, synthy Arling & Cameron edge.

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