DJ Cal is a Swedish mashup artist, video game sound technician and musician whose mashups are well known on the world wide web. He's one of my favorite mashup artists, even though he's not currently making any new ones, because his work is often quite different from the majority of the mashups we hear on Some Assembly Required. For instance, he isn't afraid to mash two ballads, resulting in what I've found to be the very rare mellow bastard pop track. It may not motivate a dance floor, but they can be brilliant, none the less...
He's name dropped everywhere online, but there's very little real in-depth info to be found, making this post all the more valuable! Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with DJ Cal...
*Name: DJ Cal is the name I use when making mashups. However, Robootlegs is the name of my site.
*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: That would be my real name then, Calle Hansson.
*Members: Only me, myself and I.
*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: That would absolutely be digital decontruction. Everything I've made is done exclusively using SoundForge. No Acid, Cubase ProTools or other multi channel software is used. All mixing and mashing is made using destructive editing and extreme planning in my head.
*Is there a story behind your name? Uhm. it's just a shorter version of my real name really. No fancy thoughts there. And DJ? Uhm, I'm really not a DJ in the traditional sense, but it sounded cool at the moment I felt that I needed a handle. The site Robootlegs comes from an old signature I used when using the GYBO site. I used to write DJ Cal - Robootlegs in disguise. This referring to Transformers - Robots in disguise.
*Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
*What is your creative/artistic background: I've worked as a professional sound technician in the computer games industry for seven years. After working for Digital Illusions (making sound for Midtown Madness 3 and Rallisport 2 for Xbox) for three years, I went back to school again. I've studied music recording, analog and digital mixing, songwriting and a hell of a lot more in the sound and music department. Right now I'm working as an Audio Director at a company that produces games for education, commercials or soon for Xbox Live Arcade.
*History: I made bootlegs for about three years on and off.
*Born: I'm born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden.
*Motivations: Music is what I live for. I listen to music basically as often as I can. Very often I hear mashups in my head when listening to music. Vocals that would fit over another backing track or vice versa. After that is both fun and a challenge to see if I was right or not.
*Philosophy: In key, in tempo. That is what I've always struggled for. I don't care much for rap-bootlegs since anyone can slap a rap acapella over any backing track or drum loop and come up with what they call a mashup. I want the listener to perceive the bootleg as a standalone version i.e a new song that works for itself rather than a half clever tune that works most of the time but in some places feels forced.
*How would you like to be remembered: It's a tough question. I really don't aim for fame. I appreciate when people like my work but I have no ambition to become a legend in any way. My kids and doing a good job are my priorities at the moment.
*Web address: www.robootlegs.com