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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Brown Blood - Slayer v Roni Size / Reprazent

Brown Blood by IronicHide

Roni Size / Reprazent 'Brown Paper Bag' (Vocal Edit, Photek Remix, Nobukazu Takemura Remix) vs Slayer 'Reign In Blood'
Written by Roni Size, Jeff Hannemann, Kerry King
Arranged by IronicHide
(c) 1997 Talkin' Loud, 1986 Def American

Hello, again, little one, come on in, you look chilly. I've lit the fire and am burning anything incriminatory today.

If you're asking about the ZooFights thing, there are a few more tracks to post up here, and I will do so, don't let me forget. Meanwhile, let me remind you of an old story: My debut album.

This is the last of seven tracks I'm putting up on Soundcloud. The next update will be the completion of the album, with all eight tracks and exclusive (crappy) artwork available through a variety of sources. All for free.

So, yes, this thing. Pull up a cushion, I'll tell you whatagwan.

Back in May 1997 I worked in a record store in Hammersmith. I'd got the job because I was the only interviewee who said I like music. I'd only been in the job for a few weeks when the Mercury Music Prize nominees came out. There was a big push in the store to make sure we had copies of all nominated albums forever on display at the front of the shop, mainly OK Computer by Radiohead, who everybody fancied for the prize.

I said not. Even as a Radiohead fan who'd nearly worn out the binary on his CD copy of OK Computer, I thought New Forms would win. It was the end of the high for the Bristol breakbeat era and Labour were taking office for the first time in 18 years. I'd had my first split with my first proper girlfriend and had nearly finished my first year of A-levels. Things pointed to a live instrumentation drum'n'bass album with jazz nods and a lot of prog doing well.

I remember staking my credibility in the store on Roni Size / Reprazent winning. It was 16-1 at the bookies nearby and I threatened to put a fiver on it. When it did win, my manager just resented me for being right. Everybody wanted to buy New Forms in the following week and it was made my task to explain to people that it was a double CD and, therefore, £18. (If you own the later-released single CD version, you've pretty much got all the best stuff; pick up the Watching Windows remixes single, if you can.)

Against that, I fucking love Slayer. Reign In Blood isn't my favourite album, that's Seasons In The Abyss, but Raining Blood is my favourite track. Some may scoff at this. It's akin to saying Smells Like Teen Spirit is your favourite Nirvana track, or Creep is the best thing Radiohead have done.

Thrash snobs (of whom I would consider myself a member) tend to praise Angel Of Death for it's rhapsodic structure, speed and precision, and for really setting down the agenda of the genre. Those who don't mind a bit of Lombardo-blasphemy may go for Killing Fields or Dittohead. Slayer fans also tend to throw in War Ensemble or Mandatory Suicide as overlooked gems. Which they are, but I'm sticking with Raining Blood.

So, two big songs that will, one day, be chosen by me when I'm a world-conquering musical rearrangement artist and interviewed for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. This will happen.

I know, and I am prepared for a lot of scorn being poured on this mashup. Metal fans (the wider hub of the thrash snob community) tend to be resentful about other people messing about with metal. Like all bookish, pedantic, anti-social people, metallers tend to resent most things. I can say this because I am one and have spent enough time in The Marlborough Head and The Intrepid Fox, reading a Machine Head inlay book or Fear Factory lyric sheet. In short: Unless you are Devin Townsend, I'm not listening to your cries that I may not fuck with the music that I enjoy. There are no sacred cows.

Intelligent dance music (IDM, a short-lived catch-all term for a lot of UK and German instrumental albums from 1995 - 2005) snobs, on the other hand, tend to not care a cuss about Roni Size and attribute his brief popularity to the 'hhhhheeehhhhnnnn' cry from Onallee that signals the beat kicking in on Brown Paper Bag. Then they go back to debating Plastikman or Squarepusher. One of these guys is a real pain to work with, ask me about that one day.

This is the last of the very, very early mashups I made. Probably the third or fourth. It began, in 2007, with the realisation that the inversion trick on Raining Blood didn't wipe out Tom Araya's voice, it wiped out Dave Lombardo's drums. Which is not ideal for listening to Slayer. Personal opinion: Lots of what King and Hanneman do is dressing for Lombardo's work, which is still the punchiest drum sound ever produced (25 years after recording).

Anyhow, I had some isolated Slayer guitar lines. I stuck the Vocal Edit of Brown Paper Bag over the top as it was the nearest thing to hand that was equally as fast-paced.

About half of what you hear on this mashup - the intro, the coda - is what was made in 2007, in my old South Ealing flat. The rest of it is a 2010 remake of the original idea for the verses, a 2011 remake of the section from 2:00 to 2:25 and, from there to about 3:15, a newer section I made on a whim. Tucked in there is a double-time breakbeat I made from individual cymbal and drum samples.

If at any point in the production, the timing went out between the tracks, I always stuck with Slayer being correct. Because we do not question Dave Lombardo.

There are three different mixes of Brown Paper Bag used - the Vocal Edit, the Nobukazu Takemura Remix, and the Photek Remix - all of which I got because the store I purchased the CD from (not the one I worked in) put the wrong disc in the sleeve.

Man, I could have got £80 if I'd followed that bet. That was a fortnight's wage back then. Which reminds me, PJ Harvey owes me for winning the Mercury Prize this year. Ask me about that some time.

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