Remix Culture: DJ BC and the Beastles

30 03 2010

I like mashups. I like them so much that I wrote my first ever published article on them. I like them so much that I have a computer hard drive full of them. I like them so much that when a mashup comes over the stereo, my friends turn towards me and groan knowingly.

But the ratio of good mashups to terrible ones is lower than you could ever imagine. For every one “Slick Rick vs. .38 Special” there’s about 34 “Lady Gaga vs. Katy Perrys.” It’s so much work to sift through the crap that most reasonable people don’t bother with even trying. That’s why there are unreasonable people like me.

If good mashup songs are relatively rare, then good mashup albums are harder to find than the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Personally, I believe that Elvis Presley is alive and well, hanging out with Bigfoot, drinking from the Holy Grail and listening to a good mashup album. Given these standards, DJ-ing a listenable mashup double album is about as likely as Megan Fox* showing up outside my door in a 1938 Lincoln Le Baron convertible that travels three times the speed of light, and offering to drive me to the moon so we can frolic with the unicorns that live there.

But DJ BC did it (with his fictional band The Beastles). His double album Let it Beast really doesn’t have a dud track on it. Let it Beast features DJ BC’s signature blend of hits by a bunch British Invasion no-names called The Beatles and the fair-skinned rap virtuosos (and possible candidates to be the American Beatles) known as the Beastie Boys.

Let it Beast functions as a pretty good introduction to the world of mashups. It features very skillful mixing from DJ BC, and it features lots of the DJ flourishes that are a hallmark of the genre. Furthermore, the Beastie Boys and (to a lesser extent) the Beatles are two of the most remixed artists in the mashup kingdom. If you learn to love the genre, be prepared to hear 3,000 versions of “So What’cha Want.”

For instance, check out the manic-but-funky energy DJ BC amalgamates in his mash-up “Tripper Trouble.”

Or how about “What’cha Want, Lady?” Did two songs ever fit more congruently than “Lady Madonna” and “So What’cha Want?”

How many rappers could dream of rhyming over a beat as lush as The Beatles “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da?” (Hi, Mom!)

Disappointingly, my favorite Beastles track, “Love You to Check it Out,” is unavailable on YouTube. I think sitar is about the most annoying sound possible, unless you somehow managed to connect an accordian, a harmonica, and a dying possum to the same amplifier. But since I heard the Beastie Boys rhyming over the sitar sting from “Love to You,” nothing has ever been able to replace it in my heart. So, I therefore order all readers to download the albums available from the following link. Let is Beast has been removed from DJ BCs website (he says it’s because of traffic reasons, but it’s also possible that the copyright gestapo said “Nein!”), but it’s still available over rapidshare. Since it’s been taken down from his site, you should consider paying actual legal tender for some of BC’s other work. Remember, he’s only making music because he loves us.

*Note: I do not personally find Megan Fox physically attractive, but apparently she has set the new standard for unattainable good looks. The only reason I didn’t say “Isy Suttie driving a 1938 Lincoln Le Baron convertible” is because no one would get it.

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