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We reconnoitred Daft Punk‘s Never-Ever Land show last night. Good god damn, that was probably the most amazing show I’ve ever been to. It was definitely the best show I’ve ever seen robots perform (far better than seeing Asimo, unfortunately, as his show was a half-hour advertisement for Honda. <insert used car salesman voice> “See how Asimo balances and avoids objects and he moves around? That is the VERY SAME technology you’ll find in the new range of Honda sedans!”</car salesman>). On the audio side of things, I was particularly chuffed to hear them remashing their own works during the set, and not one of the songs sounded like a pure rendition off the album – plenty of remix action. On the video side, the effects were amazing. The squadron’s technical specialist (callsign Dancing Pigeon) reckons there would had to have been hundreds of man-hours go in to programming the lighting arrays and the video screens. Between the two of us, we could not figure out what kind of space age material they brought from France that was as clear and bright as it was. Simply outstanding.
Super robot action power amazing outstanding!
Some Daft Punk mashes for your consumption:
More bootleg rarities from the intarwebs today. This time, an all-Portishead album.
But first, a brief bout of gushing over Portishead. God DAMN. Go out, now and find some Portishead to listen to. Your quality of life will improve instantly. They are the founders of trip-hop (yet one shouldn’t dare to confine them to something as inelegant as a genre) and one of the holy trinity of Bristol: Portishead, Massive Attack and Tricky. Portishead utilized unique recording techniques and a blend of old and new sounds that created music which was never heard before and has never been replicated – yet it has this strange familiar feel about it. I could go on and on (and nearly did – count your blessings that I haven’t wandered of into some wanky description of how ‘Portishead evokes imagery of rainy postwar nights in a nondescript eastern European capital, tucked away in smoky jazz clubs of dubious legality, but the tunes hit you with such tight production that make it seem like the Wachowski brothers are somehow directing your imaginations’). Suffice to say, Dummy, their first album, should be in everyone’s top ten.
My father, perhaps, described them best: “Huh, that’s kind of like musique noir.”
Portishead – Glory Box
Download: Dumb – Portishead Remixed
DJ Le Clown – Xmas in New York City
A merry Festivus to you all!
It’s been quite the adventure, but we’ve finally settled into a stable, geosynchronous orbit around our new home for the next little while. The advance party scouted out an old queenslander in a good, defensible position on the top of a ridge in Kelvin Grove. Expect us to launch many artillery strikes from our fortified position in the hills.
The engineering corps has finished unpacking most of the boxes, and I’ve finally had some time to sit in front of the laptop and forge some new music for all of my fellow audio refugees. I had been working originally on an EP of Nirvana mashes, but, damnit, the average Nirvana track is just too messy to grab anything more than a few loops here and there, and why call it a Nirvana mash EP if less than 5% of the tune is going to be Nirvana?
So what have you got in store for us instead, Viper Pilot? Well, the bulk of this track is Mustang 86 by Moonbootica and the Soulwax (AKA mashup vanguards 2ManyDJs) remix of Felix da Housecat’s Rocket Ride, but there are a whole steaming bucketload of other samples thrown in. I’ve been influenced of late by a lot of Team9’s overwhelmingly good work. He is easily the most talented mashup producer in Australia, and by a wide margin at that. So there’s kind of a ‘use lots of things’ feel that I’ve tried to borrow from Team9 going on here.
Download: Viper Pilot – Sexiest Ride
One of the benefits of working at a big university is that we occasionally put on big events. This past Monday and Tuesday, the Creative Industries Faculty (of which I do IT support for (and where Viper Pilot does training runs at the sonic academy of hyperaudio marksmanship)) hosted the 3rd annual Art of Record Production Conference. This is the first time the event has been held in the southern hemisphere, and I was lucky enough to be able to stretch my lunch break out to take in some of the panels and presentations.
The keynote speaker was Hank Shocklee, who produced most of Public Enemy’s early work (Don’t Believe the Hype, 911 is a Joke, Brother’s Gonna Work it Out, etc.). He was loaded to the gills with insights about production, and his enthusiasm for music as a form of communication is infectious. However, one thing that really struck me (because I feel kind of dumb for not realizing this before) was his deconstruction of his production work for Public Enemy: their music has no steady bass line, no melody, and is meant to sound like rock music without the guitar.
Go on, dig up yor dusty old copy of Fear of a Black Planet. The role of the guitar is played by all the samples Shocklee throws at you. James Brown stabs, traffic noise, alarms and the like do the work. Mad!
I’ll let you cadets research the history yourselves. While you’re at it, peep the link above to Shocklee’s Myspace site and check out the video for Shocktronica – Shocklee beleives that poetry and drum and bass will save music. Here, however, for your consumption some Public Enemy mashup:
Just in case any of you are still having trouble discerning between a viral marketing video and an internet meme, I’ve had the boys down in intel prepare a dossier with a couple of current examples.
The Meme: So You Think You Can Dance?
The Virus: Cherry Chocolate Rain
Bootlegs, mashups, bastard pop, A+B, whatever you call ’em, I love ’em. Granted, there are plenty of shit bootlegs going around (generally the ones flooding your earspace with even more Shakira or Fergie than you were already being subjected to thanks to the tediousness of commercial radio), but the ones that work really please the subcockles of my gizzard. Today, I present to you the first in a series of mashup collections that have been quite hard to come by for one reason or another.
Bootwerk – A Bastard Pop Tribute to Kraftwerk
As if Kraftwerk weren’t the bomb-droppinest of old-school gizmo-rock wizards this side of the Volga, try smashing them up with, well, everything and anything. Kraftwerk are especially well suited to mashups because their songs tend to be minimalist in one way or another. Even if the track as a whole is busy, it’s likely to be heavy on the mad science bleeps and light on the percussion, leaving a lot of wiggle room for an enterprising producer to get funky with it. I had a spin of this compilation again recently, and a great swathe of the tracks went into my DJ playlist instantaneously. There’s plenty to enjoy here, and plenty of ‘OMG!’ moments that you expect from a good mash.
Access it from the fleet’s audio archives in data drawer 54/alpha-niner: