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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Mashups for a mammoth and a sloth, both zombies

Colonel Russian Elephant - Tom Waits 'Russian Dance' vs J Pat O'Malley, Verna Felton and chorus 'Colonel Hathi's March' and 'Colonel Hathi's March (Reprise)'

Written by Tom Waits, Richard Sherman, Robert Sherman; arranged by IronicHide

(c) Island 1993, Disneyland 1967

Free MP3 download: IronicHide - Colonel Russian Elephant.mp3


Insane House Brain Beat - John Murphy 'In The House / In A Heartbeat' vs Cypress Hill 'Insane In The Brain'

Written by John Murphy, Louis Freese, Melvin McArthur Hardin, Hubert Timothy McPherson, Lee Dorsey, James Brown, Sly Stone, Jerry Corbitt; arranged by IronicHide

(c) XL 2003, Ruffhouse 1993

Free MP3 download: Insane House Brain Beat.mp3

One of these took a week of work, the other was bashed out last minute. Try to guess which.

I'd been yearning to use John Murphy's theme tune from 28 Days Later with some hip hop since I started annoying you, personally, with music a few years ago in my Brentford bedroom. There was a now-destroyed version with Regulators by Warren G that never got anywhere.

If you think the mashup sounds funny or off-tempo, that's kind-of deliberate. Normally, the bass drum goes on the 1 beat, the snare goes on the 3. (Sidenote: reggae purists insist they land on the 2 and the 4.) Well, that's swapped here. It was an accident begun by starting to mix the track with Cypress Hill starting around the two-minute mark and working outwards. (So, getting the second verse and chorus lined up right, then dealing with the intro and ending separately.)

The trouble is, I'd misread the scope and stuck the bass drum on the 3-beat of Murphy's music. Actually, this worked better as, when the zombie music gets going with the 8/8 drum pattern, it doesn't interfere too much with the rap beat over the top of it. Re-aligning the tracks to match the 1 and 3 beats made the section sound (even) muggier. 

The only problem was with the intro, where I cut out the Cypress Hill beat every fourth bar or so to make it sound more like it was trying to find a comfortable place alongside Murphy's arpeggio. 

Also, I used just a straight EQ to take the bass out of Insane In The Brain, then ran a filter over the top. This is also the first time I've seriously played about with envelopes to get the levels somewhere near workable. Like I said, rush job.

Sticking the Jungle Book with Tom Waits was much more fun, which is probably why I took longer doing it. The Sherman Brothers also wrote loads of the music for Mary Poppins, which pretty much makes them the scorers of my childhood, along with Anne Bryant.

The elephant march is inverted, canceling most of the bass horns. It also knocked out every other two bars of the pounding bass drum, so I took a separate sample of that and looped it. 

Russian Dance was one of the first tracks I had ever heard by Waits (who became the scorer of my twenties). I used to work in a record store in 1997 and we'd play this at closing time, full volume, to hound people out of the store. Good times.

Unfortunately, being a deliberately messy cabaret tune written for a stage troupe, it has pretty irregular time-keeping, there was a lot of tiny twists and stretches on my part to get it to fit. 

It might not use material as well-known as Insane House Brain Beat but I think I kinda love it for truly sounding like a shaggy Tsarist mammoth

Friday, 1 June 2012

Two mashups featuring the Beastie Boys

Porc Rump 

Moby 'Porcelain' (Clubbed To Death version) v Beastie Boys 'Shake Your Rump'

(c) Mute 2000, Capitol 1989
Written by Richard Melville Hall, Ernest Gold, Adam Yauch, Mike Diamond, Adam Horowitz, Harvey Scales, Keith Caesar, Sharon Green, Jeff Miree
Arranged by IronicHide

Fight (For Your Right) To Fight

Public Enemy 'Fight The Power' v Beastie Boys '(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)' v Public Enemy 'Party For Your Right To Fight'

(c) Def Jam 1987, 1990

Written by Carlton Ridenhour, Hank Shocklee, Eric Sadler, George Clinton, Gary Shider, Bernie Worrell, Bobby Byrd, Bob Marley, Eddie Hazel, Michael Hampton, James Brown, Sly Stone, Aaron Hall, Damion Hall, Mick Box, Trevor Bolder, Phil Lanzon, Bernie Shaw, Russell Gilbrook, Gabriel Jackson, Rick James, Tony Hester, Bill McGee, Joey Robinson, Sabrina Gillison, Adam Yauch, Mike Diamond, Adam Horowitz, Rick Rubin, Tom Crushman
Arranged by IronicHide

Free MP3 download: IronicHide - Fight For Your Right To Fight.mp3

Hello again, long time no blog. Well, ZooFights is kind-of in swing again. Sort-of. A bit. Which means, maybe, a little, somewhat, I've gotta dust off the digital versions of my music library and ruin them for everybody. It's a terrible compulsion.

Anyhow, I've not got near to doing all the stuff I had planned to do between ZooFights tournaments. I didn't finish the super secret concept album. I didn't start the next super secret concept album.

I've also taken a fistful of requests (none of them were "Stop") and had wanted to oblige a few of those on here.

Instead I just ate sandwiches, went to work, looked at clouds. Whatevs.

So, yes, MCA, otherwise known as Adam Yauch has, unfortunately, recently, died. I don't want anybody thinking that knocking out two Beastie Boys mashups is my way of riding on such publicity. Neither am I going to be mawkish on here. Over on ZooFights, there was a fitting tribute to Yauch and, by turn, these mashups are part of that.

But please consider them one step removed. These are just two mashups I made because I was soundtracking a fight involving three killer whales that were sort of like the Beastie Boys.

The Moby track, as noted, is Rob Dougan's remix. It's got a bit more power and flow and, honestly, doesn't effing drag on as much as the album version.

Seriously, I remember being at university when every mouthbreather out there was just playing the original over and over again. It was like being stuck in a hotel lift while trying to write essays.

Although I had worked on acapellas from both tracks by Public Enemy, I used scaffolds of the originals to synchronise them with the Beasties. Then, as I've done before, I just kept the scaffolds. This time, however, I reduced the volume on them and boosted the acapella, so there's a totally different level mix going on.