Somewhere, beyond the pearly gates, there is a club that plays the same song at closing, night after night. Or at least that’s what I imagine it to be like at heaven’s premier nightclub, based on “So Much Love To Give” by the French house duo Together (listen above)—a side-project consisting of Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter and DJ Falcon. Really though, I should be imagining some kind of trashy yet cool event from the year 2002, when this song was released, over a decade before Fedde Le Grand reinterpreted it for the stag and hen-dos on holiday in cheap, reachable European cities.
Still, the image of heaven—or a similarly flawless place—continues to be the thing I think about when I hear this song. That’s often the case with dance music, with me anyway, especially when that dance music veers into poppy, euphoric territory. Whether it’s the celestial piano on The Paradise’s “In Love With You” or the sweeping, gold-dappled melody Donna Summer pulls through “I Feel Love,” the best dance tunes have an otherworldly quality about them, as if, through full immersion, they’re capable of bringing about pure ascension to somewhere beyond this realm.
Thomas Bangalter is a master of this kind of transcendence, especially in his work with Daft Punk, which—since the duo are “robots”—often feels like you’ve been projected into another galaxy. “Digital Love” is an electro-tinged romance set in space; “Around The World” is what super-fit cyborgs would probably listen to when working out, if they were benevolent and not about to exterminate humanity; “Instant Crush” sounds like futuristic tech if it learned to weep, got drunk, then started dancing on its own in a distant corner of a forgotten planet (in actuality it’s Julian Casablancas).
“So Much Love To Give” is different, and also similar. Like the best Daft Punk songs it is based around a disco sample—in this case “Love's Such A Wonderful Thing” by The Real Thing. Like “One More Time” (which chopped and sampled Eddie John’s “More Spell On You”) the sample is repeated throughout the song, too. But where “One More Time” is varied, switching away from the sample and adding more vocals, the sampled vocal in “So Much Love To Give” is repeated for practically the whole ten minutes. It is the song’s bedrock: a never-changing, constant, euphoric nebula.
This combination of hypnotic, repeated hook—the words “So Much Love To Give” whirring round and round and round, layered and echoing, as if reverberating around a valley—with warm, original production, is intoxicating. The repetition creates a trance-like feeling, where the sounds become a kaleidoscope; where intimate and tiny details shift, but on a grand scale. It’s powerful stuff.
To a degree, and in similar ways, all music is based on repetition—whether that’s a chord sequence, a chorus playing several times throughout a song or a riff. In her book On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind, writer Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis points out how, when something is repeated over and over, our brain’s reaction to it changes. We begin to notice more detail, the feeling intensifies. We can become disgusted, or excited. It’s something that happens loads in dance music. Whether you’re listening to minimal techno, Peggy Gou’s “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane),” or the most ambient Aphex Twin stuff, there’s usually one consistent, looping piece of instrumentation underneath, creating the vibe of the song: the foundation on which everything sits.
On “So Much Love To Give”, that constant is the vocal, giving the song a strange, almost singular quality. I guess on the one hand it is cheesy and not too far away from, say, Sigala’s “Sweet Lovin’/” On the other, it’s very pure. Hearing the phrase “I’ve got so much love to give” pumping through your head for almost ten minutes is kind of the closest you can get to ecstasy without being on ecstasy. Or maybe you hear something different—after many listens, some people say it resembles the phrase “I’ve got so much raw chicken.” Whatever the case, it’ll take you into it’s trance. And when it does, as DJ Sammy says on that one perfect song, you’re in heaven.
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This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.