Friday, February 15, 2013

A Simple Sample-Music Sampler

Making music out of music is common currency now (not so much back when this blog was founded and mashups were regularly featured), so sound-collage music has to really blow my mind to get me to pay attention to it nowadays. 

Chief mind-blower of late is "Border Towns," an album by one Nick Brooke, a young avant-composer whose new album on Innova mixes a vocal choir with a mad brew of samples ranging from field recordings, to music, to radio dj chatter.  It's all meant to drop the listener into the US/Mexico border realms. The m.o. of this album actually reminds me of the KLF's classic "Chill Out," which mixed numerous samples with electronic music to create a theoretical late-night cross-country drive across the southern U.S. Good luck trying to chill out to this album, tho - it's varied, dynamic, exciting, and a lot of fun. The idea of a choir is an odd choice, but works a treat.  Sometimes they don't even sing, but do things like recite radio I.D.s with a straight-face ("more music...mas musica!")

Ergo Phizmiz and People Like Us are old pros, the deans of the collage college, but for a recent project, the music is all played and sung live. "The Keystone Cut Ups" is a multi-media show featuring all found video footage from black-and-white silent movies, mashing the more self-consciously anarchic works of the Surrealists with early Hollywood comedies. Numerous antique songs are suggested, and blended with others, and with original songs. New lyrics are sometimes sung over old tunes. Ergo told me "The only sampled bits are the bits from the films that pop over. Vicki [aka People Like Us] also did quite a lot of sound-effects on it." Live mashups, beautifully played and crooned on banjos, accordions, etc. Magical. There is a DVD of the show out that's on the top of my wish-list. The album can be downloaded thru illegal-art.

CutUp Sound is satirical sound-collage project only now coming to light, thanks to Rich at KillUglyRadio in Portland. He finally got his old pal Mr. CutupSound to go thru his tapes (some going perhaps as far back as the '80s) and put a career-spanning collection together. Lots of funny mass media/political/religious cut-ups in the Cassette Boy/Wayne Butane school of audio pranksterism, as well as some really impressive more musical tracks.

And finally, a completely ridiculous good old-fashioned A+B mashup by newcomer The Don Music Show, from Wisconsin. There's probably no artistic justification for this nonsense - I just wanna hear it loud when it's late and I'm drunk.

Sample-Music Sampler

1. Ergo Phizmiz and People Like Us - Orchestra
2. CutupSound - It Is Called Radio
3. CutupSound - Breakfast
4. Nick Brooke - Del Rio
5. Nick Brooke - Columbus
6. The Don Music Sound - One Trek Beyond...

P.S.: Tim from Radio Clash (aka Instamatic, DJ NoNo, etc) has been putting up his '90s works from the days before he became a founding father of the British mashup scene.  His Reality Engine release has a strange, creepy, and sometimes funny late-night atmosphere to it, accurately described as "ambient tracks, noise, electronic toys, feedback, hum, cut-ups, found sound, radio scans and noises, interruptions, drones, test tones and squeaks..."  A journey thru England's dark underworld, e.g.: this snatch of intercepted conversation: 'I have not slept with anybody else, apart from you, and obviously, my wife.'


tim from Radio Clash said...

Thanks for mentioning my Reality Engine stuff! I must post more of that ;-)

Unless I get 'cease and desist' from a certain bunch of NYC late arrivers that is :-P

Mr Fab said...

"I must post more of that "

Please do! Home-brew sample experiments were rarely heard in those pre-internet days, so it's always fascinating to hear what was going on in the bedrooms of weirdos in those days.