Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ed Special

Ed Special

Ed Special is Ann Arbor's Mark Murrell. The host of WCBN's freeform radio collage program, Special Ed (on the air since 1983), the program has put out a few collections of sound collage as well. 

He's well known for his marathon-long special sessions of live improvised sound collage (including a six-hour treatment on the theme of Jingle Bells, which I'm actually downloading, as I write this). You can find examples of his work all over the web (try HERE, or do your own search). We used to experiment a bit with freeform sound collage performance on Some Assembly Required, and I have nothing but respect for those who can keep it going, and keep it interesting, for more than a few minutes at a time.

He has no official website yet, but a web search will turn up a good deal of information about the artist and his work, over the past two decades at least. I'm pleased to add a little something to that list. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Ed Special...

Ed Special

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Audio collage, radio collage.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Depending on the project or subject of radio show. Ed Special, Ed SpaceShuttle, Ed Spitup, Egg Spatula, Klaus Santos, Ed-cetera…

*Members: Special Ed: Ed Special (Mark Murrell). Sultans Of Segue: Ed Special, Yax Haxley (Colin Howells) and Kim Scarborough. Camp Wannalobotomy: Ed Special (Mark Murrell), R. F. Burns (Jon Moshier), Isadora Schutz (Julie Strand) and Nomad (Damon Stanek).

*Founding Members: Mark Murrell (Ed Special)

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Audiobnoxiousist.

*Another genre descriptor: Audiobnoxiousity.

*Why you use this descriptor: Self explanatory.

*Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan.

*Original Location: Louisiana.

*What is your creative/artistic background: Graphic arts, scavenger arts, visual and audio collage. “Studio Stupid” (is the) (umbrella name) for the production of the following radio collage programs (on) 88.3 WCBN-FM, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. “Special Ed” - Ed Special (Mark Murrell) (Began March, 1983, presently continuing. From 1983-1990 with Beanball a.k.a. Barry Bouwsma). “Sultans Of Segue” - Ed Special, Yax Haxley (Colin Howells), Kim Scarborough (early 1990's). “Camp Wannalobotomy” - Radio collage (mid 1990's) with Ed Special (Mark Murrell), R. F. Burns (Jon Moshier), Isadora Schutz (Julie Strand) and Nomad (Damon Stanek). Various Holiday Radio Marathons from 6 to 27 hours. Cassette/CD releases: Dangling Ganglion "Monsters From The Id" - Ed Special. Dangling Ganglion "Bumptiddy Bumptiddy" - Ed Special & Barry Bouwsma. Dangling Ganglion "Ignorance Is A Blister" - Ed Special. Dangling Ganglion is: Ed Special - turntables, tape loops, digital effects processing, editing, graphic artwork.

*History: 30 years, +/-.

*Born: Nowonder, 32, 1957

*Motivations: Illegal alien implant.

*Philosophy: The philosophy is in front.

*How would you like to be remembered: Medium rare.

*Web address: None yet.

Episode 228, Some Assembly Required

Episode 228, Some Assembly Required

01 Brian Eno & David Byrne - “America Is Waiting”
02 The Tape-beatles - “A hard hand to hold”
03 DJ Morgoth - “Ace Of Spades Feels Good”
04 DJ Shadow - “Six Days”
05 John Oswald - “Spring”
06 Wax Audio - “Born In A Bad Place (When Jimi Met Bjork)”
07 DJ QBert - “Turbo Paw Platoon”
08 B'O'K - “Bring nothing”
09 Cassetteboy - “This Track Has No Title”
10 Forty One - “(Untitled)”
11 Ed Special - “Untitled (2007 FFCL)”
12 Totom - “Every Kind Of Creep (Zebra remix)”

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22, 2009

March 22, 2009

Episode 140 features our 2006 interview with Girl Talk, who at the time had just released his 3rd album, "Night Ripper," on illegal art. Since then he's gotten all kinds of attention for both his work and his live shows, and has just put out a new release, also on illegal art, titled "Feed The Animals."

No new Q&A this week, but be sure to check out our 2006 phone interview with Girl Talk (episode 140) and our Q&A with him, conducted that same year...

Thanks for listening!
Jon Nelson

Episode 140, Some Assembly Required

Episode 140, Some Assembly Required
(featuring an interview with Girl Talk)

01 Girl Talk – “That's My DJ"
02 Girl Talk – “Let's Start This Party Right”
03 Girl Talk – “Summer Smoke”
04 Girl Talk – “Bang This in the Club”
05 Girl Talk – “I Want You Back”
06 Girl Talk – “Friday Night”
07 Girl Talk – “Overtime”
08 Girl Talk – “Keeping The Beat”
09 Girl Talk – “Peak Out”
10 Girl Talk – “Warm It Up”

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Friday, March 13, 2009

DJ Earworm

DJ Earworm

DJ Earworm is San Franciso's Jordan Roseman. This Mashup artist literally wrote the book on Bastard Pop. The publication, titled "Audio Mashup Construction Kit: Extreme Tech," starts with music theory and song selection, before moving on to more advanced topics, such as how to extricate those pesky acappella tracks from your favorite pop songs, and how to use Mashup creation software such as Acid Pro. Apparently the second chapter goes into a bit of the history of the genre as well. Sounds like a good read, actually...

There are a relatively small number of Bastard Pop artists who seem to be able to consistently deliver really memorable, musical Mashups, and DJ Earworm fits quite comfortably within that group. Of course, I'm a fan of more than just a few different varieties of Bastard Pop, but when it comes to the ones that make you wonder AND wanna dance... Earworm's got to be in the top ten, at least.

In an article in Technology Review, it's explained that his double major in music and computer science (University of Illinois) is the key to this, "because he can analyze the harmonies in his raw materials, (and) see key clashes looming a mile away." There's a ton of examples at his website, some of which even have accompanying music videos. Check it out HERE.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with DJ Earworm...

*Name: DJ Earworm

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Earworm

*Do you use a pseudonym? Earworm

*Members: Just me

*Founding Members: Jordan Roseman

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: If I have to choose it's digital deconstructions.

*Another genre descriptor: I just call them mashups.

*Is there a story behind your name? It's a word for a song you can't get out of your head, so I thought it would be something good so aspire to. And I thought it was funny.

*Location: San Francisco

*Original Location: Iowa, via Chicago

*What is your creative/artistic background: I wrote music and played the piano since I was a child, studied music theory and computer science in school, spent years producing original electronic music and songwriting.

*History: Since 2004

*Born: In the U.S., but in Iowa since I was 1 year old.

*Motivations: It's so much fun! And good music uplifts people, and people need to be uplifted.

*Philosophy: The entire world is a sound palette. The sounds we're most familiar with shouldn't be off limits.

*How would you like to be remembered: As someone who made beautiful music.

*Web address:

Episode 227, Some Assembly Required

Episode 227, Some Assembly Required

01 Cassetteboy - “From this day on”
02 DJ Quest & Live Human - “Fr-Fre-Fre-Fresshhhhhh!”
03 People Like Us / Wobbly - “Giant Love Ball Song”
04 DJ Earworm - “If I Were a Free Fallin' Boy”
05 Flying White Dots - “Freedom”
06 RIAA - “Laid Bamba”
07 Negativland - “Then”
08 The Bran Flakes - “Hi-Fi”
09 Kid Koala - “Basin Street Blues”
10 Ellipse Elkshow - “Your Cultural Introduction”
11 The Happiness Boys - “Twisting The Dials”
12 DJ ZEBRA - “Roxanne should be dancing”

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Alex H

Alex H

Alex H is UK Mashup artist Alex Harrison. The former teacher and current software developer has a penchant for creating Bastard Pop, when he's not recording his own big-beat and downtempo Jazz and Hip-Hop compositions. You can download these and dozens of mashups at his website.

He's also produced several remixes and DJs at events such as Bastard, in London. He has pages at and Myspace, but aside from a large number of mp3s to download, there's a real lack of information about the artist himself. Hopefully this Q&A will get the ball rolling in a different direction.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Alex H...

*Name: Alex H

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: None so far.

*Do you use a pseudonym? No!

*Members: Alex Harrison

*Founding Members:
That would be me.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Definitely digital. I tend to work with mp3s for mashups as they are so easy to get hold of. I chop loops out using Adobe Audition then load them into cubase SX2 to mix them all together.

*Another genre descriptor: Mashup is my preferred term, although my website describes the tracks as “Mashtastic music.”

*Is there a story behind your name? I didn’t have a chance to think of an exciting name to operate under before I put my first tracks online – then it was too late!

*Location: I live in a cottage surrounded by fields, in Somerset UK.

*Original Location: South West London.

*What is your creative/artistic background: I’ve always been involved in music as a pastime since learning the violin when I was very young, then piano and guitar as a teenager. My family are all very musical, my parents play in orchestras and my brother is a sound engineer. I taught music production for a living for a while, now I work as a flash developer.

*History: I’ve been messing around with Cubase for years, since starting on a 486 PC running windows 3.1. I started creating mashups in ’05, but have recently been concentrating on writing original music.

*Born: I was born in Virginia USA, but that doesn’t make me a yank – I moved over here before my 2nd birthday.

*Motivations: Coming across a really cool loop in a track that is unlikely to have been used before. When you then find another riff that goes really well with it unexpectedly its great fun.

Mashup should never take itself too seriously – it’s not big and it’s not clever – it’s just a bit of fun! It doesn’t really take a huge amount of skill to do, unlike the music it takes its samples from.

*How would you like to be remembered: As a bit of a pisstaker.

*Web address:

Episode 139, Some Assembly Required

Episode 139, Some Assembly Required

01 Doormouse - “Humanism”
02 The Tape-beatles – “America Is Confident”
03 Steinski and Mass Media – “It's up to you (the television mix)”
04 Steve Fisk - “No 2nd Chance”
05 Norton Scooter – “Definitive Answer”
06 Jim Allenspach – “Beat”
07 Alex H – “Nirvanananeenoonoo”
08 DJ Spooky – “Absentia Absentia (Dialectical Triangulation III)”
09 Mag Wheels – “Information is power”
10 Aggro1 – “A Shout out for the Magic Rocket Man”
11 Klarc Qent – “Untitled (Erroneous data)”
12 Twink – “Boys And Girls”
13 Animals Within Animals – “Billy Ray's All Purpose Product”
14 Dsico – “Getting away with it one more time”
15 Antediluvian Rocking Horse – “The Ted Turner Soul Train Experience”

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