SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED highlighted episodes for April
The past month's standouts can be organized along the lines of just four of the major categories of work played on the show. There's at least a couple of new Mashups, by artists such as Totom and Wax Audio, along with turntablist tracks by Ruckus Roboticus and Apollo & Fluid Motion. Add to that some classic sound collage, both recent and not so recent. This month, for example, look for Brian Eno & David Byrne, John Oswald, DJ Frenchbloke (already a classic?!) and Raymond Scott. And finally, some newer material by experimental artists, working almost exclusively with previously recorded sound. Some of my favorites this month include tracks by B'O'K, Cassetteboy, Fortyone and Gitar, to name just a few.
"Every Kind Of Creep," by Totom, and "Born In A Bad Place," by Wax Audio can both be found in Episode 228, along with classics by John Oswald ("Spring") and Brian Eno & David Byrne ("America Is Waiting"). Some newer tracks by Fortyone (Untitled) and B'O'K ("Bring Nothing") are also in Episode 228, so I guess if you had to choose just one episode this month, I might point you in this direction. Check out Episode 228 HERE.
I chose the Eno and Byrne track as the standout when writing the weekly article (for Episode 228), based in large part on the fact that their album ("My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts") has been so influential, but I think if I had to choose my one favorite track this episode, it would have to be Cassetteboy's meditation on one of the more bittersweet facts of life (bittersweet?), in the track off of their 2008 release, "Carry On Breathing," called "This track has no title." Why? It's a fairly straightforward cut-up (my favorite kind of sound collage, admittedly), tackling its philosophical subject matter with few reservations and a healthy sense of humor.
Raymond Scott's track, an avant-garde soundtrack to an industrial film by Jim Henson (1967's "The Paperwork Explosion") can be found in Episode 141, and the two turntablist tracks can be found in Episode 229 (Apollo & Fluid Motion's "Interstellar hydroponics" and selections from Ruckus Roboticus' album, "The Record Playa'"), along with the "classic" mashup, "Destinys Kennedys" by DJ Frenchbloke.
A "classic" already? Well, it definitely dates from when the genre was young, and by young I mean the turn of the millennium, less than ten years ago. These days, musical "scenes" are so fragmented, coming and going so fast, and when they do stick around they seem to evolve very quickly. While I won't even attempt to attach exact dates to this observation, I do feel confident noting that, as a genre, Bastard Pop would seem to have had at least two or three distinct phases since becoming a more coherent movement at the turn of the century, and that's right around when DJ Frenchbloke first mashed The Dead Kennedys with Destiny's Child, an act which, at the time, was practically mind blowing, whether you were primarily identifying with DK or Beyoncé. Can the same be said to be true today? Not at all. Not on the same level, anyway. We've become more accustomed to some of the flavors of Mashup, and "Destinys Kennedys" is really just one example of an early Bastard Pop track which is rapidly becoming identified as a classic of the genre, and all within a mere decade of its creation...
That just leaves Gitar, also in Episode 229, featuring two of my more recent faves, and masters of the linear edit, Ellipse Elkshow and I Cut People. They teamed up to release an album, using the band name "Gitar" and the track in question is titled "No Gitars," off of their upcoming release, "Stuffed," I believe, which is due out this summer. Check out our recent Q&A with I Cut People HERE. We've got one coming up with Ellipse Elkshow in May...
Stay tuned as we work our way through the last of our archived interviews, over the next few months. Wobbly is up next, in just a couple of weeks, along with brand new Q&A's with artists such as Ursula 1000, Speak Freaker and Ellipse Elkshow. There's lots more to come, so do keep coming back...
Thanks for listening!
About the show: hosted by Minnesota artist Jon Nelson, Some Assembly Required features sample-based music and audio art by a variety of artists and groups working with bits and pieces of their media environments, giving something back to the cultural landscape from which they so enthusiastically appropriate.
Since its inception in 1999, Nelson has produced over 100 artist features, and interviewed everyone from John Oswald, Steinski and The Evolution Control Committee, to Christian Marclay, Negativland and DJ Spooky, providing a variety of unique perspectives on the nature of this daring and creative style of expression. Visit Some Assembly Required online for more information, including a complete list of interviews, artist features and the weekly podcast. You can also listen to an extensive archive of back episodes here, on mnartists.org.