Re: [rumori] Bootlegs New York Times

From: Mark Blacklock (
Date: Thu May 09 2002 - 07:24:07 PDT

"Then they can scour a file-sharing service for a cappella versions of

I loved his Motley Cru book but these are the words of a man who's never
attempted such a thankless task

anyone know of any decent online resources for a capellas?

on 9/5/02 2:07 PM, Peter Lopez at wrote:

> you'll need to logon but this is the lower portion of todays front page new
> york times, continues on C14 (business)
> Spreading by the Web, Pop's Bootleg Remix
> he song may sound familiar at first, thanks to the unmistakable guitar riff
> from Nirvana's classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
> But, suddenly, the recording changes course when, instead of the gravelly
> voice of Kurt Cobain, the smooth R&B harmonies of a Destiny's Child hit appear
> on top of the grunge music. As the recording moves on, it is clear that the
> song is neither fish nor fowl; it is a crossbreed that neither band ever
> intended, or even dreamed of.
> It is something that is completely different, often illegal and, thanks to the
> Internet, becoming explosively popular.
> Songs like this one, which combine different hits without adding any original
> music, may represent the first significant new musical genre to be lifted out
> of the underground, developed and then spread, mostly via the Web. The songs,
> called mash-ups or bootlegs, typically match the rhythm, melody and underlying
> spirit of the instrumentals of one song with the a cappella vocals of another.
> And the more odd the pairing the better.
> The music industry has greeted them with mixed response. A radio station in
> London playing a popular mash-up with Christina Aguilera belting her hit
> "Genie in a Bottle" over the retro-rock of the Strokes was served with a
> cease-and-desist order by Ms. Aguilera's publisher, Warner-Chappell.
> On the other hand, in Britain last week, Island Records released a legal
> mash-up, which entered the pop charts at No. 1. It combines music from three
> different artists the new-wave icon Gary Numan, the R&B singer Adina Howard
> and the girl-pop group the Sugababes.
> The music there are hundreds of such recordings is particularly popular in
> Europe, where D.J.'s play mash-ups at parties. But through the Internet it is
> spreading not only there but also in the United States. There are so many
> bootlegs using Eminem and Missy Elliott songs (Missy mixed with the 80's group
> the Cure, Eminem with the fey pop of the Smiths, and Missy with the heavy
> metal group Metallica, for starters) that some practitioners refer to making a
> bootleg as "doing a Missy" on a song.
> The growing scene is a result of two technological forces that have been
> revolutionizing music-making and the record business: cheap computer software,
> which makes it possible for a teenager with no musical knowledge to create
> professional-sounding productions at home, and Internet file-sharing services,
> which provide a quick way to gather and share music. Naturally, the music
> industry is concerned about this, because in most cases the tracks are being
> used without permission.
> But, today, when the Internet seems to loom larger in many music fans' heads
> than lawyers' threats, bedroom musicians on both sides of the Atlantic are
> undeterred. All they need to do is download or buy software programs like Acid
> (which automatically synchronizes the rhythms of different tracks). Then they
> can scour a file-sharing service for a cappella versions of songs, which
> record companies sometimes include on promotional singles for club disk
> jockeys. Using a program like Acid, they can combine their source material
> into a new song.
> Afterward, the creators upload their musical patchworks back onto the same
> file-sharing service they grabbed the source material from.
> The mark of a good bootleg, fans say, is that it doesn't sound at all like one
> song superimposed on top of another, but a new song in itself. Among the most
> popular bootleg artists are Freelance Hellraiser (responsible for the Aguilera
> mix), Osymyso (who combines more than 100 songs in one mash-up), Kurtis Rush
> and Richard X. The more popular acts create their music through sampling their
> own records and then spread the mash-ups through white-label (i.e. anonymous)
> singles or playing them on the radio. But the music can also be accessed on
> file-sharing sites like Kazaa and Audiogalaxy.
> "If you take two or three or four great records and mix them together, you
> should end up with a superior product," said Steve Mannion, a co-editor at
> Boom Selection (www.base, a Web site dedicated to documenting the
> do-it-yourself remix, bootleg and sampling movements. "The best bootlegs don't
> sound like bootlegs; they work at a profound level, and actually sound like
> they are the original record."
> Completing the circle back to the record store, an illegal CD collecting the
> years best mash-ups, "The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever," recently appeared
> on the shelves of some underground music retailers in England and the United
> States. It was created by profiteers who simply downloaded the songs from a
> file-sharing service and then burned them onto a CD. "It is a case of
> bootleggers bootlegging bootlegs," said David Dewaele, who, with his brother,
> Stephen, make up one of the most accomplished and long-standing teams, known
> alternately as 2 Many D.J.s and the Flying Dewaele Brothers.
> Last year, the Dewaele brothers, Belgians who also play in the popular rock
> band Soulwax, created a legal mix album, but not without a lot of difficulty.
> It took the brothers two weeks to make the album, released as "2 Many D.J.s:
> As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2" there is no Part 1 but nine months to
> license the music (which includes songs by Dolly Parton, Sly and the Family
> Stone, and many others). And, even then, they were only able to clear the
> music on the CD for release in Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland.
> Pirated copies of the album have been circulating in the United States, and
> some music executives who have heard it cite it as not only the remix album of
> the year but the best album of any kind released so far this year.
> "It's my favorite record of the year so far," said Steve Greenberg, a former
> Mercury Records executive who now runs the independent label S-Curve Records.
> "It looks at music in a fresh and original way, and breaks down walls in ways
> that are particularly exciting considering how categorized and fragmented
> music is at the moment."
> One of the Dewaele brothers' first mash-ups was a combination of the rapper
> Skee-Lo's light-hearted "I Wish," Survivor's anthem "Eye of the Tiger," and
> the Breeders's rock song "Cannonball."
> From the opening track of their album, there is a distinct style and aesthetic
> at work. Often, the songs are cut up by computer, so that an introduction can
> be shortened, a verse removed or a section repeated to maintain the set's fast
> pace. "It has to be something that has some sort of edge to it, something
> weird that makes you go, `What is this!' " said David Dewaele.
> Making new songs out of existing works, of course, is nothing new. There are
> precedents in everything from 20th century classical to cartoon music, and it
> is the cornerstone of hip-hop, be it early pioneers like Grandmaster Flash or
> later innovators like Dr. Dre. In the 80's and 90's, avant-garde sound artists
> like Plunderphonic, Negativland and the Tape-Beatles (as well as the pop
> pranksters the KLF) challenged copyright law with collages made of everything
> from found sounds to top 40 hits. But many musical observers trace the
> official beginnings of the British bootleg scene to the Evolution Control
> Committee, which in 1993 mixed a Public Enemy a cappella with music by Herb
> Alpert.
> Today, there is a glut of such artists, and Mr. Mannion said that his Web
> site, Boom Selection, may receive as many as dozen new ones a week. Does that
> make it a fad or something here to stay?
> "I dont know what will happen next," Mr. Mannion said. "When people hear this
> stuff so much, they can get bored of it. But to me, I'll never get bored with
> this stuff, because that's like getting bored of music itself."
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