Well hello there. Nice to meet you. This is Hal from The Young Punx here to take the reins of the APC VIP blogger series for the week. And a great honour it is too.
We’re here this week in celebration of the release of our second album “Mashpop and Punkstep”, but I’ll leave talking about that until later in the week when the bastard is live on iTunes in the USA. We have a few pretty damn exciting things lined up specifically for APC in the coming week or two. But Mr Iddol says today I can just tease you about it, but not make any big announcements. Consider yourself teased.
For those of you who don’t know who we are; we are a largely London based collective of DJs, producers, mashers, musicians and vocalists held together under my
evil dictatorship benign leadership. We started out doing mashups and bootleg mixes around 2003. It’s all expanded a bit since then with moving on to ‘official mixes’, original material, DJing and live performance. But our home is always really in the mentality of the mashup scene, and a lot of what we do involves taking the aesthetics and approaches born in the mashup community and expressing them in other more diverse places.
In the light of that, I thought a fun, if totally random, place to start with on our first post might be reporting on some of our recent activities doing mashups totally live. By which I don’t mean mashup live on the fly with Ableton (which we also do) but performing mashups while playing all the parts live in a band. We have done this for years with The Young Punx, but the reason this has been most fun recently, and got a fair bit of exposure, has been that I have had the privalege of working as Musical Director for Dizzee Rascal at several of his live shows. Dizzee has been great to work with because he has given us a huge amount of creative freedom to back him however we like, which has enabled us to pull some mashup based stunts that might have lead a more closed-minded artist to say “what the fuck are you doing with my music” but Dizzee has been really up for it.
The mash that has got most attention has probably been our decision to play Dizzee’s track “Stand Up Tall” over a live backing of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. We’ve done this at a few gigs now and it always goes down a storm. Big lolz at the yourtube comments, where the mashup people love trolling the hardcore Nirvana geeks who think that rap isn’t real music and this is ruining ‘their song’. Here we are seeing in 2010 on New Year’s Eve on BBC TV in the UK:
Or for an alternative performance, here we are playing it at the Roundhouse at the BBC Electric Proms:
Dizzee Rascal backed by The Young Punx
Stand up teen spirit [mp3]
live at the BBC electric Proms
I know Teen Spirit is a bit of a mashup cliche, but its been fun.
We’ve also been dropping odds and ends of mashing wherever we can. When playing “Jus A Rascal”, although we’ve been mainly doing the ‘original’ version, we’ve been able to drop into the Strokes Reptilia mashup of the track for the second verse (at 2:27), and then add in some Jeremy Paxman in the playout in the place of the original Answerphone message.
Dizzee Rascal backed by The Young Punx and The Heritage Orchestra- Jus A Rascal (/Reptilia) [mp3]
live at the BBC electric Proms
It’s come full circle in a nice way really because one of the very first Mashups we ever did back in 2003 was a mash of Dizzee’s “Fix Up Look Sharp” with J Lo “Play” and Madonna’s “Music” called Play Big Beat Music. It’s a bit rough around the edges in places with imperfect timestretching, but its still decent.
The Young Punx – Play Big Beat Music [mp3]
Dizzee Rascal VS J-Lo VS Madonna
Another fun Dizzee related live mash we were involved in recently was the Dizzee VS Florence and the machine mashup at The Brits. Dizzee and Florence were basically put together to do a joint performance of 2 of their songs together, doing the vocals live on the day, to a pre-recorded backing track. In response to this brief, we put together the “You Got The Dirty Love” concept, using the stems of You Got The Love and acapella of Dirtee Cash. Florence and Dizzee learned the structure from this mash, then performed live at the show.
In a great move, the Brits people put the song for sales on iTunes just a couple of hours after it was recorded live and it went to number one. Its for charity, so feel free to buy a copy.
Anyway. That’s enough for now. We’ll be back during the week with anecdotes, tech tips, exclusive downloads, and EXCITING NEWS FOR YOU.