Monday, July 24, 2006

I think this is appropriate for Feldheim

So since the indie debacle will almost surely go unresloved, I've decided it be time for more pirate speak.


Because Pirate speak is a creole, is it not? A creole is a mother toungue formed from the contact of two languages through an earlier pidgin stage. A combination of cultures collided in the caribbean resulting in a unique manner of speaking that made for great homoerotic movie fodder.

But there are other creole languages. africaans, yiddish, Eastern PA Puerto Rican, and cajun!

Even in food, creole cuisines erupted in the 90's under the guise of 'fusion:' Mexican Spring Rolls, chinese chicken salads, wasabi mashed potatoes, and barbecue chicken pizza. I know, I was shocked when I discovered that Ghengis Khan didn't eat salads with chicken and canned mandarin orange slices.

We do know for sure, however, that he liked twinkies.

I am more concerned, of course with Creole music. Not Zydeco (although playing spoons is great), but the new trend that is the combination of two fairly disparate forms of music: The irreverent, the infamous: Mash-up.

I think it all really began with hip-hop sampling. 'California Love' is Joe Cocker's 'Women to Women.' Fatboy Slim's Weapon of choice is Sly and the Family Stone's 'Into My Own.' These are only two examples, but each new song sampled a fairly obscure track. For eaxample, Crazy Town's 'Butterfly' is just a rip off from 16 seconds of the Chili Pepper's 'Pretty Little Diddy.'

But these are all relatively obscure. It's not like any one sampled the intro to Queen's 'Under Pressure,' right?

But i think it all changed in the late 90's. Even though he looks and dances like a he has hydrocephalus, Puff Daddy* managed to make a hit out of a Police song, not just sampling the bass line, or the beat, but the chorus as well. Sting even endorsed the desecration of his biggest hit by appearing with the empresario at 1997 MTV Music Awards.

Fast forward to 2004, when DJ Danger Mouse made waves releasing the Grey Album, an expertly mixed disc combining The Beatles' White album with Jay Z's Black album. Was it good? It didn't really matter because of the ground breaking, law bending nature of the release.

I would go so far as to say that Danger Mouse invented the mash up. He took an old classic, and interwined with a new classic and made something entirely new.

Which is why I would like to direct you, the Feldheim Seven, to Gnotorious Biggie. It's of course Gnarls Barkley^ and Biggie Smalls all mashed up.

It's fairly well done. Somewht like Biff; but he's a well done fairy. But to the matter at hand: Problem is, the tracks seems to be just a Biggie rhymes and Gnarls beats. Does it count as orignal? What's your take? Is this even a legitimate form of music?

Talk, you crazy talkers.


*do you think his friends have started calling him Diddy? how many names can one man have? I expect you all to refer to me as "conquistador angela" from this point forward. Doesn't it just roll off your tongue?

^For the Record, the Kooks covered 'Crazy in March.' This only makes them cooler.


Blogger Toonzie said...

I'm glad you raised this question conquistador Angela. It probably won't surprise the rest of the feldheim that in light of my new interest in funky breaks and matching beats I've taken an interest in mash ups as well. Sampling is what makes me what to be a DJ. I don't see any shame in taking things that already exists putting them together and creating a whole that is greater than the sum of it's parts.

Yes the grey album raised some copyright issues, but borrowing shorter samples of prerecorded music to create something new doesn't. Anyway, rather than digress about the intellectual property implications of mash-ups, I'm instead going to talk about a few of my favorites.

Quite possible my favorite album of all time is Since I Left You, by an Australian group called the Avalanches. You all heard this driving around in the lexus with me during college. I continue to listen to it all the time. Pretty much its entire base line was created by sampling. I'll try to post it to the box in the next couple of so that you all can have another listen. It's quite impressive and doing what they did certainly requires talent and creative vision. five years later i still hear beats and layers that i wasn't hearing before.

Below is a link to a track called "Lesson 3 the history of hip hop" put together by two DJs called Double Dee and Steinski back in the early 80s.

It's awesome!

lastly i bring you DJ Food's Raiding the 20th century

a "40 minute attempt to catalogue the history of cut up music - be it avant garde tape manipulation, turntable megamixes or bastard pop mash ups."

musically it doesn't really move me. I like some parts more than others. I think the idea is great and perhaps could just be better executed. That being said, I'm really in no position to criticize this style of music that much just yet. Hopefully the feldheim will be around long enough for me to post my own cut ups.

so what do i think gnotorious biggie? I've heard better and I've heard worse. But i respect the effort and I aspire to one day become part of the greater mission that encompasses all the musical endeavors discussed above.

8:23 PM, July 25, 2006  
Blogger lunchbox said...

I think that Danger Mouse is becoming one of those DJ's like a Peter Keating (in Ayn Rand's Fountainhead) or Andy Kaufman (in the movie Man on the Moon) that has become thrown around so much, and has his remixes remixed, that you don't really know what is truly ORIGINAL Danger Mouse. "No, Danger, I don't want to know what you think I want to hear, I want to know what's in here, what's really in here" (as I gingerly take his own hand and place it on his breast above his heart as I look pleadingly into his eyes).

10:34 AM, July 31, 2006  

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