Friday, October 09, 2009


Whilst listening to another fine episode of The Bopst Show, I was struck by a song called "Baby" from The Phenomenal Handclap Band. They sounded like a '70s group, but it turns out that they are a new soul revival band from New York. It was the ending part of the song that stopped me in my tracks: "Hey, that's 'Swopepusha'!"

"Swopepusha" is an almost-decade old track from Poopoo Varmint, a side project of mashup pioneer Evolution Control Committee. After downloading it back in the earliest days of such activities, I played it constantly. Still do, in fact. I couldn't get enough of what sounded like a brilliantly catchy melodic bit of '60s E-Z kitsch obliterated by a blizzard of pummeling electronic beats. That
catchy melodic bit? You guessed - the same tune at the end of "Baby." Coincidence? Did the Handclap Band steal it from Poopoo Varmint? But where did they get it from..?

TradeMark G., the president of the Committe, informed me that they sampled it from "...Putney Swope, an awesome 1969 movie is it. It appears the soundtrack music is by Charley Cuva, and although a soundtrack album was not released at the time of the movie, an after-the-fact soundtrack was made later (and the LP of that would make a great birthday present for me... ahem). The music's from a commercial in the movie for Go Lucky Airlines; that soundtrack webpage includes a 45-second preview of the music that ECC sampled."

Our chats on this subject led Mark to go back and remix "Swopepusha." It possibly kicks even more butt then the original, but you can get both old and new versions HERE, as well as all the juicy details abut the song and Poopoo Varmint's brief history. But I'm just gonna post the new version, with the Handclap Band song, for your comparing and contrasting pleasure. (Remember, it's the end part of "Baby"
we're talking about.)

The ECC/Poopoo Varmint "Swopepusha (2009)"

The Phenomenal Handclap Band "Baby"

So, did the Handclappers swipe the tune from the "Putney Swope" soundtrack? Or maybe they are ECC fans, or maybe it's a big coincidence. Or maybe the "Putney Swope" soundtrack guy got in a time machine and stole it from the Handclap Band. Or...

Oh, and in "Swopepusha," "
by the way, that's Mae West moaning in the background."

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