Friday, April 25, 2008

The Shinobi EP


This virtual EP of blends/mash-ups/unofficial remixes was inspired by my love for the Ninja Tune record label, whose tracks provide all the instrumentals here. (If you like the backing tracks, go buy the originals from them - four of the tunes are on the Zen CD/LP!)

The Shinobi EP represents my current interests in mixing and, I believe, my best work yet - or at least, my best work at this particular moment. Rich in flavor and syncopation it crosses genres from Afrobeat to hip-hop, jazz-funk to classic rock, and electronica to full-on pop. Listening to it as a whole, I've decided that it's basically a party record and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Peace, Love & Sayónara,


Get the whole thing zipped up with covers HERE (MediaFire)

Alternative links here (Zshare)

and here (DivShare)

or single tracks via Fairtilizer:

Youtube video for "Timber Freq":

The Shinobi EP

1. The Doors & David Bowie vs. Amon Tobin: Get Your Hello On

This little number came about thanks to the fruits of a recent DIY acapella challenge on GYBO (these were extracted by ToToM). I liked the way the vocals of "Hello" played off the syncopation of "Get Your Snack On". And Bowie's cover of The Pixies' "Cactus" (in the same key) seemed to fill out the tune quite nicely. However, this one was the trickiest to do, since the 'pellas were mono and irregular and I pitched Amon Tobin (as well as Morrison's second verse) down a whole tone, leading to an EQ nightmare. What you're hearing is the third remaster - maybe I finally got it right. In any case, this was the first tune I worked on, and it sparked the idea of doing this collection in the first place. This, and the title, make it the perfect track to kick off the EP.

2. The Beatles vs. Clifford Gilberto: 10th Together

Yet another "Come Together" mash-up due to a recent DIY acapella by my friend DJ Schmolli, this one pairs old John (rest his soul) with the retro jazz-funk stylings of Gilberto's "10th Victim". I quite like the resulting groove and effect, even if some might take issue with the 'out' sounding refrain in the middle (due to the flute) - it's all jazz to me. Not sure John would approve, but I hope you do.

3. Lady Sovereign vs. Antibalas: Random Nyash

As a long-time fan of Fela Kuti and Afrobeat, I just had to do this one. I chose one of my favorite tunes off Antibalas' "Talkatif" album and since I'd been meaning to do something with some Lady Sovereign vocals anyway, it was nice to find a 'pella that fit this well. The result is a bouncy feel-good party tune featuring a genre not often heard in the mash-up world.

4. Gwen Stefani vs. Mr. Scruff: Whatcha Waiting For, Get A Move On

Ok, this is the most unabashedly 'pop' mix I've ever done. The sources (both hits) have of course been around for a while and I was surprised to find that no one had thought of juxtaposing them before - same key and similar vibe as well as a nice match in terms of message - just had to slow Gwen down a little. I imagine this will probably get the most love due to its accessibility, but it's not quite my favorite.

5. Sean Paul vs. Hexstatic: Auto Temp Crash Test

Usually, I'm loath to use mindless 'party' lyrics in my mixes (hence my penchant for 'conscious' hip-hop), but the Sean Paul pella fit Hexstatic's eccentric electro banger so well, it would have been stupid NOT to mix them. No pitch-shifting, no time-stretching, no messing about, just bingo! It would be quite easy to do this one live on the decks.

6. Dead Prez vs. Coldcut & Hexstatic: Timber Freq

My personal favorite, this blends D.P.'s anti-corporate anthem with Coldcut & Hexstatic's classic piece of turntable electronica. It's also an expression of my plea for being more adventurous and choosing artists you love when it comes to making mash-ups. Not sure if they were talking about the tune itself (although it was already on my player), but Coldcut themselves dropped the following comment on my Myspace page: Thanks for the good vibes.

7. The Beatles vs. Kid Koala: Jude's Drunken Trumpet

This is definately the goofiest of the bunch, and I was at first reluctant to include it, due to the timing irregularities of "Jude" and the resulting obviousness of the edits at the end. However, taking Kid Koala's "give-a-hoot-go-for-it" approach to turntablism as inspiration and after having a few beers and listening again, I decided that this could be a perfect tune for the end of a party and, indeed, for the end of the EP.


P.S.I Special thanks to Celebrity Murder Party and TBC for audio feedback!

P.S.II for non-Japanese-speakers and non-geeks: Shinobi (忍) is the original term for what is now commonly referred to as a Ninja (忍者) (get the joke?), and its underlying connotation is "to steal away" and —by extension— "to forbear," hence its association with stealth and invisibility. The kanji (Sino-Japanese ideogram) is composed of the signs for "patiently forging a sword" and "heart/spirit".

Produced by DJ not-I @ Mexikotrax, Vienna, April 2008
For demonstration & entertainment purposes only!
All rights retained by the original artists/labels
Please direct queries/complaints/demands to my Gmail in "About Me"