Within the bounds of contemporary art, electronic can suffer poorly over time.
As audio production technology has developed at an astounding rate in the last sixty years, the sounds of yesterday quickly wither and age before us. Very few pieces of music escape such a fate – “Voodoo People” by The Prodigy is a song that stills as good today as it did in the mid-90’s.
Much of that has to do with pace, with the quick-fire nature of “Voodoo People” key to what holds the song together. Recreating the main riff of Nirvana’s “Very Ape” (from their final album In Utero), “Voodoo People” grasps with an immediate sharpness, before being punctured by scatterbrain big beat percussion samples.
Short sharp bursts of electronic sounds dance around a repeating sample from The Last Poets’ track “The Shalimar” (taken from 1971’s Right On!), filling “Voodoo People” with a overbearing sense of dread, kept alive by the song’s sheer aggression.
Released in September 1994, “Voodoo People” was the third single from The Prodigy’s second album, Music for the Jilted Generation, and was one of the last occasions the group was led specifically by producer Liam Howlett.
Come their next long player, The Fat of the Land, The Prodigy more or less took the shape of a traditional band, with dancers Keith Flint and Maxim Reality taking on various vocal positions.