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A.V. Undercover: Summer Break

Matmos covers Bow Wow Wow

“I want Snowden.” 

About This Episode

Given that Matmos’ new album, The Marriage Of True Minds, is based around telepathic experiments, and seeing as the band has incorporated the sounds of surgery, haircuts, and even laser-triggering snails into its past efforts, we went into its Undercover: Summer Break version of “I Want Candy” expecting a similar thematic conceit. Shakers made out of bags of M&Ms, say, or guitar lines reimagined as the pitch-shifted wrinkle of a Twix wrapper. Instead, the experimental electronic group surprised us by transforming The Strangeloves’ Bo Diddley-beat-based ode to sticky-sweet summer lovin’ (famously updated by Bow Wow Wow) into a song about NSA leaker Edward Snowden. As its principal members M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel explained, the group’s current home in Baltimore is within spying distance from the National Security Agency—marked by a freeway exit ominously warning drivers to keep moving—and Snowden’s case has been on their mind lately. So much so that, when they dropped through Chicago’s Permanent Records to perform for us, they revealed that they’d completely retooled the song as “I Want Snowden,” in honor of the most sought-after boy of summer 2013. (We’d like to clarify to any NSA agents reading that The A.V. Club certainly does not endorse setting the NSA on fire. Unless it’s with hot jungle rhythms!)

Filed Under: Music, Video