17 January 2008

the chimerical brothers

chimerical -
1. Merely imaginary; produced by or as if by a wildly fanciful imagination; fantastic; improbable or unrealistic.
2. Given to or indulging in unrealistic fantasies or fantastic schemes.

Title: SupaSt*rDeeJayz
continuous DJ mix [79:50!], currently available on CD-R (18 tracks) or mp3 (2 or 18)
28 June 2007

0. don byron introducing biz markie (from "schizo jam") (1999)
1. the magnetic fields "let's pretend we're bunnyrabbits" (1999)
2. rinôçérôse "la guitaristic house organisation" (1999)

3. stereolab "cybele's reverie" (1997)
4. björk "alarm call (alan braxe and fred falke mix) (1999)
5. mj cole "slum king"(2000)

6. basement jaxx "red alert" (1999)
7. daft punk "aerodynamic" (2001)
8. the chemical brothers "hey girl hey boy" (1999)
9. timo maas "ubik (the dance)" [from deep dish's renaissance:ibiza] (2000)
10. cajmere/green velvet "percolator 2000" (2000)

11. blur "song 2" [white label remix] (1997?)
12. bis "action and drama" (1999)

13. beck "mixed bizness" (1999)
14. beck "mixed bizness (nuwave dreamix by les rhythmes digitales)" (2000)
15. beck "mixed bizness (cornelius remix)" (2000)
16. beck vs. ac/dc "mixed bizness" ("highway to hell" mashup) (2000)

17. jay-z "nigga what nigga who (originator 99)" (1998)
18. alice deejay "better off alone" (1999)
19. the chemical brothers "elektrobank (dust brothers remix)" (1997)
20. garbage "when i grow up" (1998)

21. outkast "B.O.B." (2000)
22. the faint "worked up so sexual" (1999)

23. keoki "jealousy (dj dara remix)" (2001)
24. everything but the girl "compression" (1999)
25. roni size/reprazent "railing" (1997)

26. *nsync "digital get down" (2000)
27. beck "where it's at" (1996)

28. cornershop "butter the soul" (1997)
29. blackstreet ft. dr. dre "no diggity" (1996)
30. biz markie "just a friend" (1989)
31. missy elliott "funky fresh dressed" (2002)
32. yo la tengo "you can have it all (2000)

33. lauryn hill "every ghetto, every city" (1998)
34. the supremes "my world is empty without you" (1966)
35. al green "here i am (come take me)" (1973)
36. moby "run on" (1999)

37. wyclef jean ft. r. kelly & canibus "gone til november (the makin' runs remix)" (1997)
38. the high and mighty ft. mos def & mad skillz "b-boy document '99" (1999)
39. outkast "ms. jackson (mr. drunk remix)" (2000)
40. cibo matto "sci-fi wasabi " (1999)

41. beastie boys "intergalactic"/"super disco breakin'"/"body moving (fatboy slim remix)" (1998/1998/1998)
42. madonna "don't tell me" (2000)

43. pharcyde "officer" (1994)
44. don byron "the penguin" (1996)
45. pizzicato five "baby love child" (1994)
46. the roots "adrenaline! " (1999)
47. ol' dirty bastard ft. kelis "got your money" (1999)

48. notorious b.i.g. ft. puff daddy & ma$e "mo money mo problems" (1997)
49. marc ribot y los cubanos postizos "postizo" (1998)
50. cornershop "funky days are back again" (1997)
51. david byrne "like humans do" (2001)

52. jane's addiction "been caught stealing (12" remix version)" (1990)
53. <+}0 "pussy control" (1995)
54. the strokes "someday" (2001)
55. don byron and existential dred "mango meat" (1998)
56. they might be giants "no one knows my plan" (1994)

57. soul coughing "circles (ashley beedle [?] remix)" (1998)
58. afrika bambaata and the soul sonic force "looking for the perfect beat (instrumental)" (1983) 59. fatboy slim "praise you" (1998)
60. madonna "like a prayer (12" dance mix)" (1989)

as is typical, this dj-mix is doing double duty (at least): 1st and foremost, i created it specifically for ben galynker's bachelor party/weekend this past june. it was first heard that weekend (albeit in incomplete form - i'd only gotten as far as track 46 or so, and i later went back and made some substantial edits and additions) and we gave it an epically intense and exhausting seven-person carpeted-apartment dancefloor workout. aka the old college try.

the mix is an homage to and a celebration/recreation of ben's and my days of djing together as crunkadelia productions (2000-2003.) note, for instance, the plentiful presence of our holy dance music pantheon: beck, björk, beasties, the chemical brothers (ben's faves - i came in as more of a fatboy booster but he converted me to their chemical preeminence), madonna, moby (since discredited) and outkast. (it took us a little longer to get into prince.) i'm quite sure that every track on here got played at our parties at least once; most of them numerous times; and many of them carry some especial significance or memory or other, which are definitely not worth enumerating here...

[okay, well, just a couple: we sang "let's pretend we're bunny rabbits" together at merge records karaoke in chapel hill NC in 2004. "la guitaristic house organisation" was sort of our deejaying themesong; we had a special synchronized "posing" dance that we would do to it. ben used to make fun of me for playing "here i am (come and take me)" all the time, so it merited inclusion as the only pre-modern selection (i.e. pre-living memory, i guess, which in this case means pre-1989, except for the bambaata) - sly stone's "thank you" would also have been fitting. lastly, we memorably first heard "pussy control" at the after-party for one of the first-ever pig iron benefit events.]

2ndly, and correspondingly, the mix serves to celebrate and encapsulate a particular era in music history, at least as i experienced it. it marks the ten-year anniversary of the late nineties; the midpoint of 2007 being exactly, roughly, a decade after the beginning of that era. accordingly, the tracks date, almost exclusively, from 1997-2001, with the early-'00s entrants feeling more like an extension of the general late-'90s vibe than the beginning of something that would flourish into the new decade. many of the earlier tracks were things i hadn't heard until the era in question, and they're certainly things i was listening to/spinning out at the time.

the crucial rule for this compilation, more than actual release dates, was whether i was actually aware of (and into) the songs at the time; hence, there's no retroactive inclusions of tracks from these years that i only discovered after the fact. (most of them came out when i was in high school, but i didn't hear a lot of them until college.) obviously the multiple songs by one artist rule is out the window.

dance music in the late nineties and early two-thousands, as i remember it and as represented here, felt vastly different than it does now - it had a populist, boundary-defying, free-wheeling and fun-loving sensibility that's pretty hard to detect in the subgenre-dense, blog-dominated, post-post-ironic electro/dance/hipster-pop scene these days. it's definitely starting to make a comeback - i hear it in the party-hearty enthusiasm of bonde do role, justice, the go! team, and (especially) australia's muscles; the infectious disposability and youthful vibrance of pop-rap's recent regional micro-crazes; the gleefully omnivorous abandon of girl talk and a-trak's dirty south dance, and even some of m.i.a. and lcd soundsystem's looser, less pensive moments. but it's been missing in action for quite some time - electro-clash, dance-punk, microhouse, minimal techno, neo-disco, retro-italo, and the like all took themselves distressingly seriously, with a stake in their own coolness and muso-cred that is pretty much wholly absent in the bulk of the music included on this mix.

another striking difference is how blurred the lines could get between alternative/underground and "legitimately popular" (before both the dominance of "indie" and its recent, gradual emergence into mainstream acceptance/cognizance.) somebody like stereolab or cibo matto or roni size might have seemed like the province of the artiest, clued-in few; the cutting edge of hip - but they were all on major labels (as were almost all of the artists on this mix.) in the wake of prodigy and daft punk's breakthroughs, with the ascendance of u.s. rave culture, and, especially, the dominance of moby's play, big beat techno still felt like a viable commercial possibility. and i've written before about the "great failed hope" of the eclecticist pastiche party-music vanguard, which is repped all over this thing. moby and wyclef seemed like visionaries. and i was even excited about jazz!

and, of course, some of it is undeniable capital-p Popular, including the kind of rapturous, all-conquering hip-hop party jams that they just don't seem to make anymore, now that outkast and missy have all but fallen off. of course there have been plenty moments of ubiquitous pop magnificance throughout the '00s ("crazy in love" "ignition" "since u been gone" "toxic" "hollaback girl" "umbrella" et al.)... i don't want to feel like a curmudgeonly, past-worshiping naysayer here...but when's the last time commercial thug rap came up with something as glorious and gleeful and inescapable as "mo money mo problems"? and don't you dare say "gold digger." (or "crazy.")

by the way, for all its specificity of purpose and concision of scope, this is a strong contender for the craziest mix i've ever made. i think that, in keeping with the general attitude at play with much of this music, i was pretty much trying to see how ridiculous i could get and still get away with it. for instance, mashing up four different remixes of the same song. or an extended juxtaposition (well over three minutes all told) of probably the three premier dance-based electronica auteurs of the era (b-jaxx, d-punk, chembros.) or the preposterous cornershop/blackstreet/biz moment, which used to be much more rhythmically freeform before i bowed to peer pressure and shoehorned it into a nice dependable 5/4. or the beastie boys double-fake-out. or the back-to-back sequencing (unfortunately much more potent in theory than in practice) of roni size apocalyptic, best-album-intro-ever "railing" and *nsync's unjustly overlooked (particular vis-á-vis j-tim's wholesale critical re-appraisal) po-mo-pop pièce de résistance "digital get down" (very possibly the first teen-pop song i ever loved, way back when i heard my sister's copy of no strings attached.)

[and incidentally, layering "where it's at" over the double-time of "digital get down" as the transitional moment from lo-to-hi bpm is in honor of ben's doing the same thing with moby's "feeling so real" at our "hello and okay" party.]

it definitely gets a little overboard (a little?) at the very end bit, which came in a flurry of inspiration as i also realized i was running out of time to fit it all onto a single cd-r (an obvious necessity) - which required all the tracks to be layered on top of each other a little more than i'd have liked, and also necessitated a rather abrupt ending instead of letting the "like a prayer" remix play out longer like the inevitable anthem it is. (i never owned this and still don't, my pre-music madonna knowledge still being shamefully limited, but as every swattie knows it is the proper and necessary way to end this mix - albeit of course, this being crunkadelia, in remixed form.) the "praise you like a prayer" mash actually works surprisingly perfectly, except for the small (and damning) fact that they're in completely incompatible keys. which i could have fixed if i was making it on the computer instead of recording live from decks. oh well. next time.

apart from the many things ben introduced me to, or we discovered together, shout-outs are definitely in order for: listening to WBER "rochester's modern rock alternative" (in the car with my dad); working my way through Spin's top 90 of the 90s list, amazon.com's best-ofs from 1999 and 2000, and the end-of-decade lists from the british magazines i browsed while in london over new years; being turned on to all kinds of things via the Elvis Costello listserv e-mails; downloading from Napster via dial-up; obsessively looking for every remix by and of my bunch of electronica faves (fatboy, lrd, massive, air) - why were remixes so much better in those days?; repeatedly quitting and re-joining BMG music club; hearing music for the first time in my friends' cars (this never happens anymore) or even on the bus to school/track meets; attempting to DJ parties in my living room using a little four track mixer; making cassette mixes back when i wasn't such a stickler about not reusing the same tracks; hearing some incredible song i'll never be able to identify in a french clothing shop, and then being erroneously directed to the deep dish trance mix that i dutifully purchased, which had some good tunes at least.

and, of course, the almighty CYCLOTRON 3000: Disco Light for the Third Millenia. bought from eBay for $15 incl. shipping.

and one more time: "...let's play that house shit"...."what house shit?"...."you know..."the stupid house shit!"

download part one here.
download part two here.
zip files of the mix in the form of eighteen cd-burnable tracks, is here. (only 128 kpbs - sorry, only way it'd fit.)

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