It's very easy to look at Scooter and snort derisively. It's very easy to look at Scooter and think, "Christ, what the fuck is that all about," It's very easy to look at Scooter and fall into a state of deep, deep depression. The thing is though, anyone who does those things is, to be blunt about it, a fucking idiot. They're an idiot because Scooter represent something pure, something essential, something the club community at large tends to forget is important: Scooter are the unselfconscious manifestation of fun. Like, actual fun. The kind of fun that actual people actually have, rather than the sneering, defensive, irony lacerated fun that dour pricks like myself trick themselves into thinking they're having. Scooter are the antithesis of everyone with a Twitter account, a Chain Reaction 12" and some Solid Opinions on the State of Contemporary Clubbing. And that's why we need them more than ever.
We're currently living in a period of time where the fun and the frivolous feel, well, just that: frivolous. The world gets shitter and shitter day on day in literally every single way. There is nothing to look forward to. People might fool themselves into momentarily thinking that a new Star Wars film is a reason to wade through that shit, might, for a minute or two, remember that they're booked into Pizza Express on Tuesday week and allow themselves to smile, but really, deep down, we all know that nothing is going to get better. And because we know that, because we know of the unending, unceasing horrors that assault us on an hourly basis, the idea that feelings like fun and enjoyment have any importance, any bearing on the world, seems redundant, reductive, nothing more than an avoidance technique. So fun has become this weird thing that other people have and experience and do. Those other people are probably really, really, really into Scooter.
Scooter are, if we're honest, absolutely terrible. They're clunky, brash and utterly artless. They've taken the Sunny Delight charms of happy hardcore's endless sugar rushes and chucked a tonne of Saxo in the mix creating a kind of oddly unpalatable facsimile of something that was already relatively difficult to stomach in the first place. Just think about "The Logical Song" , which might just be one of the most abominable pieces of art ever shat out by mankind, for a second. Everything about that record is bargain bin dross. It's music for people who eat chips on Christmas day and keep budgies in their lounge. And that, my friends, is the bizarre charm of Scooter in a greasy nutshell.
Formed in 1993 by Rick J Jordan and his mate, H.P Baxxter, AKA Whistling Dave AKA Bass Junkie AKA The Chicks Terminator AKA the bloke who looks like a bloke you've seen in a terrifying German porno with one of those dicks that's so wide it's horrifying to even look at, Scooter have sold a genuinely unbelievable 30million records and have racked up up an astonishing 80 gold and platinum discs and I'm going to stop writing like this before the whole thing descends into a bad voiceover on a terrestrial documentary about pop music, but the point remains: fuck me Scooter are popular. Let's try and work out why that is.
THEORY ONE: SCOOTER ARE THE ANTITHESIS OF AUTHENTICITY
The Scooter lads don't give a fuck about you and your Mood Hut 12"s and your Lena Willkens podcasts and your Rush Hour t-shirts and your hazy memories of Ron Trent b2b Hunee in Trouw. You know why? Because all that shit, all that self-invention and self-curation is self-serving bullshit. It's a mask we wear because deep down, for most of us at least, the biggest fear in life is being found out. We're terrified that everyone out there knows more about the things we profess to know most about. Scooter have raised a defiant middle finger up to that and have ploughed through album after album of timelessly unfashionable, fashionably timeless moronic slop that sounds like every night anyone's ever had in any high street club chucked into a blender and smeared over an infernal kickdrum and as a result, have crafted one of the most singular back catalogues in contemporary electronic music. Scooter are bigger than music, though. Scooter are a brand and Scooter are honest about that. They want to be huge, they want to sell records, they want everyone jumping all over the world. And it'll happen. Just ignore the slight whiff of fascism about them.
THEORY TWO: H.P. BAXXTER IS THE BEST FRONTMAN IN THE WORLD
When did Liam Gallagher last post a cheeky photo of himself rocking a suit outside Berghain? Exactly. He couldn't. He just couldn't pull it off. Very few men alive could. H.P. Baxxter can. H.P. Baxxter did. Just watch him here, here, here, here or here for further proof that he's knocked every hoary old fucker propping up Mojo subscriptions into a cock hat, set fire to that hat, pissed on the hat, then set it alight again and then wrote a song about pissing in the hat in Siberia.
Americans like to claim that they invented the concept of stadium dance acts a few years ago when Deadmau5 dribbled out into the middle of an enormodome in Kansas, but Scooter have been there, done that, and bought 30,000 t-shirts to celebrate. God bless, you H.P. Baxxter.
THEORY THREE: BECAUSE TRYING TO ACTUALLY ENJOY LIFE DESPITE IT'S INHERENT MISERY IS PROBABLY A BETTER IDEA IN THE LONG RUN THAN WALLOWING IN HOW SHIT EVERYTHING IS
It's easy, all too easy in fact, to succumb to a state of world weariness, to trudge through life blindly assuming that literally everything is terrible or pointless. It's what teenagers do and most of us —biologically at least— mutate into adults so, y'know, you sort of have to realize that life is what you make it and moping about town listening to the fucking Smiths or whatever these fuckheads listen to isn't going to help. What you need is six cans of Irn Bru, a night in with Sheffield, and a desire to actually enjoy life. People who enjoy life enjoy Scooter because Scooter are the embodiment of enjoyment for enjoyment's sake. Scooter don't give a fuck about Corybn or Cameron. Scooter are remaining silent on global warming. Scooter have declined to answer any question they've been fielded about the doping in athletics scandal. Scooter make music to have fun to and with. Sometimes in life we'd all do well to remember that, yeah, everything about existence is crushing, but there're still hot dogs and water-slides and Scooter so things aren't all bad.
BONUS THEORY: SCOOTER HAVE THE BEST SONG AND ALBUM TITLES IN HISTORY
The Ultimate Aural Orgasm, "Hello! (Good to Be Back)", The Stadium Techno Experience, ""Fuck the Millennium", Who's Got the Last Laugh Now?, "The Sound Above My Hair" — need I go on?
No, there's no need. Scooter are massive because people, it turns out, like the easily understandable, the easily consumable. Scooter make music at it's basest, it's crudest, it's most mindlessly moronic. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. There's an honesty, a sincerity about them that's nigh on impossible to disregard or dislike. Scooter are the people's champions.