For the past few years DJ Flack has been teaching a companion course to the weekly party, also called Beat Research. This year he worked with his advanced Beat Research students to put together a compilation of some of their best work and the outcome is a free CD and download album entitled The Petri Disc Vol. 1.
One of my favorite tracks on the comp is DJ Fraze One’s “Dub” remix of Rick Ross’ Everyday I’m Hustlin’:
After I posted Since You’ve Been In This Club — my remix of Usher’s Love In This Club and Sasha Frere-Jones singing Kelly Clarkson’s Since You’ve Been Gone — I got a comment from Refusenik asking if I could post the instrumental, or perhaps a version with Kelly Clarkson’s original vocals on it. So I messed around with Clarkson’s vocals and came up with an interesting, but by all accounts annoying (the vocals are way pitched-up) mix, in addition to a dub/instrumental version. Give ’em both a listen above.
Wayne pointed out this article by Sasha Frere-Jones on The New Yorker site about Auto Tune. It’s the software that makes singers on many of todays pop songs sound inhuman. It’s purpose is to artificially correct the pitch of sung notes, but when tweaks are made to the settings other-worldly effects occur. Think Cher’s Believe, or almost anything by T-Pain and you get the picture.
A couple months ago DJ Flack pointed out to me that he’d been listening to the hip-hop / R&B station in Boston and for an hour straight every track featured the effect. A bit annoying innit? Certainly it’ll sound dated next decade. Yet still, there’s something awesome about breaking technology to create newness.
In order to illustrate the Auto Tune effect Sasha went into a recording studio and sang Kelly Clarkson’s Since You’ve Been Gone. Engineer Tom Beaujour recorded him and then demonstrated various uses of the software on Sasha’s voice.
When Ripley asked if I was going to make a remix of Sasha’s cover song I have to admit it hadn’t occurred to me, but then I thought it just might be the perfect accompaniment to the remix of Usher’s Love in This Club that I had been meaning to make.
Tom Beaujour is featured on my remix explaining how the “Cher effect” is created and then Sasha sings “Since You’ve Been Gone.” In addition to the Auto Tune that Tom had already applied to Sasha’s voice, I also copied it to a second track and re-pitched the notes to create a harmony, but instead of Auto Tune I used Ableton Live to tweak the notes up and down by hand.
Full disclosure: I didn’t use the Garage Band or Auto Tune software in the making of this track.
While I was out in the Bay Area last week Ripley mentioned that if she were a producer she’d make a club version of Timbaland and Magoo’s Indian Flute with an accentuation on the “ooh wadda do dadda” part. One night while she, Kid Kameleon, and I were all chillin’ over at Tones‘ place she brought it up again and I was like “lets do this!” There was born the Big Whoop! collective. Everyone gave input on the track while I edited the pieces together in Ableton Live.
I was reading the New Yorker this week and came across an article by Sasha Frere-Jones in which he coined the term “lazer bass” to describe the music of Montreal-based party crew Megasoid. Ghislain Poirier used to call the genre “big asshole bass” or “big ass bass.” accurate descriptions but less likely to fly as an official term than lazer-bass.
Chapel Hill, NC-based Apple Juce Kid sent me his remix of Van Halen’s 1984 classic Jump a while back. He said I should feel free to re-remix it if I felt so inclined so I did. Well, actually I didn’t do much to it but lay the Supremes You Keep Me Hangin’ On acapella on top. Here’s what it sounds like:
This is also a teaser of sorts for the upcoming DJ C & Zulu Gods & Robots mixtape which will feature an original Atki2 (of Steak House) production with Zulu.
A couple months back we posted a bunch of Zulu’s a capellas here and challenged folks to “download – remix – upload.” Many of the wicked tunes that we got back will be featured on the upcoming Gods and Robots Mixtape; a 31-track, 1-hour continuos DJ C mix of Zulu’s vocals backed by hype party tracks from producers the world over (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, England, Israel, Portugal, and cities across the U.S. are all represented). Guest vocal appearances by Los Angeles rappers Aceyalone and Jah Orah, plus Tel Aviv singer Onili, round out the productions by artists like Montreal’s Ghislain Poirier, Brooklyn’s David Last, Tel Aviv’s Sabbo, and many others. The mixtape will be followed by a Gods and Robots EP, but more on that later.
Gods and Robots Sketch by Jeekoos and Michelangelo
My friends over at The Echo Nest have done it again. This time they’ve got a wacky new web 2.0 music app called “This Is My Jam.” It’s still in beta, actually I think it may still be in alpha but they’ve given me the go ahead to share it with y’all.
Here’s how it works: Use the search box to find music you like and then drag favorite tracks into your “jam.” Once you’ve got a bunch of tunes lined up, hit the button and the app makes a beat-matched mix of the tunes you selected. That’s right, the internets can now beat-match! Bye bye DJs? Well, maybe not yet. The mixing is far from perfect, but check it out, there are actually some interesting blends. Here’s one of my “jams”:
If that amazing mix has got you just begging for more you can check out my other jams too. And while you’re there why not sign up to make your own jams and socialize by befriending other folks who’s jams you like. You can even subscribe to RSS feeds of people’s jams.There are obviously some kinks to work out of the system still but I’m excited to see where this thing goes. If you do go try it out I’m sure the Echo Nester’s would appreciate your feedback.
I wanted to have some new music for the FlosstraPROMus party; something at least slightly Valentine’s Day themed since the party fell on Feb. 14 (pictures here and here). What better combination than some adrenaline infused bassline-house with local Chi-Town hero R. Kelly’s vocals on top, I though to myself. Perhaps the lyrics to I’m a Flirt don’t capture the best V-Day sentiment but here’s the fruit of that thought none the less.