A happy spacey little tune from the visual artist/musician Philippe Laurent. Written in the early 80s, it wasn’t officially released until 2011 by the Minimal Wave label. Check out their site for more great new wave/synthpop/early electronic releases from the 70s and 80s. The founder, Veronica Vasicka, also posts killer mixes from her East Village radio show on Soundcloud. And she co-released a couple of amazing compilations called The Minimal Wave Tapes on Stones Throw Records with Peanut Butter Wolf.
Switching gears again to something more organic from the great French violinist composer Jean Luc Ponty. He’s collaborated over the years with everyone from Lalo Schifrin to Frank Zappa. This lovely gem from his ’78 album Cosmic Messenger takes you on a gentle voyage through the French countryside at night in an old Citroen.
Before the track: many thanks to pterminal for keeping things shiny and new on this here site over the last year. Also: welcome, icecreamhorn, may you lead us all on many a new and weird tangent. On to the next. The wonderful Wugazi post got me thinkin’ that I haven’t really posted anything in the way of mash-up-ish tunes around here. Of course, I haven’t really posted anything in the way of anything for some time. But oh, the oversight; yes, we are all right to be weary and wary of the majority of these ill-conceived pairings, but there are definitely gems out there. Enter Cabin Bwoy. Enigmatic Englishman associated with the Patchwork Pirates collective, he hasn’t really produced much, it seems, since dropping this gem circa ’07-’08. At first glance, blending a techno-pop classic like Underworld’s “Born Slippy” with Ludacris seems, well, gimmicky. But the truth is that Ludacris’ original “Ultimate Satisfaction” doesn’t work all that well. An obvious delving into the chopped ‘n’ screwed style, the original production (by Rich Skillz) features a worm-like synth-buzz that sloshes all over the vocal range; a high-pitched, horror movie-style pad with phasers and a three-note progression that is meant to convey something filthy, I suppose; and a stuporous kick drum arrangement that provides a great deal of space, true, but no variation and thus no movement of relationship with the vocals. This is a shame, because Luda’s (as well as Field Mob’s) lyrical stylings are pretty f-ing on point here. Cabin Bwoy replaces the problematic buzzing and pads with stab samples from “Born Slippy”. This is the synthesizer equivalent of trading in your Pontiac Fiero and somehow coming out of the deal with a Ferrari 288 GTO. The open, emotive phrasings bring a wholly different lens through which to appreciate the lyrical gymnastics on display (one half of Field Mob’s contribution to the track, namely Chevy Pendergrass’, was scrapped on the refix — probably due to some combination of Chevy’s egregiously sonorous multi-track dubbing, which might not have worked sonically with the Underworld synths, and the fact that Chevy’s lyrics are the only ones so obviously dark as to be beyond tonal transformation via the “Slippy” phrasings). Additionally, the kick drums are now steroidal and slickly varied in placement, providing new propulsion while maintaining critical space for profiling the verbiage. So there you go. This track may not qualify as ultimate mash-up satisfaction, but it’s close.
First off, a thank you to my fellow administrators for allowing me to sully their wonderful job of genre-specific curation here at Mister Track. I’ll be bending things a bit. First up: Mashup Backup. 2011 saw a lot of action on this maturing scene. Among the many mediocre and down right terrible juxtapositions that seemed to follow in the wake of Girl Talk’s late 2010 All Day were a couple of full-lengths that it is tempting to call emotional masterpieces. The first of which I’ll be posting about, Wugazi’s 13 Chambers, is a meeting of East Coast Champions Fugazi & The Wu Tang Clan as compiled and rearranged by Midwestern producers Cecil Otter & Swiss Andy. It comes with impeccable finesse and vitality; titles to cover to tone to mastering are sewn up game-tight. It is an added pleasure to imagine how pleased the creators of the original material must be with this meeting. Rumor has it this duo is working on Fear of an Out-of-Step Planet, replete with Flava-Flav & Chuck D in Minor Threat tee shirts on the cover. Yes:
13 Chambers has, among its many polished charms, very good structure & flow as an album, so we’ll let it introduce itself with the opening track: Sleep Rules Everything Around Me. If you like the taste, Get the whole thing, gratis.
Just discovered an amazing album series by the group, Pye Corner Audio, called the Black Mill Tapes. If you like dark synthy syrupy 70′s-80s soundtrack stuff, then you’ll love these guys. Their sound brings to mind lots of Mr. T favorites such as Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter, Low Motion Disco, and Boards of Canada. Enjoy!
We can’t resist posting a second medley from our favorite holiday album, Holiday Music for Happy People, by Bobby Roberts. Such a warm festive sound that makes you long to experience childhood back in the 50s, or at least a Mad Men era cocktail party. This will be on Mr. T. shuffle for the next few days. Happy holidays to all!