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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Orionosaur - Rodrigo y Gabriela v Was Not Was

Orion - Metallica vs Walk The Dinosaur - Was (Not Was)

Written by Cliff Burton, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, David Was, Don Was, Randy Jacobs

Arranged by IronicHide

(c) Ato Records 2006, Chrysalis Records 1987

(If you're looking for my non-ZooFights debut album, check out 3/4 of it here, you lovely thing.)

OK, so this is a great big cheat when it comes to keeping things strictly 1980s. I've had problems like this before. So I watched Miami Vice.

When ZooFights, a zoological knockout tournament of theoretical fisticuffs currently set in the 1980s, went Mexican with Luchadillo, they found a hole in my record collection.

Brazil in the 1980s, I got Caetano Veloso, Golden Boys, Merielles. Cuba in the 1980s, I got a ton of dodgy salsa. So I watched Miami Vice.

Mexico, hombre? Not even my early Brujeria tapes are '80s.

Luckily, the entirely fantastic Rodrigo y Gabriela (who I first got turned on to backpacking like a dog around Europe in 2003 and had the chance, but missed, to meet working on a TV show in 2009) covered (instrumental '80s metal anthem) Orion. So bite me, I'm using it. So I watched Miami Vice.

Luckily, too, Luchadillo had some Glyptodon DNA injected in him and that gave me a chance to use an old acapella I had knocking around of Walk The Dinosaur by Was (Not Was). Unluckily, the line "So I watched Miami Vice" is sung out-of kilter and forced to fit the original syncopation. I want you, dear and blessed reader, to understand how many times I have had to listen to that one line, shift it a hundredth of a second, and repeat. So I watched Miami Vice.

Honestly, just play it on repeat with the Battletoads pause music underneath at my funeral. Play it on loop through a tinny speaker above my grave. I doubt it can ever leave my ears.

As with much of what I'm putting out right now, the two songs were selected by the following scientific method:

1/ Size up the beast you have to make music for. Cast your brain-net as far as possible by imagining every possible tangent. (Is the creature an ape? Songs about jungles, bananas, and poo-slinging are justified. Is the monstrosity capable of flight? Songs about anything that involves wings or rotorblades come in to play. It's all good, amigo.)

2/ Divide those songs in to those with at least a spurious claim to being of the 1980s and those with no such claim. Weep over your unused Jungle Book soundtrack.

3/ Play every one of those songs against every other one of those songs, in some infernal matrix of audio bilge, until something works. Play the songs at different speeds and overlaying them at different parts. Why not use the verse from Jump with the chorus to The Chicken Song? Or the breakdown and bridge of Theme From Flashdance? Keep doing this until you can't feel anything in your head any more. A loved one will collect you and usher you to a bed.

But, yes, indeed and anyway. Orion was easy enough to split in two - the second half being the exploratory solos that are a real marmite test of Metallica fans. Rod y Gab fans love them. I enjoy them but ditched them. The first half was split in to five identifiable chunks by changes in riff, tempo, Spanish picking technique and the acapella overlaid as it best fitted.

Originally, I only intended to use the refrains "boom, boom, shakalakalak boom" and "everybody walk/kill the dinosaur" at key points and trim the rest of the mashup down to around a minute long. Which I did for an intro piece for the fight.

Having such a quality acapella, however, is too good not to use. I had over three minutes of Rodrigo y Gabriela to play with and it pained me to discard any more of it. So what you hear above is sort of a full-length version I did to amuse myself.

Also and in addition, ZooFights used the full-length version of the mashup I had created but I was unhappy with my work and reworked it. Pity was taken on me and this newer rejig of the mashup got stuck up after a couple of  days. That first full-length version of the track is dead. We killed it. With fire. Out back.

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