09 January 2007

2006 Year-End Mincetacular, pt. 1:
Top Ten Amusing Artist Interactions on the ¡OhSiX! Mix

oh man i love this mix. i just listened to it again on the way back from new york. i really hope people listen to it and get it; it's just such pure concentrated pleasure (PCP) for me, though of course i have a priveleged position there. not sure how much enjoyment is predicated on this, but for those who don't know many of the source songs (which could even be true of pop-followers) there's probably substantial benefit in attending to the mix enough to let it teach them to you.

like most of my mixes lately, it's multi-purposed - nominally even, it's both a bespoke occasional tool (for 12/31) and a Definitive Statement for the year (as opposed to, for example, this blathering.) better hope the latter bill holds up, as the First has already expired. certainly it fills it formally - just as
'05 Finger Disco was the hand-cobbled cassette-only artifact of a retro-stalgic spell, its successor (it of the titular anxiety) is part parcel and product of my personal recent mixmaking technovelopment. [as previously paranoided, my shifting paradigm may dictate a non-demographcratically P0Pular, idiosyncratic/idiotsavantic Definitivitude. andbut, the mashymix format exacerbates all of the above.]

neologinanity aside, i couldn't come to a 10 best bits retrospectacle consensus; not so much that
it's every moment! as i'm happy to leave you to yours. instead, here are the moments that bullseye my reward centers in not necessarily musical but conceptual terms, specifically concerning the interpersonal relationships they suggest among the artists involved.

(with no further ado) To Wit (in sequential sequence):

• "vans" > "me&u" [5:52-7:06]
how do you think cassie likes the pack calling her "a big booty chick"? (twice, even!) what do you think she's thinking that she wants to do with [them?]? d'ya really think the kids in the pack could handle a woman like cassie? [marit-whisper: "i don't think so"] in fact, do you know anyone who could? well how about prince? oh yeah, no sweat.

• "give it to me" [7:44-9:26]
so first off we've got nelly f. blithely, flippantly out-feinting both prince and lily allen in one fell-swooping fake-out that probably (duck-duck-)goosed you too (and nearly got me!), playing leapfrog hopscotch with both the tempo and the inviolable One. (sorry lily! sorry princey! but the 2-kool-4-skool krew are holding court on the playground now. who do you fear?) batting second is tim- "i'm a real producer" -baland, evidently dissing in this case not scott "he's on the keys, right?" storch (just a piano man), but XXXchange, whose deep liquid blooom blooom bloooms have just erupted in the middle of his 'californi-ay'. just as well i snipped the last verse and spared j-tim from squaring off with naeem juwan who, i must admit, brings the sexy rings around poor confused justy.

• "sexyback"/"wildcat" [10:49-12:44]
speaking of whom - and sorry, i do hate to pick on him, but he makes such an adorable target - may i crow on how much more credible ratatat make "sexy-back"? in this juxtaposed context, its dubious swagger gets earnestly embodied by rat's oozily muscular guitar squeals, whilst "wildcat"'s sampled growls seem to openly mock the (painfully unwitting) camp of JT's belabored would-be loverman. i had to let linger just to languor in the clangor of 06's de facto tag-tune finally finding a groove on which it can really get.

• "we share our mother's health (trentemøller mix)" > "steady as she goes (radioslave and tommie sunshine mix)" [26:55-29:18]
this always feels like capt. jack+co. crashing/crushing hils' and karin's righteous babe party (somebody's theory on songmeanings.net has me convinced "wsomh" is some kinda environmentalist canticle - mom=earth, duh, weirdo punctuation notwithstanding - and obv. "play with fire" is a total femmepowerment anthem) with their pummeling macho rockist cock-out steady-going. not sure quite how unreconstructed the broken boys are playing at on "steady" (dude, uh, "you've had too much to think, now you need a wife"?), but there's easily more testosterone there than anywhere on the mix 'til t.i. shows up 40m later. (not that the knife's nightmarish whiplash synths are exactly ladylike.) on the other hand, the remixers, '06 all-star leaguers easily ('cept wtf's tommie sunshine doing here?) are clearly batting for the same team. energy-wise (and especially dance-wise), this is the obvious climax of part one, and probably the strongest build>peak of the entire mix.

and then, and then...just as the sheer brute force of those power-strums is just getting too much to handle, what's that clip-cloppin' 'n' choo-choo-chooglin' down the lane, perpetratin' some deflatin' emasculatin'? why it's everyone's favorite musique-concretin! m. herb., with wife in tow and 635 objects crammed in the caboose. erm all aboard!

• "steam and sequins for larry levan"/"flamboyant (michael mayer kompakt mix)" [31:55-33:44]
i enjoy it musically too (that PSB melody is so lovely) but mostly this intergenerational three-way (four-way? more-way? is mayer gay?) is just a giddy conceptual pile-up. let's see, we've got screwball avant-garde san francisco homosexuals matmos paying homage to legendary disco-era new york homosexual levan whilst '80s-associated classicist/sophisticate uk homosexual neil tennant croons a satiric commentary on fashion-focused excess that seems to target the gay community. not sure how much any of the participants in this assemblage exhibit quite that stereotyped flamboyance, but played against tennant's mannered observations the kooky horn-blasts and doot-doot-doots of the matmos track do seem to clamor untowardly for attention. btw: i'm not gay, but if i were, my mega crush on drew daniel would surely have been one of the defining aspects of 2006.

• "best of both worlds" > "in white rooms (elektrochemie remix)" [35:59-36:48]
"is that orlando bloom?"
"no, honey, it's just booka shade. don't worry, he's not actually famous. actually, i don't even know if he's a person."
dave bedbugs likes to talk about this section in terms of miley "resisting" being "usurped" - and i would be tempted to describe this in antagonistic terms too - a battle of wills between pure-at-heart teen-pop and the vaguely sinister forces of minimal electro (of which there are several instances on this mix, this easily my favorite, especially that initial moment of contact.) b-b-but can't you see, it's all about peaceful co-existence? you get the best of both worlds, jes' like the song sez [lupe-intone: "you got your food...and your liquor."] actually, there's a whole lot of worlds going on in there even without the germans butting in - besides the chorus' bubblecountry-pop and the rock candy riffage, ever notice all those burbly synths under hannah's verses? almost makes you wanna, like, "get physical," dude!

• "fake tales of san francisco" > "nothing in this world"/"turbo dreams" [4:12-7:20]
ideally i'd have liked to find more exalted companionship for miss hilton (and fergie for that matter) than the laffable-if-likable unlikely lads with the 'wacky' polar simian band-name - hard to imagine her not huffing off in disgust, for one thing, but it'd also have been nice launch a more pointed volley in the ever-escalating culture war that is Judgment of Paris (hey, has anyone used that one yet?) particularly when the lads, like everybody else, are whingeing about fakers and phonies and empty scenesterism. still, there's something gratifying about our heiress-heroine oh-so-effortlessly showing up the most ballyhooed r'n'r success story of the year, britrawk's heirs-apparent-cum-clown-princes: she'll see their spiky indie guitars and herky-jerk drums, and raise them a glistening chorus, heavenward harmonies, and a lyric about a night out at the club that's actually enjoyable, exciting even.

it's fitting, really - the monkeys sing of disgust and tedium over a quotidian, albeit serviceable, standard-issue rock bed, whilst p-hilt croons a paean of optimism and unbounded potential with a yearning, resplendent track to match, a still-intoxicating concoction of rock and dance and pure soulful pop. all of which is - almost miraculously - only heightened by the addition of "turbo dreams" (only very minimally re-edited, which is the miracle part, given how long i let them play out and intertwine.) this match-up (it's too genteel to be a mash-up) may fare slightly better for culturejammity/snobkill factor - ellen a. and apparat's production is as pedigreed as paris's pooch, though it's probably left-field enough to be generally unrecognizable, diminishing that effect - but it's otherwise anonymous enough in terms of content to evade much conceptual frisson. still though, i marvel at what these songs do to and for each other in a strictly musical sense - and again i say it can't but be to paris' credit that she can glide so smoothly between punky uk indie and mannered continental pop-minimal.

• tie:
"lloyd, i'm ready to be heartbroken" > "young folks" > "pull shapes" [18:17-21:50]

steamy indie-pop fantasy of the year: traceyanne & peter & bjørn & john & victoria & becki & gwenno & rose all meet up at a dance, whistle across to each other, clap their hands cuz they want some more, then they stop talking about the young stuff and the old stuff too, and they tell one another that they're ready, and just then the music stops, and they all rip off their polka-dot dresses and vintage jackets and make sweet, sweet out all night long. wooo, scando-licious!


"rehab">"here it goes again" [22:49-23:15]
amy, we get it - you won't go-wo-wo to rehab. ok, don't go. but would it kill you to at least get some exercise? i think i know someone who has a treadmill you could use.

• "4ever" > "juicebox" [29:40-30:32]
this one makes me squirm a little bit. how would you feel about watching the origliasso twins run across julian casablancas in some seedy downtown bar, or maybe say after-hours at the neighborhood pool? i mean, sure, they come on all self-assured with their cocky come-ons, but they're still just children for goodness' sake - only a minute ago they were having a puerile shouting contest with those loudmouthed little lillix girls. lisa and jess certainly didn't work so hard on those immaculate descant harmonies just to throw their lives away by slumming it with the hard-living likes of those strokes scoundrels.

and besides, they're only 22! they may think it's all fun and games, only a little teasing, that they can just pretend, yeah yeah - but i don't trust that wily casablancas. they'll be powerless resist his seductive bassline, his why-won't-you-come-over-hither glance, that withering sneer. oh it just makes me shudder to think about it. this will only end badly, mark my words.

• "irreplaceable" > "put your records on" [38:39-42:03]
dearie me, beyonce sounds worked up. well, and who can blame her, after the tranquility of that nice smooth bajan-jamaican/faux-balkan/teutonic comedown sequence was shot all to hell by this loud-mouthed nadiya ho and her histrionic faux-rap heavy-metal boom-bap? even worse, i heard she was french! "keep talkin' tout ces mots, that's fine; could you crash your stock-car and talk at the same time?" oh good, that's better. now where were we, b? oh yes...being self-righteous and vaguely ticked off. now, girl, don't blow your cool - that is a pretty acoustic strummy thing you've got going on; how about something more along those lines? ah, that's a bit more like it - lovely melisma on the chorus there. you know, as my girlfriend corinne bailey always says...well i'll be darned if that isn't her comin' along now - anyway, whenever i'm getting myself all flustered about something, she tells me, "girl...put your records on...you go ahead, let your hair down." and you know? listening to music may not exactly solve any of my life's problems, but it does make me feel better. ain't that right, corinne?


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