- "To be the slave of a woman, a beautiful woman, whom I love, whom I worship, who fetters me and whips me, treads me underfoot." So goes the greatest dream of Severin, the nineteenth-century literary protagonist whose tale helped turn his creator's last name into a clinical term: masochism. In the novel Venus in Furs Severin writes poems to his dominatrix, but if the book took place today he might instead have penned "Till it Hurts," a darkly poppy nu-disco ode to converting pain into pleasure. It's a reminder that dancing's not always fun and games—there are sometimes more sinister energies looking for release.
In the case of "Till It Hurts" that catharsis comes in the form of a polished bit of trippy disco replete with a big arp'ed synth riff and delayed piano chords—the kind of glitzy, lightly psychedelic strutter that Wurst is able to churn out on the regular. Adding to the tune's erotic energy is the gender-bending of Javi's voice. Despite its expressiveness and vulnerability it appears to be coming out of a guy who looks like a Travolta-esque street tough. Think George Michael—a gristle-chinned pin-up with a smooth croon that's able to come off as sexy, playful and depraved all at the same time.
Native Underground is helmed by Henry Maldonado, a longtime vet of the New York house scene, having turned out jams back in the day for Strictly Rhythm and MAW Records among others. Maldonado apparently knows how to move with the times—thus you find him today pumping out nu-disco with a singer he met through Craigslist. So while "Till it Hurts" is ostensibly disco and reads very well as a bit of Wurst, you can sense Maldonado's veteran experience rumbling underneath in touches of house stomp and a proto-freestyle sense of glam.
The same could be said "Push 4 Love," which is perhaps bit more understated and rides an '80s/Prince electro-boogie vibe. The tune feels very much cut from the same cloth as its A-sider, albeit with perhaps a weaker lyrical conceit. Of the two versions Maldonado's own 'Son of Sound' dub may be the go-to, with sparse punch-ins of vocal neatly complementing the groove.
01. Till It Hurts
02. Till It Hurts (Play It Loud Dub)
03. Push 4 Love
04. Push 4 Love (Son of Sound Dub)