Justin Timberlake

  • Justin Timberlake

The ongoing collision between mainstream pop and underground club music began in the early aughts when megastars like Britney Spears began recording noisy, aggressively dance-floor-focused singles that bore the avant garde influence of electroclash producers, and DJs responded by making tracks like “Toxic” and Justin Timberlake’s “My Love” staples at even the edgiest, most secretive club nights. Now, with ur-hipster Diplo at very near the top of the pop music A-list and relatively obscure EDM artists signing marquee recording deals, it can be hard to remember exactly how strange and unprecedented this felt at the time.

Britney and Justin have recently reunited on the pop charts: “Suit & Tie,” from the long-awaited followup to Timberlake’s 2006 FutureSex/LoveSounds is currently a number four, while Will.i.am’s “Scream & Shout,” featuring vocals by Spears, sits at number six. Ten years on, the erstwhile power couple is once again competing for the ears and asses of a dance-music-loving audience.