A finally one I’m really proud of and was the only real ‘exclusive’ in my Crumplstock set (the others being unreleased things a few people had heard). I’ve always wanted to make a Chic vs DP bootleg, so I did it via the back door! I heard Doja Cat while dancing at one of the last Duckie clubs and started singing Wikka Wrap by the Evasions over it (shout out to Rhythm Scholar whose remix of Coolio’s 1,2,3,4 reminded me of it recently).
When I got home, I tried it and it worked! And of course it directly references Good Times, and then I found that Something About Us vocals worked with that, so it’s the most funkiest and smoothest summeriest mashup I’ve ever done.
Following the post of the tbc mashup videos to Youtube, here’s two Instamatic videos that are rather more upbeat – well sorta, the next one is more of a tbc track in all but name, but like a lot of recent mashups has not been posted here but has been posted over at Sowndhaus,
Joji vs P!NK What Glimpse Of Us – ostensibly about a empty relationship vs the same but also a cry for justice, becomes a song about the planet and climate change as the animals in the video look at us accusingly and say ‘what about us?’. With COP27 on the way and last night reading a great interview with Bjork and Greta Thunberg it was on my mind.
The allgator eye was the image from the Joji single so was the starting point, but I couldn’t find enough croc clips – so I diversified and it became something else.
More upbeat is this video for Something About The Wikka Cat (Evasions vs Doja Cat vs Daft Punk which is one of my favourite recent tracks, finally successfully making a Daft Punk track that works 100% and mixing in Evasions novelty funk tune, Wikka Wrap which is a fave of mine. Doja Cat was unknown to me until fairly recently, but ‘Say So’ is TOTAL disco so works with the Chic Good Times nods.
And the video? Well it’s just a tropical good time party, where I wish I was rather than damp cold grey England…
I have neglected my old YouTube channel somewhat – I’ve done the odd Live stream but not many proper videos for my mashups. Feeling I should make some quick ones, and at first planning to just make simple artwork only videos, I got sucked into making visualisations, or simpler videos for my work. I have created 3 major videos in the past 24 hours, and two artwork ones. Here are the tbc ones, the Instamatic ones ar in another post.
I also haven’t been posting many of my works here or over at my mashup blog, just dumping them on Sowndhaus so good to dust them off and push them out there a bit more.
All these videos are experiments in not using band or artist footage which tends to bring the blocks faster than you can say ‘Lego party’. I am using either longer shots or re-using footage and not getting too hung, or totally reframing the mashup with a new narrative.
And a simpler one, I found these falling leaves on Pexels so thought it was perfect for my ES vs ES mash, Autumn Man (Elliott Smith / Heatmiser vs Ed Sheeran). Surprised this hasn’t had more legs, it’s been mostly ignored – I preferred the Carpenters vs Elliott one but totally knew that the mood meshed perfectly with this one. I had a weird feeling it would be the one that would ‘fly’ but no, it’s the other one.which incidentally just got an artwork video.. Not sure that needs a full one.
As it’s Pride month (well in the States/the Stonewall anniversary, our Pride is the start of July in London, Brighton is in August.) so here’s two new mashups/ First is a mashup and video of not one but TWO queer artists – MIKA and Aurora .
Her song ‘Cure for Me’ is about conversion therapy, so it’s sadly very apt for these times. No Cure for Me! MIKA – who recently presented Eurovision, his Relax, Take It Easy song which contrast the Aurora vocal, like a call and answer, and has some quite alarming lyrics to contrast the chorus. It’s intentionally bittersweet pop vs pop with a deeper message.
It got it’s exclusive first play on DJSQWRL’s Bootie stream early this morning, and went down well, so here’s to many more! And it has a video – had a lot of fun with effects and layering, it’s one of my best.
And also this is the second mashup I made for Pride this time from Captain Obvious – my Lizzo vs Patrick Cowley ft Sylvester – Do Ya Wanna Funk mashup, very 1978 disco like the Lizzo song – About Damn Time – in two versions, extended and shorter ‘radio’ edit (as if I’d ever be played on the radio!)
And appropriately for the 4th of May, here’s the 4th volume of my best-of series ‘Kodiak Moment’ taking us up to the modern day – 2012-2020. Includes tracks from my last retirement which lasted a lot longer than this one, and even includes a Star Wars mashup as well (Star Wars Gurlz from 2015).
We even have three mashups from what I call ‘How To Mash In An Apocalypse’ series, about the lockdown and pandemic – and the first track that lead into the Black Block album.
For the first time we have the few of my viral hits in lossless quality and remastered – ‘Her Breath Is The Wind’ and the Captain Obvious swansong ‘Madonna Has A Kiki’ which still crops up in the oddest places still (a dance class video was my favourite). Most bar the newer tracks have been remastered, and there are three bonus tracks.
I have decided to make my Black Album – and we all know what that mean don’t we kids? Yes I am out of the mashup making business (and sadly it is a business) for a while, it’s not really making me happy. It’s called Black Block and is 11 tracks in no real order, and named after the creative block I have been struggling with and the black unhappiness. And also a pun on feeling anarchic against the whole thing, the whole alienation and hamster-wheel feeling of a lot of this. I am not here to make bangers so people can make money.
“You don’t like it? So what, I don’t care” to quote Rob Base.
So in that vein the first mashup Spiralling (Every Circle In It’s Right Place) (Post Malone vs Radiohead) – played on podcast #346 when I release it – seems really appropriate with it’s lyrics which is reflected in the Black Block artwork. I did a lot of glitching and fiddling on this, vocal production is the only thing I have enjoyed of recent times. And given the themes of most of the album – loss, depression, lockdown, longing – the Radiohead track ‘Everything In it’s Right Place’ is perfect detailing Thom Yorke’s breakdown. I also use Melodyne to take a lot of his Larry the Lamb warbles out 😉
Yeah this isn’t a pop mashup album….but there are poppy/silly episodes, just like me.
“Maybe you don’t understand what I’m going through It’s only me, what you got to lose? Make up your mind, tell me, what are you gonna do? It’s only me, let it go”
Post Malone – Circles
Second track from Black Block is Surprise Daddy (Fleetwood Mac vs Radiohead) a personal one, and probably one of my better mashups of recent times…been holding onto this for a long while for a never to be finished Fleetwood Mac album/EP. Maybe like the Ballroom EP I’ll finish it in 10 years. Maybe.
This is Fleetwood Mac – Oh Daddy vs Radiohead – No Surprises – yes I really got into Radiohead in lockdown and did these two mashups of them. This is for a certain person – my best mashups are usually about him, and also weirdly quite often bird related…hold that thought.
Dolly’s Joint – Adonis vs Dolly Parton (live mashup demo) There are a few demos in here, this is from last year where I was experimenting with VirtualDJ in lockdown. It is Dolly Parton’s great attempt at disco – Baby I’m Burning with Adonis – Reck The Joint. Acieeed! Although it’s a small clip. I meant to work it up properly but I don’t think I will for a long while. It’s fun and it works. And it’s not all doom and gloom on this album. Well it mostly is, but not all.
This album has three – count ’em THREE Fleetwood Mac – Songbird mashups. Completely by accident, I was working on this Better Songbird (Fleetwood Mac vs Khalid) and then very recently a new downtempo idea came along which I had to try the reverse as well it’s all in the vocal. You’ll see later in this post, I think it’s a sequel to Her Breath Is The Wind.
I really like this Khalid track, Better, great video – and Songbird seems to reflect the bird sounds in it. Yes birds again. What is it with me and mashups about birds?
Wicked Games Everywhere aka Everywhere’s WIcked (Fleetwood Mac vs Chris Isaak) is a good one, another variant of my Daft Punk vs FM one, which I think works better, and after the months of struggling with the DP one, this one just slipped out. I like the interplay in the choruses with Chris Isaak – Wicked Games and the FM gang on Everywhere. Their harmonies are a nightmare, hence why the DP one took so long and is still not 100%. I had to futz around with a free trial of Melodyne, deleting harmonies like crazy to get it to work…whereas here Chris does the work for me. Thanks Chris!
The genesis of the proposed FM album – called Tempo in the Night or something – was to try and use the acapellas from Tango…which have hardly been used because there aren’t any acapellas, using RX8/AI extraction. I found the hard way that it leaves weird resonances and odd stuff in, hard to tune extracted parts, even harder when Christine McVie writes in weird jazz keys and sings around the key.
Is it an early Summer track? A late Xmas track? It’s both! Celebrate Xmas in Summer, or summer in Xmas…I did this just after Xmas and was keeping it for next Xmas, but I doubt I’ll work on it more.
I did go through a Don Henley – Boys of Summer phase, partly because I’ve always been obsessed with the coda here which resonated in lockdown – you can’t look back, you can never look back. And it cheered me up to think of summer and American Californian highways rather than dull grey Britain in total lockdown. And Wonderful Christmastime is a classic, despite annoying off-key pretend kid singing.
I wrestled to whether include this – that Don Henley extraction is a nightmare. Friends and I peered at it for weeks like some broken engine – it SHOULD work, it’s in the right key, etc. But something about either the exctraction or his vocal is off, and I don’t have the musical chops to make it work 100%.
Shame because I think the feel is there, even though like a few tracks on this sort-of-album, it has almost zero genre clash. The Cars – Drive has real depth and gravitas after Live Aid, so it brings a sort of ennui to Don’s vocal, stripping it of that AOR sheen.
The Michael Mayer track is a total steal/loving update of Chic’s I Want Your Love, even down to the bells. I don’t know why that album isn’t bigger, and amazing for 2016 how fresh it sounds.
This refrain ‘What Am I Gonna Do…’ which was used in an edit of that track seemed to sum up the first lockdown, as a clubber.
Reverse Angel / Upside Down Songbird (Fleetwood Mac vs Madonna / ABBA) Weirdly although I knew the other version worked best, I did this mashup of Madonna – Like An Angel Passing Through My Room (ABBA) vs Fleetwood Mac – Songbird in reverse order, i.e. first. Reflects the topsy turvy nature of this album and my life, really. But also because I had already done ‘Better Songbird’ I had the acapella warped already, so it made sense to do this first. As it turns out, the other worked best and I knew that….but I wanted to play with the Madonna vocal and instrumental.
Sadly although the acapella worked well, the RX8 extraction of the ABBA track didn’t – as I said, not many ABBA parts and no instrumentals bar the ones on the albums. And the poor music box synths got rather crunched by the AI, so that was a no-go.
But I suddenly remembered that Madonna has covered this song with William Orbit and never released it – the acapella and instrumental leaked online many years ago. So I did have a cover instrumental of Angel, and a Madonna acapella. Not sure what she did with the tuning, but the vocal doesn’t work over Songbird, but the Songbird vocal does work pretty well over the instrumental – with a few Mads interludes, courtesy of the acapella, remaking the original track that I couldn’t find in decent quality anyway.
I quite like the Orbit version – she released an orchestral version of this on an Xmas album, without the drums or synths. Shame, given the original’s electronic feel, I think that worked better, rather trip-hoppy.
If you don’t know me personally – this mashup is me. Completely me, rarely has a mashup or piece of artwork summed up totally how I am feeling and who I am like this one. There has been three like this in my career – Golden Beard about a certain someone like Surprise Daddy above, Her Breath and this one.
In lockdown I have been doing a lot of what the ABBA song talks about – sitting in the gloom or dark thinking about better times. And although Frida’s vocal is quite stately and reserved, there is darkness and sadness within – at the end:
“So the present runs into the past Now and then become entwined, playing games within my mind Like the embers as they die Love was one prolonged good-bye”
ABBA – Like AN Angel Passing Through My Room
A very personal mashup, and a reminder why I make them. Not for commercial gain, not for fame (a little would be nice) and most definitely not for pop hits or happy times. I make music that reflects how I feel – and part of the struggle is my feelings haven’t been exactly pop or happy recently. And that pressure to be pop/perfect/pre-eternally happy has just depressed the fuck out of me and taken the joy out of it.
I’d be happy if this was played at my funeral, hopefully that won’t happen soon, but that’s how I feel about this track. It is completely and utterly me at this moment in time.
And like a late arrival as the party just ended, here’s the last mashup I have done – Never Arriving Back Again (Fleetwood Mac vs ABBA), I fixed some of the tempo and most of the tuning issues (Stevie was singing OOK on the demo, sorry!) and the rest will have to wait for another lifetime. IHNI what beat Arrival is on, maybe it’s in some odd time sig…*shrug*. This will have to do, ending on an incomplete mashup, how apt.
There aren’t many ABBA instrumentals, Arrival is one of the few, and seems a little, well, sparse with it’s synthy folky bagpipeness (is that a thing?). I noticed Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Never Going Back Again’ fit well and the lyrics seem to be the best to bow out on:
“Been down one time Been down two times I’m never going back again”
Fleetwood mac – Never Going Back AGain
I never say never – that was the joke with people ‘leaving’ making mashups, they’d be back a few weeks/months/years later usually. The people who stopped totally never announced it, they just did. So who knows…but this is how I feel at the moment.
The arrival is also a departure, it cycles around. I did my first return mashups in late March 2020 after a break of over two years, and it’s been over a year of struggle. I have other things to do, really. Still doing the Bootleg Archive and the podcast, but I feel making them is too time intensive and not good for my mental health.
P.S. I forgot to say thanks to ToTom and Ian Fondue for the help they’ve given over the last year with the more trickier mashups (and some of my others, like the Daft Punk vs Fleetwood Mac one which almost belongs on this album) – musically these mashups have stretched a lot of my limited music knowledge, especially Radiohead’s weirder timing and chords and FM’s harmonies.
Their help has been indispensable, and a lot of these mashups wouldn’t have been finished without their advice.
I did this mashup of Digital Love vs Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere back in November, and hung onto to it although it got debuted on the Radio Clash podcast. But now DP are no more it seemed the right time to release it in their honour. Salute!
P.S. this isn’t the only Everywhere mashup I am working on…or indeed the only FM mashup generally. Depends how many work but was thinking of working on an album or EP of them.
The Rise of The Aliases! I wasn’t exactly a stranger to aliases before but something about the second explosion of work around 2008-2010 meant I was wanting to branch out and not get bogged down with past failures while I was learning…many of which I had to fix on Volume 2!
instamatic, Captain Obvious, Dj cONTaMInAtioNs, Mashbusters, timbearland, Buyrite Soundsystem, they are all here, including never released originals for the first 72 which got hacked around in the final mix -and the receipts on what happened there – and various album projects I was part of like APC’s ‘We All Kissed A Girl’ or ones organised like the Joe Strummmer one This One’s For Joe and Fleetwood Mix.
Surprised at how uptempo this is, very much aimed at Bootie at this point, and how difficult some of it was to master – I was learning Ableton which strangely made it harder to mix and tweak since although I still use that software, I moved platforms since so many plugins don’t work on my Mac – and I was struggling with using electro house – Daft Punk, Justice etc which has all these mid-range frequencies that clash with vocals.
Also I set T-Racks not only to stun but quite often it’s ‘Kill’ setting – this was the middle of the loudness wars! Hence why I remastered gentler versions here – I don’t like my work to be that bricked, even if it does ‘cut through’ dancefloors.
36 tracks, mostly remastered and for the first time in lossless high quality – 25 album tracks and 11 bonuses with demos, alternate versions and extra tracks that didn’t make the album cut.
TV Nation is a mashup that has been hanging around in multiple demo forms since 2008, now thanks to better stems and acapellas it’s finished (I know I said I retired but this was an opportunity too good to miss, always wanted this to work – also always wanted to do a good Daft Punk mashup). It’s Daft Punk – Television Rules The Nation vs Spearhead’s Rock The Nation vs Montrose – Rock The Nation and a few bits from the Beatnigs / Disposable Heroes of Hiphopcrisy – Television Drug of the Nation.
And it’s oddly topical now, with Donald Trump and the presidential elections coming up, the lines about media manipulation and fat tycoons, people staying in their bubble and not wanting to step out of it. Sadly still very current.
Thanks go out to DJ Schmolli, Ian Fondue, Jez Celebrity Murder Party and Lee Spoons for their advice and help.