Sunday, September 23, 2007

Episode 54, Some Assembly Required

Episode 54, Some Assembly Required

01 Holger Czukay - “Hollywood symphony”
02 James Tenney - “Collage #2 (viet flakes)”
03 Negativland - “Helter stupid”
04 DJ Shadow - “Napalm brain/scatter brain”

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

A plus D

A plus D

A + D is Adrian & the Mysterious D, a mashup team from California, known equally as well for their popular mashup night, Bootie. Since its inception in 2003, Bootie has grown to include events in Los Angeles, New York and Paris.

Adrian is also the lead singer for a band, called Smash-up Derby, which does live cover versions of popular bastard pop songs, along with mashups of their own creation. It was of course bound to happen, and for the time being at least, they bear the distinction of being the world's only live mashup rock band.

They've hosted DJs from all over the world and are consisently spinning at events beyond their wildly successful Bootie night, which was voted "Best Dance Club" in the Readers Poll of the San Francisco Bay Guardian's BEST OF THE BAY 2006, and included in Spin Magazine's "101 Best Nights Out This Month" (July 2006). Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with A plus D...

*Name: We are DJs Adrian & The Mysterious D. We produce mashups under our bootlegger moniker A plus D, and we're the creators of Bootie, America's first, and now the world's biggest mashup bootleg party. Our first Bootie party started in San Francisco in 2003, and we have a sister party, Bootie LA, in Los Angeles started in 2005, and this year, brand new Bootie parties in New York (run by us) and in Paris (run by our bootlegger pal ComaR and his posse).

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: "Poster children of the American mashup scene!" We always loved that one.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Adrian doesn't. Deidre does. (Whoops! We just revealed the mystery behind the "Mysterious D"!)

*Members: Just us ... two (Adrian Roberts, Deidre Roberts). However, Bootie wouldn't be what it is today without the international bootleg community and a tight group of fellow bootlegger friends.

*Founding Members: Us: Adrian & the Mysterious D.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Of those three descriptors, definitely "digital deconstructions." Although, it's more like we're RE-contructors -- we take songs and instead of just taking them apart, we put them back together in new and interesting ways. We're mashup producers/DJs.

*Another genre descriptor: Are we the last ones left who don't think that the term "mashup" is a bad word? ;-)

*Why you use this descriptor: ... 'cuz we "mash" up songs. :-) The name of our club Bootie is actually short for “bootleg,” another word for mashup made popular in the UK. However, if you say you play "bootlegs" in San Francisco, people think it means you spin songs from old Bob Dylan or Grateful Dead live concert bootleg recordings! So the word mashup explains what we do a bit better.

*Location: San Francisco is our home base, although we've got "offices" (ha ha - actually, our friends' apartments) in LA and NYC, where we stay at one weekend a month, almost every month -- to do the LA and NYC Bootie parties.

*Original Location: A is originally from Ohio. D is originally from Texas.

*What is your creative/artistic background: We've both been intimately involved with music since our early teens. In college, Adrian studied art and theatre, while programming the college radio station. After college, he started a rock band, where he was the singer for nine years. D has been an avid music collector and maker of popular "mixtapes" since the word mixtape still meant assorted musical gems mixed together on a cassette. :-) Both of us have a voracious love of music from all kinds of genres and eras.

*History: We've been working together as a DJ team since 2002.

*Born: Adrian was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, in 1968. D was born in Springfield, Illinois, in 1972.

*Motivations: We love music of so many different styles, genres, and eras. And we love to bring it all together. We love looking around at our club Bootie and seeing such a truly diverse crowd of people -- ages, styles, sexualities, you name it -- all smiles and hands in the air, dancing together to the music that we love. We love how our mashup club's music inspires connection between groups of people that might normally not share a dance floor, and how it lends itself to an unpretentious good time.

*Philosophy: To bring disparate musical genres together in an effort to make statements about music and pop culture ... and for the pure pleasure of hearing old and new favorites in a fresh way.

*How would you like to be remembered: As the couple who were instrumental in bringing a wider awareness and acceptance of mashup bootleg culture to the world ... and who threw a great party doing it!

*Web address:

Episode 186, Some Assembly Required

Episode 186, Some Assembly Required

01 Party Ben – “Golden Boulevard”
02 Weird Love Makers – “Humping Henry”
03 Russ Johnson – “Rock Around (23 seconds of) The Clock”
04 Forty One – “The let's pretend story of strawberry shortcake”
05 DJ Astro – “Hate Me”
06 B'O'K – “Addicted to Oil”
07 Wobbly – “Damn I Can't Go Uh-Uh, No!”
08 Alex H – “Moon Frog”
09 Splatt – “No one sings like you anymore”
10 A plus D – “You Believe Me All Night Long”
11 People Like Us – “Ipanmnmna”
12 X-ecutioners – “One Man Band”
13 John Oswald – “Ebb”
14 Sucking Chest Wound – “America Is Angry”
15 Porest – “Composition of sheep”
16 Listen With Sarah – “Another Nice Mix”
17 A plus D – “Sexy Peek-A-Boo”

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Minneapolis Summit

Minneapolis Summit

There’s no Q&A this week, but I wanted to write a little bit about one of the long tracks featured in episode 53. In 2001, I was approached by the founder, and then Managing Director, of the Sound Unseen Underground Film and Music Festival, Nate Johnson, and asked to put together a program of visiting artists, to explore the theme of Plunderphonics, for that year’s Festival. He was familiar with my radio program and enthusiastic about the energy apparent in this ever growing circle of underground artists. I was thrilled to be asked, of course, and proceeded to invite John Oswald, The Tape-beatles and Wet Gate to perform, with Wobbly and Steev Hise as opening acts. To my astonishment, they all agreed to join me in Minneapolis for the Festival. My own performance group, going by the name of Cast of Thousands with Escape Mechanism, were scheduled to open as well. I’ve written extensively about that year's Sound Unseen in previous posts – you can read all four of them (including one I'd forgotten writing, also about Minneapolis Summit - oops) HERE - just scroll down to the bottom of the page and start with the 11/4/05 entry...

I forget the details now, but I believe it was on an evening between shows (there were three evenings of performances in the Plunderphonic section of that year’s Sound Unseen, spread out over the course of the week) when the bulk of us decided to get together for a jam session of sorts. The Tape-beatle’s Lloyd Dunn and John Heck joined Steev Hise, Jon Leidecker (Wobbly) and myself (Escape Mechanism) in one of the recording studios at KUOM, where Some Assembly Required was produced, at the time. Wet Gate had not yet arrived in Minneapolis and although John Oswald had been invited to join us, I think he had only been interested in playing the Saxaphone, and while the five of us certainly would have enjoyed performing with him, the general consensus was that we should stick to samplers and playback equipment. So, we were a quartet (or quintet) of Escape Mechanism, Steev Hise, The Tape-beatles and Wobbly.

I was not very familiar with the studio we set up in, and I remember frantically trying to figure everything out in time to allow for us to have more than just a few minutes to improvise. Eventually, with a little help from all of the performers, and at least one of the station’s engineers, the gear all magically connected and the five of us sat down to our various instruments of choice: Jon Leidecker with his twin samplers, myself with two industrial strength mini disc players, and Dunn, Heck and Hise on their laptops. We recorded at least a couple of different sessions, one of which we tended to think was the best of the lot. A little under a year later, it had been passed around enough and edited down to a point where we all agreed it was worth releasing. The Tape-beatles took it to Staalplaat, who released it as “Minneapolis Summit” in 2002.

The Tape-beatles had also documented much of the recording session, and sometime soon after the release of “Minneapolis Summit,” they released a video CD which showed some of what went into the collaboration. There you can see our hasty attempts to assemble a functioning recording studio, and our various gear, being manipulated live. The soundtrack to the video consists of the unused tracks also recorded that day in the recording studio.

Check out the various Q&A’s I’ve done with each of the artists over the past couple of years:
The SAR Q&A with Steev Hise -- April 1, 2007The SAR Q&A with Lloyd Dunn of the Tape-beatles -- January 7, 2007
The SAR Q&A with Wobbly (Jon Leidecker) -- March 20, 2006

You can hear “Minneapolis Summit,” in its entirety, in episode #53, which is available HERE. Visit The Tape-beatles website for more information about the video CD, or check out the official Minneapolis Summit website, for all the details...

Thanks for listening!
Jon Nelson

Episode 53, Some Assembly Required

Episode 53, Some Assembly Required

01 Steev Hise - “How to use borrowed ideas™”
02 The Tape-beatles - “15’ in search of peace (more difficulties)”
03 The Tape-beatles - “15’ in search of peace (the difference)”
04 The Tape-beatles - “15’ in search of peace (mother)”
05 The Tape-beatles - “15’ in search of peace (help)”
06 Wobbly - “Wild Why (track 12)”
07 Escape Mechanism, Steev Hise, The Tape-beatles, Wobbly - “Minneapolis Summit”

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

DJ Foundation

DJ Foundation

There was no way we could have played Side A of this seven inch, out on Metal Postcard, but we did find room for the B side, here on Some Assembly Required, as it seemed just a little less likely to lose us any stations within earshot of the Bible belt. It's as frustrating to describe a sound collage record in terms of what the FCC would have to say, as it is to define it by a list of the samples you can pick out, but if you've ever heard Side A ("(Have They Not Heard) God is Dead"), then I doubt you're shaking your head too vehemently right now. When an artist works this hard to offend, it's hard not to point it out...

DJ Foundation is Ali Falsafi, from Mosul, Iraq. With the aid of his Uncle's computer, and an ample helping of what would appear to be the exact same kind of political angst responsible for so many of the American cut-ups we hear from week to week on Some Assembly Required, Falsafi has come up with two tracks which have been both praised and hated, probably in equal measure. There are more tracks at his Myspace Page, as well, where he responds to criticism by saying, "I cause no harm to all. I want peace for the future. I am a musician not a fighter."

It's quite compelling to read some of the hate mail he's received, when you consider the facts that:
a) at least one review has pointed out that the artist appears to be anti-Muslim, not anti-Christian,
b) some of the angriest comments he's received have come from US Soldiers, and
c) so many have come to see the US/Iraq conflict as a religious one...

But that's just the political angle. Check out episode #185, or the tunes at his myspace page, to see if there isn't even more to say about it. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with DJ Foundation...

*Name: DJ Foundation

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Some people describe it wrong and bad but for me it’s fun!

*Members: One and my uncle helps me with his computer.

*Founding Members: Ali Falsafi

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I make music for fun. I like to make rock and dance beats from the CDs and radio.

*Another genre descriptor: My friends say "Iraq n' roll!”

*Is there a story behind your name? Foundation is The Base. I look for the Base and the bass.

*Location: Mosul, Iraq

*What is your creative/artistic background: Now it is a war here in Iraq and very violence everywhere. This makes me stay at the house and work to make music because it is too dangerous to go the market and see friends in the café.

*History: I was born Mosul, Iraq ‘86. I was making music with my friends from 14 years.

*Born: 1986

*Motivations: I like to make big beats for my fun. I want to make people dance and laugh. From his myspace page: “We have danger in Iraq but we try to live and I'm keeping with music and I will have new tunes for you soon. I am so happy that people like my music! …Many people ask why I make my tunes, I answer I hear all music on radio & CDs and I like making beats with them. Sorry that some are angry from my music, it is just fun for me and you can say what you think.”

*Philosophy: Peace

*How would you like to be remembered: I want to be remembered by my friends and fans.

*Web address:

Episode 185, Some Assembly Required

Episode 185, Some Assembly Required

01 Dangerous Orange – “Hurts Like Teen Spirit”
02 Pflaphpschoen – “Eleanor Rigby”
03 Tone Def and The Bots – “Bushwack2”
04 Table Tones in Head Space – “Warble”
05 Chav & Daze – “Last night a rasta saved my life”
06 People Like Us – “When I was young”
07 DVAnt – “Sly”
08 Wax Tailor - “The Tune”
09 DJ Static – “My Definition”
10 Wayne Butane – “Linear Star Child (segment)”
11 DJ Quixotic – “Waiting to Rock and Roll”
12 Wobbly – “Better than your lucky day”
13 DJ Foundation – “(Sunni & Shia) I Shot You Babe"
14 The Tape-beatles – “Call of the carpenter”
15 The Tape-beatles – “Lessons in truth”
16 The Tape-beatles – “Beautiful necessity”
17 The Tape-beatles – “New thought”
18 Alex C – “Block Rockin' Organ Donor”

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