stAllio! made another record, and asked me to do a remix. Here's his description of the record on which it appears:
stAllio!'s triumphant return to the world of sonified data! once again, stAllio! plunges deep into his hard drive and listens to the data -- image files, executables, and link libraries alike are converted to sound for his review. the choicest bits of data are then meticulously assembled into music: glitchy melodies, skittery rhythms, and thunderous beats emerge from the digital noise. you could call it IDM (interpreted data music), dirty 8-bit, or glitch-hop. stAllio! used to call it databent music, but these days prefers the simpler term "data sound."
Mikal kHill asked me to craft a new beat for an older song of his, to be placed in a new context as a part of a zombie-themed concept album, The Walking Dead, which was released in conjunction with Halloween. The album features a raft of nerdcore specialists, and is quite good overall. (And Z, of the blog "Hipster, Please", agrees.) Check it out!
Incidentally, I think this is the first released thing I've done that features one of the excellent Sufi plugins. In this case it's (perhaps obviously) Palmas, the clapping drum machine. I love these things and hope to make wider use of them.
Rusty Shackles, the amazing artist who did my birthday show poster last year, had the idea to put together nerdcore rapper Beefy with a slew of producers to create a tribute EP to the show The League, a comedy about fantasy football. Knowing I had at least a passing interest in the show (I'm a huge fan of How Did This Get Made, a podcast co-hosted by some of the same actors involved), he reached out to me to contribute.
I produced two of the tracks, which bookend the EP. First, the lead-in track "Shivablast", which musically homages NFL music* while incorporating elements of Indian music, referencing the ethnicity of "Shiva", the girl their trophy is named after. She comes in again at the end of the EP, with the other track I produced, "SKSK" (short for "Shivakamini Somakandarkram", Shiva's full name). This one's not a proper "song", so much as just a funny way to end the record: the guys on the show sing her name to the tune of "Hava Nagila", so I sampled them, added Indian drums, and some sub bass.
Go check it out -- it's free, and fun. The other folks involved are great, and the end product came out nicely.
Oh, and here's the instrumental of "Shivablast":
*This had to be suggested to me, as I have no knowledge or interest in football.
I freakin' *love* How Did This Get Made, a podcast exploring crazy bad (or just plain crazy) films, and I especially love Jason Mantzoukas, who's often the most emotional of the co-hosts.
On their episode reviewing Battlefield Earth, Jason was particularly vocal about his dislike of the film, and after listening to the episode a few times, decided to make a kind of supercut of just his bits. Thus, the name, "Manzoupercut".
The beat in the background is one I produced as well.
schädel (known to some as DJ Empirical) from Cincinnati, OH concocts a hypnotic look at 'Hunter's Dreamboat.' A slow burner, complete with devilish ambiance and synths that hold you captive. The depths lead with the heart and fall to the floor.
Release Date: Apr 03, 2012
Artwork: Dustin Bowen & Evan Scott Sharfe
Catalog #: RCP 035
Mastering: Kevin Frey
This is a five minute minimix, a bit like the ones on Annie Mac's BBC show. It's short, but there's a lot packed in there. You can download from the soundcloud widget, or click here.
01) Graham Philip d'Ancey - Sacred Dance
02) Sheila Chandra - Strange Minaret
03) Moon Boots - Aretha (Zimmer remix)
04) The System - You Are in My System
05) Cut Copy - Sun God (Andrew Weatherall Arp version)
06) Fan Death - Veronica's Veil
07) René & Angela - Save Your Love (for #1) (feat. Kurtis Blow) (12" version)
08) Thompson Twins - Love on Your Side (No Talkin') (12" version)
09) Liaisons Dangereuses - Los niños del parque
10) The Who - Eminence Front (The Love Supreme edit)
11) schädel - [untitled] (rpm 04)
12) Genius of Time - Houston We Have a Problem
13) Zodiac - Pacific (original mix)
14) Baron von Luxxury - That Disco Beat
15) DAF - Brothers
16) Ellie Herring - Hunter's Dreamboat (schädel remix)
17) The Black Madonna - Exodus
Lexington musician Ellie Herring organized a compilation of electronic music entitled Sorghum, to which I donated the above track. All proceeds from its purchase will be donated to the Mid-East Kentucky Chapter American Red Cross to aid the tornado victims of West Liberty, KY.
It features some excellent music, and has a minimum of $4 to purchase. Click through to check out the other songs.
I've been doing a lot of production in the last couple months, mostly under my resurrected alias schädel. Above you can hear a preview of* one of the songs I produced recently, which is as yet untitled.
I have a good amount of material mostly complete, which I hope to release this year.
* I decided to just mak the whole thing available. Why not?
So, here we are: we've arrived at the release date of the full-length debut from Adam WarRock, entitled The War for Infinity, which also means it's the release date of my latest dj mix. As I mentioned last week, it's a mixtape available exclusively as a free bonus download with the purchase of the deluxe version of TWFI.
Here's the tracklist of the mix, including most, if not all, of the little samples here and there. I threw in a couple drum loops from some producer sample-type discs as well. And just because I'm a bit obsessive, I've added a link for most of the tunes, so you can hear them out of context.
A.R. Rahman - Ishq Bina (remix) [watch] Longmont Potion Castle - Get Fresh Crew Rye Rye - Bang (instrumental) [watch vocal version] Lee Dorsey - Get Out Of My Life, Woman [hear] Adam WarRock - No Album (a cappella)[hear original] Dirty Projectors and Björk - Ocean [hear] Radiohead - The National Anthem [watch] Aoki Takamasa - RN4-09 [hear] Adam WarRock - SCDP (Build Something) (a cappella)[hear original] Iamamiwhoami - B by Tara Busch [hear] Machine Drum - If Yu Know Your Cockie Bruck Dung (instrumental) Roni Size and Cypress Hill - Child of the Wild West (instrumental) [hear] Adam WarRock - The Great Recession (a cappella) [hear original] The Mighty Boosh - Killaroo [watch] The Mighty Boosh - The Hitcher [hear] Ali G and Shaggy - Me Julie (instrumental) [watch original] Adam WarRock - Girl Comics (a cappella) [hear original] El Remolón - La Bonita [hear] The Conet Project - Phonetic Alphabet NATO [hear] Mr. Flash - Champions (instrumental version) [hear] Adam WarRock - Bad Meaning Good (a cappella) [hear original] Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip - Sick Tonight [watch] Marteria - Amy's Weinhaus (instrumental) [hear original] Adam WarRock - PBR (a cappella)[hear original] Kavinksky - Night Call (Sun Butler mix) [hear] Adam WarRock - Smashed Gordon (a cappella)[hear original] Maker - Silver Mountains [hear] Martin Galway - Green Beret Loader [hear] Adam WarRock - My Tea Party (a cappella)[hear original] Blixa Bargeld - Skorbut Pino Donaggio - For the Last Time We'll Pray [hear] Adam WarRock - Six Million Dollar Flow (a cappella)[hear original] Schlachthofbronx - Ayoba (instrumental) [watch original] Otto Von Schirach - Beta Bodega (La Guerra) (instrumental) Adam WarRock - Supervillainy (a cappella) [hear original] Anti-Pop Consortium - Volcano (Four Tet instrumental) [hear original] Neil Perry, character on Dexter, from the episode "Circle of Friends" Jonathan Bepler - The Ballad of Gary Gilmore (feat. Patty Griffin and Steve Tucker)
Also included with the deluxe version of TWFI is the above mix cut up and arranged as separate Adam WarRock remixes/blends/mashups/whatever. It's available on its own as well, but it's free with the album purchase.
Forthcoming (next week, to be exact) is an album by Adam WarRock, produced by Ruckus Roboticus, entitled The War for Infinity. I mention this here because one of the bonus downloads you'll get with the deluxe version of the album is a mixtape, put together by me, using a number of Adam WarRock TrackLoga cappella tracks, mixed with a healthy dose of eclectic tunes from a wide variety of artists, from Radiohead to Otto von Schirach. As a preview of that mixtape, we've selected the above tune, "No Album (DJ Empirical remix)", pulled it out, and arranged it as a standalone track.
As a dj, I've always appreciated "unmixed" releases of large scale dj sets, so I thought standalone edits would be a cool thing for use in radio shows and by other djs. The full mix, and a set of dj-friendly edits like this one, will be available as a free bonus to the album on October 7th. Check out Adam WarRock's site for all the details on what you'll get with the full release.
Audiography for this remix:
A.R. Rahman, "Ishq Bina (remix)" [watch]
Rye Rye, "Bang (instrumental)" [watch vocal version]
Lee Dorsey, "Get Out Of My Life, Woman" [hear]
Longmont Potion Castle, "Get Fresh Crew"
Adam WarRock, "No Album (a cappella)"
Dirty Projectors & Björk, "Ocean" [hear]
Radiohead, "The National Anthem" [watch]
A few months ago Kendall & Matt of Koala Fires asked me whether I'd like to remix one of their tunes for a remix album, and (of course) I accepted.
The above is the finished version of my remix, and will be is available on their bandcamp pagewhen it's released. You can hear (and purchase!) the original version of the above tune there as well, or click the play button below:
Today everyone's been passing around the 8x slowed down Justin Bieber track. It's pretty sweet, and though I've been playing around with slowed samples for quite a while, I never had an app that worked as well as PaulStretch.
After listening to the Bieber track, I thought I'd see what Venetian Snares sounds like at 1/4 speed. It's not as slow, ratio-wise, as the Bieber thing, but I wanted the result to still have a beat.
If you'd like to hear the original version of "Gentleman", here you go:
When I first heard Lady Gaga's "Alejandro", I thought the similarities to Ace of Base's classic "Don't Turn Around" were striking. I dug up the Gaga instrumental easily, but the Ace of Base a capella was tougher to find. In the end, I had to use the 2009 version, which has a slightly different vocal rhythm -- not exactly what I wanted, but I think it works.
I upped this onto youtube when I made it, but I'm just now (Nov '10) uploading it here for download.
This is a mix I made to promote my monthly disco night, Nous Nous Appelons Disco. It's an 80 minute mix of stuff I play at my night, meaning Disco (of any kind, but especially space/leftfield/nu-disco), Italo, High NRG, and even some proto-House -- basically anything even vaguely related!
The tempo of this mix ramps up from a beginning-of-the-night 109 to a frantic 133 near the end, to mimic the usual pace of the Nous Nous Appelons Disco nights.
Z - Silver Lady Disco (Nous Nous Appelons Disco edit) Hipnosis - Windland Glass Candy - The Chameleon (Johan Agebjörn remix) Gaznevada - I.C. Love Affair Happy Mondays - WFL (Vince Clarke mix) (Autodisco's "We Love Mondays" edit) Pink Floyd - Keep Talking (Nelue re-edit) Västkustska Ryggdunkarsällskapet - Vansbro Boogie Beatconductor - Funky Boogie Colonel Abrams - Trapped Ilya Santana - Discotized Soft Rocks - Leave Your Earth Behind Majeure - Teleforce (with samples from Steve Dahl and his disco demolition) RAF - Self Control (Trustus' Deeply Existential remix) Cecile & Venice - Rimmel Electric Minds - Pick Me Up (Casual Touch mix) Sisters of Transistors - The Don Trilogy - Not Love (instrumental) Change - Angel in My Pocket Ottawan - D.I.S.C.O. Munich Machine - Space Warrior (DJ Empirical edit) Giorgio Moroder - From Here to Eternity Space - Magic Fly Divine - You Think You're a Man (Disco Beard's Big One edit) Sylvester - Do Ya Wanna Funk Zombi - Sapphire Visage - The Damned Don't Cry Greg Vandike - Clone A. Hobson - Perpetuum Sylvia Love - Instant Love The Flirts - Danger (Macho mix) Kano - I'm Ready Tantra - Hills of Katmandu (Patrick Cowley mix) Gil Mantera's Party Dream - Eyes of Blue (DJ Empirical edit)
This is my debut release on AERO, the longform mix release sublabel of Race Car Productions. For this one, I'll let them speak for me:
DJ Empirical Party Like It's Before 1990
catolog #: AERO 013
Stephen Boyd is a fascinating character. As DJ Empirical he employs his knack for obscure music collecting and correlating seemingly unrelated tracks just perfectly. Here we find him behind the wheels of a Delorean going back to where it all began.
To add to that, basically I felt like early techno and electro (as well as acid) was not something I was as familiar with as I should be. I figured that doing a set of those tunes would force the research I needed to close that gap a bit.
Enjoy! And visit the AERO site for more excellent mixes.
Model 500 - Sound of Stereo (instrumental) [1987, Metroplex] Hithouse - Jack to the Sound of the Underground [1988, CBS] Rhythim Is Rhythim - It Is What It Is (Majestic mix) [1988, Transmat] Armando - World Unknown (My Mixx Is Dunn) [1988, Warehouse] Phresh Phantasy - Come on Acid [supposedly 1988, released 2005, Logistic] Phuture - Acid Tracks [1987, Trax] Virgo Four - In a Vision (808 State edit) [1987, Trax, edit 2008, Harmless] Amnesia - Ibiza (Loco Acid remix) [1988, Indisc] Jack Frost & The Circle Jerks - Shout (Ashley Beedle edit) [1987, FLEX, edit 2008, Harmless] Cybotron - R-9 [1985, Fantasy] Juan - Techno Music [1988, Ten] A Tongue & D Groove - Feel Surreal [1988, Ten] Adonis - No Way Back (Greg Wilson edit) [1986, Trax, edit 2008, Harmless] Model 500 - What's the Game [1988, Metroplex] Rational Youth - Dancing on the Berlin Wall [1982, Yul] Channel One - Technicolor (long mix) [1986, Metroplex] Mike Dunn - So Let It Be Houze! [1988, Westbrook] Forgemasters - Track With No Name [1989, Warp]
I made a set of all cover songs for my friends' radio show. Their archive of the show turned out a bit wonky (at least, my part of it did), so I rendered the set separately and upped it here. It's a nice mix of rock, metal, electro, metal, and whatever else I could scrape together.
Quicksand, "How Soon Is Now?" [The Smiths] KMFDM, "Mysterious Ways" [U2] El Michels Affair, "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" [Ol' Dirty Bastard] Coal, "Ace of Spades" [Motörhead] Cassettes Won't Listen, "Need You Tonight" [INXS] Institute of Technology, "King of Rock" [Run DMC] DJ Gyngyvytus, "The National Headbustaz Anthem" [Radiohead] Squarepusher, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" [Joy Division] My Brightest Diamond, "Tainted Love" [Gloria Jones] Kiko & S Deschezeaux, "Rock Your Body" [Justin Timberlake] Tiga, "Hot in Herre (feat. Jake Shears)" [Nelly] A. Human, "A Horse with No Name" [America] U-Bahn Kontrollöre, "Policy of Truth (VG edit)" [Depeche Mode] Señor Coconut and His Orchestra, "Around the World (full version)" [Daft Punk] Bigod 20, "Like a Prayer" [Madonna] Dsico, "Smells Like Electro" [Nirvana] Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra, "Toxic" [Britney Spears] Fear Factory, "Cars (feat. Gary Numan)" [Gary Numan] Faith No More, "Let's Lynch the Landlord" [Dead Kennedys] WhoMadeWho, "Satisfaction" [Benny Benassi] British Whale, "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" [Sparks] Slayer, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" [Iron Butterfly]
This is my half-hour mix from the December 2009 Pris promo double cd of mixes entitled Basic Pleasure Model. (Get it? :) )
We only made about 50 of the cds, so I thought I should share it here.
Basement Jaxx - Raindrops (Joker & Ginz remix) Boxcutter - Sidetrak José James - Blackmagic (Untold remix) Fault - Don't Dread on Me Blasta - Your Dub Delay MIDIval PunditZ - Atomizer (Nucleya remix) Rusko - How Low (feat. Chali2na) Eskmo - I Dream I'm Flying Annie - My Love Is Better (Sunkh Knight remix) Ultrablack - Dirty Dirty Tom Encore - Jig Miss Platnum - She Moved In
I made this (as you would expect) in preparation for Halloween 2009, as I'd never really made a Halloween themed mix before (that I could remember).
It's a very pan-genre mix, running the gamut from rap to metal, from industrial to disco, and with a Wesley Willis track to cap it all off. All of the songs have a scary theme/title, whether it be monsters, murder, or something in between.
Very NSFW (or radio) at times, for those of you who care. Let me know if you want/need an edited version for whatever reason.
Whodini - The Haunted House of Rock (remix) Gnarls Barkley - The Boogie Monster Grand Buffet - Murderfuck Danzig - Twist of Cain Skinny Puppy - Testure Goblin - Tenebrae (main title) Addrisi Brothers - Ghost Dancer (Hey Convict! Rebirth)" Fudgie & Fufu - Surfin' Dracula (a cappella) Hot Ice - Theme from 'Friday the 13th Part 3' 13 & God - Ghostwork Cesare vs. Disorder - Midday Vampire Clark - Dead Shark Eyes The Bulgarian feat. Spoek - Jack It Like a Zombie (Santiago & Bushido remix) Bloc Party - Hunting for Witches (Ruckus Roboticus remix) Metalchicks - Dead Loss Angeles Otto von Schirach - Tea Bagging the Dead 20goto10 - Halloween Buckethead - Mad Monster Party Wesley Willis - Suck a Werewolf's Dick
With selections from General Mills cereal flexi-disc "The Monsters Go Disco", William S. Burroughs' "Naked Lunch", and a few horror films.
I made this some time during the last week of june, 2009. I was practicing, making sure the upgraded version of Serato worked fine on my machine before my gig at the Pris Prom. It wasn't particularly tight, and it required a lot of ex post facto level adjustments, but there's some good stuff in there, so i thought i'd post it.
Cerrone - Supernature DAF - Brothers Bobby O - She Has a Way Ottawan - You're OK Parvati Khan (Bappi Lahiri) - Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja M.I.A. - Jimmy Magic Men - Pop Corn Sparks - Tryouts for the Human Race JPLS - Spooked Portishead - Machine Gun (Noise Floor Crew remix) Uusitalo - Nälkälaulu Die Haustiere - Danneggiato (Evan Scott remix) Sarah Goldfarb - Confusion Ellen Allien - ITS Pole - Winkelstreben The Librarian - The Enemy OI!tER - I Wanna Be Your Underwear Random Source - Face Like a Robot (original) Front 242 - Tragedy >For You<
Skepta - Rolex Sweep (extended mix) NWA - Something 2 Dance 2 Apotheosis - O Fortuna (Apocalypse Chorus mix)
As you can see, it starts out with italo & disco, then delves into techno for a while, and ends up in a very ridiculous place.
oh, and about halfway through, i bumped the phono/line switch and you get to hear about a second of the serato record. ha! very professional.
Earlier this year, Pris released a promo double cd, Les Deux Sexy, containing mixes from each of the six of us dj's in the group. Now that there are no longer copies of the cds, here's my mix.
Mexican Institute of Sound - Cumbia El Remolon - Modeselektor vs Calle 13 Aman Hayer - Heer Ranjha Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races (Spruce Lee remix) Jahcoozi - Shake the Doom Shakti - Do the Thang Thang (Bhangra remix) Wilman de Jesus - Walk Like an Egyptian (Pytter mix) Beck - Black Tambourine (remixed by South Rakkas Crew) Ty - So U Want More (refix feat. Roots Manuva) JaConfetti - Deksloc Frikstailers - Ta Duro Kuduro Yelle - Je Veux Te Voir (Disco D remix) Buraka Som Sistema - Sound of Kuduro (feat. M.I.A.) Schlachthofbronx - We Nah Fraid
This is a space-themed dj mix I did in Ableton for Pris Mix 003, which was a mix tape (yes, *tape*) given out at the space-themed "2009: A Pris Odyssey" event in May 2009. Each song was space-related in some way, including the instrumentals, if only in a titular way.
James Saunders - Fanfare for Space Star Wars - The Ewoks Join the Fight The Jonzun Crew - Space Is the Place Mesu Kasumai - After Mars Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is a Place on Earth (a cappella) Neil Armstrong - One Small Step Atmosfear - Dancing in Outer Space (Dubbed in Space version 3 by Masters at Work) [unknown] - Roswell, NM, Radio Announcement Fred Giannelli - Telepathic Space Grass Dr. Richard Wolfson - Curved Spacetime Andreas Ammer / F.M. Einheit / Ulrike Haage - Space I Sifl & Olly - Haunted Spaceship Björk - Earth Intruders (Lexx remix) Coldcut - This Island Earth (feat. Mpho Skeef) White Zombie - Starface Byetone - Plastic Star (session) LB - Ashes to Ashes Boney M. - Nightflight to Venus The Juan Maclean - By the Time I Get to Venus John Swigert, Jr. and James Lovell - Houston, We Have a Problem James Kochalka Superstar - Bad Astronaut
I'm particularly proud of the White Zombie / Byetone mashup. :D
Here's a short (~22 min) mix I did this weekend. I just replaced my needles from when they were stolen in February, so I've been off the decks for a minute.
Chase & Status - Against All Odds (feat. Kano) (dubstep remix) Jazzsteppa - One Fault - Don't Dread on Me DZ - What You Won't Do for Love Cult of the 13th Hour - Wickedness DJ Hatcha - Just a Rift Headhunter & Ekelon - Timewarp Lady Sovereign - A Little Bit of Shhh! (dub)
Schwarz is RaceCarProductions' The Librarian and I doing co-remix duties. For the hell of it, I wanted to take this (hilarious) snippet of a track from the episode (the album wasn't released yet) and turn it into a dancefloor gem, and Matthew was eager to help. A lot of the original electro feel is still there, but we stretched it out, added bass and acid, and chopped the hell out of the vocals.
So in case you haven't heard it yet, Christian Bale went on a little rampage on the set of... Terminator 4 or something.
Nowadays it's cool to remix the hell out of any old audio clip that hits the web, but all the remixes I've heard have been wack as hell, so when stAllio! suggested that *someone* remix it well, i figured I'd give it a whirl.
This isn't quite done yet, but it's sharable. At this point, I'm maybe not even going to revisit it, so... yeah.
I discovered a great mix by Wayne and Wax, an early entry in the "Blogariddims" podcast, called "Another Crunk Geneaology". His mix "traces out another crunk genealogy, seeking the common grooves and feedback loops between crunk and clave, reggaeton and ragtime, bhangra and bounce, to name a few". Check his lengthy explanation of the 3-3-2 beat, its influence on music, and definitely listen to his mix.
This appealed to me not only as a music nerd, but also as a dj, since I'd been mixing music with this beat for a while -- I just didn't have the proper music knowledge to identify the common element.
I spent a couple days pulling together music that uses that 3-3-2 pattern for a mix, and did a short (~18 min) test run, with a sort of random track list.
This was mostly a proof-of-concept, so there are some tracks of questionable bitrate, and lots of pitch-shift aliasing to deal with, for sure. (Then again, Ludachrist has Ableton aliasing all over his mix.)
Here's another Serato mix, an hour of mostly of dubstep, bassline house, and the like. I have at the moment lost (if I ever had it) the tracklist. I know it starts with Andrew W.K., and has Benga & Coki, Dexplicit, T2, DJ Q, TS7, some Drop the Lime... and some more stuff.
Donald Spivak is the name I use when residing predominantly within the techno genre, and this set reflects an early attempt at an entirely techno dj set (though I did sneak in some mashup goodness right at the end).
This is another "practice" set I did before one or another of my gigs; judging from the date (02/27/08), I was preparing for the March '08 edition of Schwarz, the electronic night hosted by The Librarian and me.
As I mentioned when I uploaded this before:
i'm a little rusty, so this week is going to be devoted to un-rustifying.
i threw this together earlier just figuring out what i'm doing again :) it's mostly dubstep-ish things.
77 Klash - Mad Again (feat. Johnny Osbourne)
Vex'd - Pop Pop V.I.P.
Lone Wolf - Slayed by Shadows
Aaron Spectre - Music Is the Weapon
Benga & Coki - Night (Buraka som Sistema remix)
Cloaks - Hi Tek Buzz
Drop the Lime / Mathhead - Bricks
Twista - Tattoo (a cappella)
In fact, it can be considered a cover of the latter, as I used DJ /rupture, one of Vicki Bennett's WFMU colleagues, as the source material. Specifically, I used the February 6, 2008 episode (see here), which featured his interview with Dexplicit.
I didn't strictly stick to the bits in between words; I also left in self-identifiers ("Mudd Up", "DJ /rupture", etc.) and words like "wow" and "like".
I was asked to play a noise show downtown Cincinnati at a place called BASE Gallery. Instead of trying the stuff I'd been doing in The Black Fives, I wanted to do something new: play a dj set with pieces of sandpaper instead of records.
I used normal turntables & needles, along with a Kaoss Pad for effects. Someone asked, in a myspace comment, something to the effect of, "Wouldn't that mess up your needles?"
In short, yes:
The blue needle on the left of the low-quality scanner image is a new needle; the two black ones were old, worn out needles i hadn't yet thrown away. As you can see, the sandpaper completely ravaged them. :)
And for the record (no pun), I used multiple grits of sandpaper over the course of the set, and some with masking tape in a plus-sign shape across the sandpaper to make a kind of rhythmic sound.
In December 2004, I curated an online mp3 compilation (click through to download) for the incredible illegal art records. I tried to make my choices quite eclectic, and to include many acts from around the world, with a special spotlight on my fellow Cincinnatians.
Here's the tracklisting:
01. Maja Ratkje: Intro (4:20)
02. DJ DQ: Where the Sidewalk Begins, Part 1 (4:59)
03. Enduser: Dizzee (3:46)
04. Burning Star Core: A Brighter Summer Day (15:57)
05. People Like Us: Stifled Love (5:17)
06. Evolution Control Committee: Bred, White and Woo (3:26)
07. Fudgie & Fufu: God Bless America, Especially Florida & Texas (Dissentcinnati Edit) (2:11)
08. Kevin Moore: Intro / It Goes Something Like This (7:55)
This is just under 10 minutes of my performance at the ExBe Showcase in Cleveland. I was plagued with technical difficulties for the first half of the show, as I remember, and you can tell from this snippet: the right channel of one of my decks was not coming through.
The tracklist on this is essentially two mashups: firstly a Venetian Snares track (something from Songs About My Cats) blended with a bit of The Bangles' "Eternal Flame", and then into some exercise record, which blends into something from (I believe) Original Hamster. If you recognize the track, let me know.
That show was particularly special for me, because John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask stopped into the venue to play a few songs. It was the weekend before Election Day, and they were traveling around Ohio (a swing state) to try to just get out the vote. I was (and still am!) a huge fan of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, so I was incredibly excited not only to see them, but to share a bill with them, however accidental.
I was busy playing when they were walking around talking to people, but I did manage to get one pic with John Cameron Mitchell (too bad I look silly as hell).
Click either image in this post to see more from the night.
This live set dates from 2004, at Recycled Rainbow 9.0 in Cleveland, OH. At this point I (as Donald Spivak, or schädel) had only just joined the band, which until then had been pretty much what you hear in this set: dark electronic beats with added noise. Essentially all the beats and music in this set, other than a bit of synth stuff I played off the cuff, is Gabe (a.k.a. Harold Knockworthy)'s stuff. The noise and spoken stuff in this set is both of us.
Not long after this, these "songs", the beats & music at least, got pulled into his Seeping Kind project, leaving The Black Fives as an improv ambient noise band. Recycled Rainbow is now an outdoor experimental music-type festival. At the time we played, it was in Every Man's house. The event had a theme of "Classic Literature", so I read bits of the Marquis de Sade's Justine into a baby monitor.
download: DJ Empirical, Mix for Fashion Show, Part 123
28 aug 2004
This was a mix done in Sony Acid for a fashion show in downtown Cincinnati. I would have just done a live mix, but they wanted literally a different song for every girl/outfit (about 45 seconds each), and wanted things to gradually speed up over the course of the show. That would have been well beyond my means in those pre-Serato days, so I spent some time doing it all in advance. There were to be three catwalk segments of 15 minutes each, thus the three parts. Each time you hear a new song, imagine a new girl walking out.
Sorry, no track list on this one. The music is a good mix of stuff, from house music to 80s dance, with quite a few stops in between.
The Black Fives released the Solid Phase EP in March 2004, and to celebrate the occasion held a cd release party at Mullane's in downtown Cincinnati.
This half hour recording holds the very short (~7 minute) set of noise from The Black Fives, with DJ Empirical adding beats, samples, and scratching. After that, DJ Empirical continues to play for a time, interrupted by a weird keyboard/vocal piece by John Caldwell. Near the end of the mp3 appear the members of the Rhyme Swing Embassy.
As a point of note, this set predates the involvement of schädel in The Black Fives, as it was still a solo project at the time.
This is a track from the very limited (23 copies!) e.p. by The Black Fives, released in 2004 with a handmade cover. At the time, The Black Fives was still a solo project, with schädel (a.k.a. Donald Spivak, a.k.a. DJ Empirical) still some time away from becoming a member.
The spoken samples come from the audio part of an adult education filmstrip. Scratches by DJ Empirical.
In 2003 I started a yearly tradition of doing a birthday show, booking various friends and others to play with me, regardless of genre. This first show featured, among other acts, a collaboration between me and Pimpdaddysupreme, a collage artist from Murfreesboro, TN.
Included here as a separate track is his introduction piece, which I have creatively named "DJ Empirical's Birthday".
Pleas ignore the fairly bad scratching on my part, and *seriously*, please forgive the Austin Powers samples. It wasn't as lame at the time, I hope.
In case I haven't mentioned it lately, thanks, Shane. :)
DJ Empirical, Live at the Plagiarhythm Nation 2.0 release Party, Part 123
17 may 2003
In 2003, The Evolution Control Committee invited me to Columbus, OH, to perform at the release party for Plagiarhythm Nation, 2.0, which was coming out on Seeland Records. I provided interstitial music, so there are three parts here.
The Stutter Brothers are Rocky Stutter and Scotty Stutter. Their tunes were hip-hop styled, with Rocky Stutter (a.k.a. Beingeneric) improvising on the mic. I would say that he was free styling, but it had less of a "look at me rock the mic i'm cool" vibe than a "check this out!" kind of feel (does that make sense?) Anyway, they were very cool.
Grand Buffet did the hip-hop thing to a T, without getting any of the stupid thug shit mixed in. Check out their website; get their cds. They rock!
The Evolution Control Committee -- what else is there to be said about this group? The Thimbletron is amazing, and that same thimbletronic technology is being used to develop the kitchen of the future. Evidence of this: DJ Empirical performed the Toaster of the Future during the ECC's performance of "Breakfast". Incredible!
NOTE: part one has a very HOT (as in, loud) microphone come in about six minutes in, as Eric Alleman (who was also performing that night as half of The Stutter Brothers) makes a quick announcement. Also, part three has a considerably louder volume level than the other two parts.
Sorry, no track list on this one. This has quite a few of my set staples at the time, which was far more mash-up oriented.
Mashups were all the rage in the UK in 2001, right before I got turntables. However, I got wind of the whole thing through Snuggles, an audio-collage email list. Needless to say, not long after I got decks in early 2002, I had to try my hand at it.
These tracks were the most successful vinyl mashups I recorded.
download: Quahogs, Beavis and Butthead, Volume 1
Beavis and Butthead, Volume 1 was a glitch album executed live in one take, using a VHS tape of the show with the sound running through Audiomulch's granulation, with periodic adjustment of the controls.
At some point I hope to marry this up with the video, as it really is quite interesting.
Like Beavis and Butthead, Volume 1, this was executed live in one take, this time using one of my roommate's many porn videos, with the sound running through Audiomulch's granulation, with periodic adjustment of the controls.
My theory here was that since melody is carried in vowels (as opposed to consonants), if one were to edit out the consonants, all that would be left would be a sort of "concentrated" version of the song. I think the results were pretty interesting.
The concept here is simple: take two performances of "Flight of the Bumblebees", a very fast-paced track, and merge them so that they begin and end at the same times, but do not sync up throughout the song.
Of the two versions here, I prefer the first, which melds Jennifer Batten and David Helfgott, over the second, which melds an orchestra with The Great Kat.
Being a packrat, even of the digital, I feel I must include everything I've got knocking about on the old hard drives, despite the fact that some of it belies an embarrassing lack of skill or knowledge of audio techniques.
Here, then, is a final section including some of those things. Many are old, and most are of only slight interest, but as I said, I am a packrat.
Recently KFrey and I were the only two Pris members on the bill for our monthly night at C&D, and I managed to record some of it.
I still haven't gotten through all the audio to see what I can really make available (naturally, I had loads of technical difficulties), but here's a bit of a short (~23 mins) techno set I did at the beginning of the night. Regrettably, there's some kind of weird hum-like sound in there; just try to ignore it.
Pimpdaddysupreme had an a cappella of probably improvised ice-cream-related inanity by someone who was clearly not a singer. Or a lyricist.
Anyway, PDS shared the a cappella and asked for remixes. This is what I came up with in the couple hours I worked on it. It's 808-tastic, and has way too much reverb on it -- but that's not what you'll focus on, I imagine.
This is a pretty amateurish (read: not very good) remix I did in the year 2000 of my friends, 2 Skinnee J's. The levels are all over the place, and the drum sounds are right out of Hammerhead or whatever i was using to build loops back then.
I do like it in some ways, though. I mixed three separate versions of the song together, resulting in "duets" between J Slim and J Guevara (who were never in the band at the same time) and between J Wheatthin and Special J, the same guy under different names years apart.
This is probably for 2SJ fans only, and maybe not even for them. :D
Here's another remix from the year 2000, this one for one of the earliest remix contests I remember seeing. It's way better than the 2 Skinnee J's one I did, but still nowhere near awesome. again, the levels are all over the place, and this one stylistically goes from place to place without much connecting the parts. I hadn't heard the original at the time, which is just fine, as I'm not sure it would have made much difference.
This was probably the first time I did the vocal micro0edits that I love to do today.
And yes, that's an Insane Clown Posse sample at the end: "Leave 'em standing there lookin' stupid like Beck." ;)
This is the by-product of ripping a disc that's dying. It wasn't scratchy, really, but it was quite cloudy. When I ripped the cd, the next track on the disc (and all following tracks) failed completely. This one must have been the "sweet spot" between the good tracks and the failures.
It's not an awesome track or anything; the original track is fairly standard dumb 90s euro-dance, so there wasn't much to work with. :) This glitchy mix has a couple interesting parts, but many chunks are untouched.