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Hip-Hop to Dubstep: International Music Styles and the Remix, Part 3 of 7


Above: The Amen Break documentary by Nate Harrison, included in the resource selections below.

List of online resources and music selection for week 3 of Hip-Hop to Dubstep, taught during the summer of 2013 at The New School’s  Media Studies, Department of Communication. I will be releasing brief notes based on my class lectures in the near future. If interested in looking at the actual class webpage with all the weekly selections at once, feel free to peruse this link: http://navasse.net/NS/NCOM3039A/. My notes will not be available on the class webpage, only on each corresponding entry here on Remix Theory. Please note that links may become broken. If and when this happens, the best thing to do is to search for the source by name. And do let me know if anything is broken and I will look into it.

View:
Part 1
Part 2

Week 3
June 17 – 21, 2013
Dub/Disco/Hip-Hop

Music selection and relevant links:

The Joy of Disco – The Joy of Disco:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zQpMnU6N4o

Amen Break Documentary (by Nate Harrison):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac
The Winstons – Amen Brother:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxZuq57_bYM

Scratch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj1r6u8zLPo&feature=player_embedded

TB-303 Documentary – Bassline Baseline (2005)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLQwwtjtiY4

The hip hop years part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhrSlOa2bsA
The hip hop years part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qjs771lWnE
The hip hop years part 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_46ig2V74I

Copyright Criminals
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIoR3PYpduo

 

Music Selection from Jamaica, Dancehall:

Yellowman – King Yellowman (Full Album) 1984
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i11zpqkmupg
Yellowman Reggae Sunsplash 1982
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko46_aXW_94

Mr Loverman- Shabba Ranks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcWif3u4A0A
House Call (Your Body Can’t LieTo Me), featuring Maxi Priest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwtAGWWC9y4

Elephant Man – Willie Bounce
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r038-tDd8eI

Elephant Man & Wyclef Jean – FIVE-O
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nNiBgS4bZ0

YouTube Selection of Dancehall:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH_0_
pijbZY&list=RD02IwtAGWWC9y4

 

Music Selection from UK, Northern Soul:

Frank Wilson – “Do I Love You” (Arguably once the rarest record ever)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwvpeYiQwss

The O’Jays – I Love Music (1975)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_1s2UFc_z8

R Dean Taylor – There’s A Ghost In My House
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp62EBeSZUc

Love On A Mountain Top – Robert Knight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96eiVUoWzB8

Bobby Freeman – “C’mon And Swim”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l2agUPZ7lc

The four tops – I can’t help myself – Live HQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXavZYeXEc0

Gloria Jones – “Tainted Love” (1964)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKUjI_CbIY0
(Not northen soul, but a cover of “Tainted Love,” 1984 sequential mashup with “Where did our Love Go?” by Soft Cell, New Wave version):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srtuQU20QXA

 

Music Selection from U.S., Disco (before mid-seventies, soul music influenced by the Motown sound):

Viva Tirado Live – El Chicano (1970) 1971 performance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxmwPkqkCnk
(
See Kid Frost below under rap for a sample used in a rap song)

Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band “Love Land” (1970)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ0yX05h3IQ

The Friends of Distinction – “Love or Let Me Be Lonely” (1970)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnEbZjOhUQU

Manu Dibango – “Soul Makossa” (1973)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2jYjUiulMQ

Kook and the Gang – “Jungle Boogie” (1974)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHGOO73Gxg4

MFSB TSOP The Sound Of Philadelphia (1974)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3nPLfG9gZY

Van McCoy – “The Hustle” (1975)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj23_nDFSfE

Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (mighty real)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG2ixYJ79iE

James Brown – The Original Disco Man DISCO (1979)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHQJDbeT1lM

Village People – “In the Navy”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InBXu-iY7cw

Village People – “Just a gigolo”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FvVcagZln0

Donna Summer ” Love To Love You Baby ”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6iTciIqLxM
Donna Summer I Feel Love [Extended Dance Edit] (1977)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljxm3NsnVI0
Donna Summer – I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Megamix)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1km3Fbeo0w

Le Freak – Chic (1978)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbzooE7jtiE
“Le Freak (House/Funk Deep Remix)”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9e1REw6WFY
Chic Megamix – in memory of Bernard Edwards (mixed in the tradition of the old days with two turntables)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMlhtKw_Sds

More, More More – Andrea True Connection
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlJGrIyt-X8

Bee Gees – “Staying Alive” (1979)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_izvAbhExY

Bee Gees Megamix (Straight on two turntables, as it would be done at the club)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxZckhvwsoM

 

Music Selection from U.S. (Electro-funk/techno-funk, or simply… “funk” as it was called and known to DJs playing it.)

Three key tracks that informed funk in the eighties:
Babe Ruth’s “The Mexican,” James Brown’s “The Payback”, and The Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache”

“The Mexican” (break played by Mancuso and DJs in the Bronx, happens at 3:35 – 445)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YhRkAF1tXM
Incredible Bongo Band – “Apache” (1973)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnsc_U4sJ8Q
“Apache” is actually a cover originally recorded by The Shadows in 1969:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoN6AKPGkBo
James Brown, “The Payback” (1973)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IST6qRfVqwY
James Brown’s drummer, Clyde Stubblefield is arguably the most sampled drummer in history:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOS18vi7WLc

Unity by James Brown & Afrika Bambaataa
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6hE5OmpKyc
Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Soinc Force -“Planet Rock”
(extended mix, 1982)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XPmOpLVZPI

Afrika Bambaataa, “Looking for the Perfect Beat”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RJlYzBhLg4

Twilight 22 – “Electric Kingdom”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RJlYzBhLg4

Al Naafiysh “The Soul” Side A:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbvDORZ0HlU
Side B:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i46sF1PcqL8
It’s about time Remix:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hLUjEO2ZCs

Cybotron “Clear”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGqiBFqWCTU
“Clear” Frankie Bones (founder of House music) Remix:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkrk5Gzo_2A

Herbie Hancock, “Rock it”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHhD4PD75zY
Live version (inspired many DJs including Mix Master Mike to become DJs–becaue of Grandmaster DSTs performance)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN5ltss0NMA
See Mike Scratching:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DLED7krHwU

Much of early electro-funk borrowed (sampled freely) or were heavily influenced by the music of Kraftwerk (Germany). Two songs that were heavily sampled are:
Kraftwerk – “Numbers”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YPiCeLwh5o
Kraftwerk – “Transeurope Express”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBGNlTPgQII

Newcleus was clearly influenced by the sound coming out of Germany. “Push the Button makes this quite evident.” Also note that while Newcleus were very much experimenting with electro-funk, they also would rap, as you will notice one of their most successful songs is included under the rap section below.

Newcleus – “Push the Button” (extended mix) (1983)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67zWw4UfHWE
Newcleus – “Push the Button” (with vocal intro)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vatk9sF7qyI

The P Crew – “Nasty Rock” (1983)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5rbZ-RQbIg

Midnight Star – “Freakazoid” (1983)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRo426va26I

 

Music Selection from U.S., Hip Hop (Rap):

Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five – “The Message” (1982)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4o8TeqKhgY

The Egyptian Lover “Egypt Egypt” (1983)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjFs9CPGhts

The Egyptian Lover “I Need a Freak” (1983)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4Cd9wGHtr0

Newcleus – “Jam on It” (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEmg5GaAHbk

Whodini – “Friends” (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tECCvdWEweA
Whodini – “Five Minutes of Funk”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pskKw8sPtQk
Whodini – “Five Minutes of Funk” (Instrumental)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y5pj1IoJ7Q

Ice T – “Reckless” (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POydN8X1GSY
Ice T – “Reckless” (extended mix)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdnPn8QTDIU

Dr. Dre and the Wrecking Crew (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT9O-pUGsVM

World Famous Supreme Team (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHMVkqCKknc
Malcolm Mclaren, “World Famous” (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq_dDiLZl38
Malcom Maclaren, “Hobo Scratch” (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_mHENbpmHk

UTFO – “Roxanne Roxanne”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KpngczmD7Q

Roxanne Shante “Roxanne’s Revenge”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVy2LHKFG18

Run DMC – King of Rock (1985)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXzWlPL_TKw
Run DMC – Sucker MCs (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXVFNs0piP8

Beastie Boys – License to Ill (1986)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7M7d8u40I4&list=PL07ABD2EB68C1C470

NWA, “Something 2 dance 2” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=794JyvaTHqQ
NWA, “Straight Out of Compton” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MrQtOoQRpc

Public Enemy – “Don’t Believe the Hype” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vQaVIoEjOM
Public Enemy – “Fight the Power” (1990)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PaoLy7PHwk

Queen Latiffah and Monie Love – “Ladies First” (1989)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLB5bUNAesc

Monie Love “Monie in the Middle” (1990)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxHLYjz_oEs

Kid Frost – La Raza (1990)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ8AS300WH4
(See disco section for the original song “Viva Tirado” by El Chicano to hear the source of melody and percussion samples)

 

Music Selection from U.S., Hip Hop (Turntablism):

Grandmaster Flash, Adventures on the Wheels of Steel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXNzMVLqIHg
Grandmaster Flash Ibiza 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwvkRx0eV68
Grandmaster Flash live, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue2BVDCF9Vg

DJ Shadow, “Midnight in a Perfect World”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmzHRGoKca0

DJ Crush, Kemuri
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVjgRlto8PI

Invisible Skratch Picklz Live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ3N6XADe9I

DJ Qbert, 2012 DMC
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS0rl7IGHwA
DJ Qbert & Mix Master Mike 2012 DMC
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7pVbJClzuc

Kid Koala (Jazz improvization, date unknown)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbFIGFv4GLQ

Beat Junkies 1998
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29TIvv5uIVE

Hip-Hop to Dubstep: International Music Styles and the Remix, Part 2 of 7

Above: Skatalites Authentic, included in music selections below.

List of online resources and music selection for week 2 of Hip-Hop to Dubstep, taught during the summer of 2013 at The New School’s  Media Studies, Department of Communication. I will be releasing brief notes based on my class lectures in the near future. If interested in looking at the actual class webpage with all the weekly selections at once, feel free to peruse this link: http://navasse.net/NS/NCOM3039A/. My notes will not be available on the class webpage, only on each corresponding entry here on Remix Theory. Please note that links may become broken. If and when this happens, the best thing to do is to search for the source by name. And do let me know if anything is broken and I will look into it.

View:  Part 1

Week 2
June 10-14, 2013
Dub Music/Hip-Hop

Music selection and relevant links:

Links used to contextualize why everything is not a remix, but why the concept of remixing has become popular to discuss recycling of material in forms beyond music:

Everything is a Remix, Part 1
http://vimeo.com/14912890
Everything is a Remix, Part 2
http://vimeo.com/19447662

 

Historical resources:

History of Jamaican Music Pt 1
(Discusses ska and rock steady)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4J4P6ozT0g
BBC Reggae The Story of Jamaican Music Programme 2 Rebel Music
(Discusses reggae and briefly dub)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvycRljrAH4
BBC Reggae The Story of Jamaican Music Programme 3 As Raw As Ever
(Internationalization of Jamaican music)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnBCnX_Hctk

Dub Stories (full documentary): View the first half. The second half of the documentary is about Dub in France :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6Eet-sm8Yw

Deep Soul The Up Rising Of Motown Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkd1c4T5HiE
Deep Soul The Up Rising Of Motown Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe9NGrEJQEE
Deep Soul The Up Rising Of Otis Redding Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXGallmBcTA
Deep Soul The Up Rising Of Otis Redding Part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jFXR6o639g

 

Music Selection from Jamaica, 1960s:

Ska:

Ernest Ranglin, “Liquidation”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ_iZ9iBYBM

Skatalites – Ska Authentic (Album, 1964)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4kH8PvwDyM&list=
PL0A7039D867DDDA2A

Skatalites – Simmer down (1964)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9HyXc4e7Qc
Youtube’s Music Selection of Skatalites and Ska:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwPLeczyhKg&list=RD02O9HyXc4e7Qc

Rock Steady:

John Holt & The Paragons – “I’ve Got To Get Away” (1968)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRDILYQqUkM
YouTube’s Music Selection of The Paragons:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECwMLVUt67c&list=
PL22729AAD8001A0B9

The Melodians – “You Don’t Need Me” (1968)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHe3owGT7iw

Studio 1 recordings:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fCJEmh0G1g&list=RD02uHe3owGT7iw

Reggae (See England)

Dub (mainly 1970s):

Lee Perry and King Jammy – “Rude Boy”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y87id6TGopc

King Tubby & Augustus Pablo – “Ruler Fi Dub”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIhaL04aJpI&noredirect=1
YouTube’s Music Selection of King Tubby:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvYSYOKFCbk&list=RD025iQxCG1c39I

YouTube Music Selection of Mad Professor:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU75iSYyphY&list=RD02ctnz-GciFQ0

 

Music Selection from England, 1960s/70s:

Reggae (recordings took place in England, or were made popular internationally through England, with close ties to Jamaica):

Jimmy Cliff, “The Harder They Come”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGE4dnrPPZQ
Jimmy Cliff & others, YouTube’s Selection:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18EAqHx2lMk&list=RD02ixBo3niO_Do

Bob Marley – Catch a Fire (First Album, 1973):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDadSKdegBo&list=PL9BDE49614C503F66
YouTube Music Selection of Bob Marley:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us7hfASz0g4&list=RD026QC_ZMWTxJU

Bob & Marcia – “Young, Gifted and Black”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubDVUQon5BE
Bob & Marcia – “Really Together”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi6LDdBdvzo

 

Music Selection from the United States, 1960s-70s:

The Supremes “Baby Love” (1964)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23UkIkwy5ZM

Marvin Gaye – “Easy Living” (1964)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzyeHRQdTHQ
YouTube Music Selection of Marvin Gaye:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARWFDoADlqk&list=RD02SzyeHRQdTHQ

James Brown – “The Payback” (1973)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IST6qRfVqwY

Motown Music Selection:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTe06PrXwo4&list=RD02–jWPzNNdN4

 

(Looking ahead to week 3)
How concepts of Dub and the selector & MC/Deejay were popularly introduced in pop music:

Chic – “Good Times” (1979)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g6bUe5MDRo

Sugarhill Gang – “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diiL9bqvalo

Hip-Hop to Dubstep: International Music Styles and the Remix, Part 1 of 7


Above: “Rehab” by the Jolly Boys, Mento cover of Amy WineHouse’s composition (listed below as part of music selection)

This summer I am teaching an onlline class on the history of remix in music since the 1960s for The New School’s  Media Studies, Department of Communication. I will be making available the music selections for each week in a total of 7 entries. I will be releasing brief notes based on my lectures in the near future, for now I am sharing the online resources and music selection.  The first week’s list of resources is below, following the description of the class. If interested in looking at the actual class webpage with all the weekly selections at once, feel free to peruse it: http://navasse.net/NS/NCOM3039A/ . My notes will not be available on the class webpage, only on each corresponding entry here on Remix Theory. Please note that links may become broken. If and when this happens, the best thing to do is to search for the source by name. And do let me know if anything is broken and I will look into it.

Course Description
This course is a theoretical and historical survey of popular music influenced by or part of the remix tradition in hip-hop and electronica. Emphasis is placed on the shaping of culture by media and vice-versa. Remixes are compositions that reconfigure a pre-existing music recording, often to make it more danceable. As simple as the definition sounds, it carries a complex set of cultural variables that include issues of class, gender, and ethnicity. Listening exercises and analysis of recorded music is complemented by readings that provide understanding of the historical context and theoretical underpinning of remix practices. Our survey begins with popular music in the United States in the early 1950s, including Blues, R&B, Rock n’ Roll, and early funk. In the 1960s, this music was appropriated in the Caribbean and gave birth to new styles, Calypso, Ska, Reggae, and Dub. Then it came full circle back to the United States with the development of hip-hop music. The rise of the international styles called trip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass, and dubstep and the parallel history of techno and house music and styles in-between are then considered, in order to arrive at a theoretical understanding of the complexity of contemporary music and the extent to which it has been defined by the principles of sampling and remix.

———–

Week 1
June 3, – 7, 2013
Pre-history/Critical Context
1900 – 1960s

Music selection and relevant links:

Jamaican Music style before the ’60s:

Mento Music:
http://www.mentomusic.com/WhatIsMento.htm
http://worldmusic.about.com/od/genres/p/Mento.htm
Selection of Mento Music:
http://www.mentomusic.com/buy.htm

Brief Video on Mento Music:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NWpJZ0t48k

Jamaican Folk Dances Explained:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvktJry98nY

Hil and Gully Rider:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCpTkfYVHpQ

Contemporary Mento Band, The Jolly Boys:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDzzlNX-h7Q

Versioning Mento:
Amy Winhouse’s “Rehab” Mento Version by The Jolly Boys:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOwl-bMfIkc
Winehouse’s “Rebhab”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmZp8pR1uc

Jamaican Journey – from mento to dubstep:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlkf-F803bI

 

Selection of Music from the United States that influenced Jamaican Culture:

Charles Brown – “Rockin’ Blues”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flr6S-orNr8
YouTube’s Charles Brown Music Selection:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGtu2gMRIPU&list=RD02T77Ubj6EGlE

Louis Jordan, “Let the Good Times Roll”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCWUvI7yKtQ
YouTube’s Louise Jordan Music Selection:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCWUvI7yKtQ&list=RD021NAUeL0D4SI

Big Joe Turner – “Shake, Rattle & Roll”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Feq_Nt3nM
YouTube’s Big Joe Turner’s Music Selection:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJsod7Lgn8E&list=RD02bMcfKSeVKDA

Nat King Cole, “Nature Boy”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq0XJCJ1Srw
YouTube’s Nat King Cole’s Music Selection:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QRiG_WEzTQ&list=RD02J1glriB54oE

Peggy Lee, “Fever” (1958)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGb5IweiYG8

Abbie Mitchell, “Summertime” (1935)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0g12TrSnIE

Billie Holiday, “Summertime” (1936)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc-_8LdKTDA

Miles Davis, “Summertime” (1958)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQtAWKQ_M7w

 

Versioning “Fever” and “Summertime:”

Susan Cadogan, “Fever”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1jvw005Pt0

Ska version of “Summertime” by The Rude Boys (2000)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV4W6JqUJpI

Reggae version of “Summertime” by B. B. Seaton (1973)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RAMm_VmOjA

 

Versioning  in Jungle/Drum ‘n’ Bass:

“Sweetest Taboo” by Sade:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcPc18SG6uA
“Sweetest Taboo” by Sweet Corner:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6glc6egYdg

Beatles, “Come Together”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axb2sHpGwHQ
MC Olive, “Come Together”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVkPYGZnLks

The Framework of Culture: Remix in Music, Art, and Literature, by Eduardo Navas

Image: The four diagrams of The Framework of Culture. Each is discussed below.

Note: This text was commissioned for the exhibition Reuse Aloud, taking place at the NewBridge Project Space, Newcastle, England; and broadcasting 24 hours a day on basic.fm throughout March, 2013. Many thanks to the curators Will Strong and Rosanna Skett for commissioning the text.  A recorded version is also part of the exhibition.

An earlier version of this text was presented as my keynote speech for Remixed Media Festival in NYC.  In that occassion I only focused on literature. The version for Reuse Aloud was revised to include art and music as well. My thanks to Tom Tenney, director of the NYC festival for giving me the opportunity to test my ideas in front of a very receptive audience.

This text can also be downloaded as a PDF, which is friendlier for print, or for reading on tablets: NavasFrameNC_Web

Introduction

We live in a time when the self-awareness of recycling of material and immaterial things is almost taken for granted. I state almost because, as the following analysis demonstrates, the potential of recycling as a creative act in what we refer to as remix is in constant friction with cultural production. Consequently, the purpose of this essay is to demonstrate the importance of remix as a practice worthy of proper recognition exactly because of its ability to challenge the mainstream’s ambivalent acceptance of aesthetic and critical production that relies on strategies of appropriation, recycling, and recontextualization of material.

Proper recognition is only worthy when it is an attestation of a particular achievement, which can only come about through struggle. Arguably a type of struggle that is certainly recognized and even celebrated quite often, (which admittedly makes for romantic narratives) is the basic human struggle: the will to live. We can think of struggle here as a term spanning across all types of activities, from war to natural disasters—many which are now commonly shared all over the world.

But to begin with a more basic premise, struggle in its most abstract form can simply consist of reflecting on the pain of self-awareness; of having the burden of knowing that we just exist and, for the most part, will do anything to make sure that we will exist for as long as possible. Many of us are willing to find ways to extend our lives before we take our last breath. Others, admittedly, will struggle to leave this world as soon as possible; thus, it may be suicide the subject of struggle in such cases. But this brief reflection on struggle as a humanistic preoccupation is mentioned because we diligently have extended it to everything we produce. It is an important ingredient in what we may call progress.  As romantic as it may sound, human beings have the tendency to struggle in order to be better; whatever that means. And as we have grown as a complex global society, we have been able to extend our struggle on to and through media.

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REUSE ALOUD

Image source: Basic.fm

Note: Very happy to be participating in the upcoming exhibition, ” Reuse Aloud.”  Information below.

Directly from the basic.fm blog:

Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema and The NewBridge Project present Reuse Aloud, a month-long exhibition and radio broadcast throughout March 2013 featuring work from national and international artists, musicians and writers.

The project will be hosted in The NewBridge Project Space on New Bridge Street West and broadcast on Tyneside Cinema’s online radio station basic.fm as part of its digital arts programme, Pixel Palace.

Reuse Aloud is curated by Will Strong and Rosanna Skett and will examine the art of using old and existing compositions to make something new, and ask questions about originality in the digital age.

It will do this through an ambitious schedule of live and pre-recorded work with contributions from artists and musicians from across the globe, including critically acclaimed artists Frank Nora, Eduardo Navas and Natalia Skobeeva, DJs and mashup pioneers Z-trip and Girl Talk, and award-winning Canadian rap artist Baba Brinkman.

Throughout March a radio booth will be installed in the NewBridge Project Space and it will broadcast 24 hours a day on basic.fm.

Reuse Aloud will open to the public at 5pm on Friday 1 March with a preview event featuring new work from artists Andy Ingamells, Sam Christie, Jess Rose, Rachel Magdeburg and Joe Pochciol.

The project space will be open to the public Monday-Friday, 12noon–6pm throughout March and will culminate in a live 24-hour broadcast marathon starting at 6pm, Friday 29 March and running until 6pm, Saturday 30 March.

 

Regular updates about Reuse Aloud can be found at:
http://www.basic.fm/
www.thenewbridgeproject.com <http://www.thenewbridgeproject.com/>
http://www.facebook.com/events/117549618424766/

Images from the Exhibition Three Junctures of Remix

Image from Cali2’s Flickr stream. From left to right: Mark Amerika, Giselle Beiguelman, Elisa Kreisinger, Arcangel Constantini, Trish Stone, and Eduardo Navas

The opening at Calit2 on January 17 was a complete success.  Many thanks to Jordan Crandall and the gallery committee for their support in the realization of the exhibition. A special thanks to Trish Stone and Hector Bracho and the entire Calit2 team for all their help.  It was truly a great experience.  The discussion panel, which took place just an hour before the official opening will be online very soon, in the meantime I want to point out that there are lots of great pictures on Flickr for anyone interested to view.

More Soon,

Eduardo

Table of Contents and Introduction Available as PDF for my book, Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling

Springer has made available the Table of Contents and Introduction of my book, Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling. You can download it by visiting the book’s official link:
http://www.springer.com/architecture+%26+design/architecture/book/978-3-7091-1262-5

The book should be available in the coming weeks in Europe, and soon after in the United States. For more information, also see the main entry about the book.

Pre-order Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling

Cover Design: Ludmil Trenkov

Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling can now be pre-ordered.  You can place your order on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Powell’sl Books, or another major online bookseller in your region, anywhere in the world.  The book is scheduled to be available in Europe in July, 2012 and in the U.S. in September/October of 2012.

The book will also be available electronically through university libraries that have subscriptions with Springer’s online service, Springerlink.  I encourage educators who find the book as a whole, or in part, of use for classes to consider the latter option to make the material available to students at an affordable price.

Anyone should be able to preview book chapters on Springerlink once the book is released everywhere.  If you would like a print copy for review, please send me, Eduardo Navas, an e-mail with your information and motivation for requesting a print version.

For all questions, please feel free to contact me at eduardo_at_navasse_dot_net.

Also, see the main entry on this book for the table of content and more information.

Below are selected excerpts from the book:

From Chapter One, Remix[ing] Sampling, page 11:

Before Remix is defined specifically in the late 1960s and ‘70s, it is necessary to trace its cultural development, which will clarify how Remix is informed by modernism and postmodernism at the beginning of the twenty-first century. For this reason, my aim in this chapter is to contextualize Remix’s theoretical framework. This will be done in two parts. The first consists of the three stages of mechanical reproduction, which set the ground for sampling to rise as a meta-activity in the second half of the twentieth century. The three stages are presented with the aim to understand how people engage with mechanical reproduction as media becomes more accessible for manipulation. […]The three stages are then linked to four stages of Remix, which overlap the second and third stage of mechanical reproduction.

From Chapter two, Remix[ing] Music, page 61:

To remix is to compose, and dub was the first stage where this possibility was seen not as an act that promoted genius, but as an act that questioned authorship, creativity, originality, and the economics that supported the discourse behind these terms as stable cultural forms. […] Repetition becomes the privileged mode of production, in which preexisting material is recycled towards new forms of representation. The potential behind this paradigm shift would not become evident until the second stage of Remix in New York City, where the principles explored in dub were further explored in what today is known as turntablism: the looping of small sections of records to create new beats—instrumental loops, on top of which MCs and rappers would freestyle, improvising rhymes. […]

From Chapter Three, Remix[ing] Theory, page 125:

Once the concept of sampling, as understood in music during the ‘70s and ‘80s, was introduced as an activity directly linked to remixing different elements beyond music (and eventually evolved into an influential discourse), appropriation and recycling as concepts changed at the beginning of the twenty-first century; they cannot be considered on the same terms prior to the development of machines specifically design for remixing. This would be equivalent to trying to understand the world in terms of representation prior to the photo camera. Once a specific technology is introduced it eventually develops a discourse that helps to shape cultural anxieties. Remix has done and is currently doing this to concepts of appropriation. Remix has changed how we look at the production of material in terms of combinations. This is what enables Remix to become an aesthetic, a discourse that, like a virus, can move through any cultural area and be progressive and regressive depending on the intentions of the people implementing its principles.

More excerpts available once the book is available.

Research on Remix and Cultural Analtytics, Part 4

Image: Detail of sliced visualization of thirty video samples of Downfall remixes. See actual visualization below.

As part of my post doctoral research for The Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway, I am using cultural analytics techniques to analyze YouTube video remixes.  My research is done in collaboration with the Software Studies Lab at the University of California, San Diego. A big thank you to CRCA at Calit2 for providing a space for daily work during my stays in San Diego.

The following is an excerpt from an upcoming paper titled, “Modular Complexity and Remix: The Collapse of Time and Space into Search,” to be published in the peer review journal AnthroVision, Vol 1.1. A note will posted here, on Remix Theory, announcing when the complete paper is officially published.

The excerpt below is rather extensive for a blog post, but I find it necessary to share it in order to bring together elements discussed in previous posts on Remix and Cultural Analytics (see part 1 on the Charleston Mix, part 2 on Radiohead’s Lotus Flower, and part 3 on the Downfall parodies). The excerpt has been slightly edited to make direct reference to the previous postings, and therefore reads different from the version in the actual text, which makes reference to sections of the research paper where more extensive analysis is introduced. Consequently, in order for this post to make more sense, the previous three entries mentioned above should also be read.

The following excerpt references sliced visualizations of the three cases studies in order to analyze the patterns of remixing videos on YouTube. The reason for sharing part of my publication now is to bring together the observations made in previous postings, and to make evident how cultural analytics enables researchers invested in the digital humanities to examine cultural objects in new ways that were not possible prior to the digitalization process we have been experiencing for the last decades.

———–

To understand how a meme evolves based on the first remixes that a user may find can be evaluated by developing visualizations of the three cases studies that show the editing of the video footage over time.  To accomplish this, I took the frames of thirty videos of each meme and sliced them in order to examine the types of pattern the editing actually takes.  What we find is that with the Charleston Remixes the video footage stays practically the same except for a few remixes in which the footage of Leon and James dancing was used selectively as part of bigger projects.  “Mr. Scruff – Get a Move on | Charleston videoclip” is one of these exceptions, in which the video is re-edited to match the sound (see slice detail below).  Another is “Charleston & Lindy Hop Dance ReMix – iLLiFieD video.mix (Version),” (also see below).

Image: A two column slice visualization of the 29 of 30 remixes (one remix was omitted because the footage is not the same performance.  That video is not relevant to evaluate how the video footage of this meme is left intact).  For a full list of this visualization visit: http://remixtheory.net/remixAnalytics/ and select “Charleston Video Slices.” View large version of this image.

Image: this is a slice visualization of “The Charleston and Lindy Hop Dance Remix.”  When comparing this sliced image to other slices in the two-column visualization above, one can notice the selective process with which footage from the Charleston Style was used.   This video is much longer than the original footage, and has been compacted in order to show how the video was selectively edited.  To view this remix, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POupa2sW1UI&feature=player_embedded. This video was uploaded to YouTube on May2, 2009. View large version of this image.

Image: this is a slice visualization of “Mr. Scruff remix.”  When comparing the sliced image to the other slices in the two columns visualization above, one can notice how the same footage was edited repeatedly to match the beat and sections of the song. This video is much longer than the original footage, and has been compacted in order to show how the video was selectively edited.   Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Bx5-itIA0pQ.   This video was uploaded to YouTube on January 10, 2008. View large version of this image.

Image: A two-column visualization of Lotus Flower Remixes.  The original video by Radiohead is on the top-left.  Most of the videos sliced in this sample were uploaded within the first two weeks after the original video was uploaded by Radiohead on February 16, 2011. For a full list of this visualization visit: http://remixtheory.net/remixAnalytics/ and select “Lotus Flower Video Slices.” View large version of this image.

In the Lotus Flower Remixes (See image above) we can note that the editing of the videos is quite diverse; the footage is remixed (heavily edited) to match the beat and the overall feel of the selected songs, with the very first videos.

The Downfall remixes (see figure below) consists of video footage that for the most part has been left intact. What is remixed is the fake translation of Hitler’s rant.  The subtitles for Hitler are sometimes in the middle of the screen, in others at the bottom; sometimes the typeface is small, and at times large.  But in the end the video footage is left intact and the translations very much obey the rhythm of the original editing.

Image: A two-column visualization of The Downfall Parody remixes.  The original video with no subtitles is on the top-left.  Videos sliced in this sample were uploaded between 2007 and 2011.  At the moment it is not certain whether the 2007 upload was the first because many remixes have been taken down by YouTube.  For a full list of this visualization visit: http://remixtheory.net/remixAnalytics/ and select “Downfall Video Slices.” View large version of this image.

Image: Visualization of Downfall video, with proper English subtitles.  The thin horizontal white bars near the bottom of the frame are the subtitles.  To view this video visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bmkUlXp5sk&feature=related.   Some of the remixes present the subtitles in yellow. View large version of this image.

Image: visualization of “Hitler’s Reaction to the new Kiss album,” a video remix in which Hitler rants about the album’s title “Sonic Boom.”  The subtitles (the thin horizontal white bars) in this case move all over the frame.  To view this video visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwOLfppXhsk&feature=youtu.be. View large version of this image.

We can note in the three case studies that the approach of remixing is in part defined by the way the original remix or footage was produced.  With the Charleston Remixes, most contributions leave the video footage intact.  No major editing took place until September 2007, that is a year and four months after the first upload.  With the Lotus Flower Remixes, editing of the footage is done from the very beginning, while with the Downfall parodies, it does not place at all.  Why would this be?

Based on the diagrams (see the link “visualization of links” for each case study on the page remixAnalytics) and patterns of editing that I present, we can note that the later videos are in fact responses to previous productions.  In the Charleston Remixes, the video footage is left intact because it is intact in the first remix.  With Lotus Flower, the original footage by Radiohead is heavily edited, which gives remixers the license to immediately manipulate the footage in selective fashion—by omitting some parts of the footage while repeating others to match the selected songs.  With the Downfall remixes, the result is similar to the Charleston Remix: the footage is practically left alone because the meme demands that the basis of the meme be that only the text be remixed; therefore, the only major shift takes place with the placement of translations on the screen: sometimes on the middle, but for the most part at the bottom.  The only other shift we can notice with the subtitles is that they may crossover from one shot to the next based on the emphasis of the content that the remixer wants to make.  But none of the Charleston and Downfall videos are as heavily edited as the Lotus Flower remixes.  It is also worth noting that these are all selective remixes, which means that they all are dependent on a clear reference to the original source.[1]   If such reference is lost, then, the remix withers, and would become either a badly concocted reference, or simply a product on the verge of plagiarism.

One last element that needs to be considered, which apparently affects the production of the memes, as is also argued by a study on YouTube funded by Telefonica [2], and also supported by the research of Jean Burgess and Joshua Green [3] is that due to the viral emphasis on YouTube, online users are most likely to find an already remixed version of a video, and not the original if the remix has enjoyed more views.  The exception to this is Lotus Flower, for which YouTube apparently always offers the original video as part of possible selections, on the first page of all results.  This is likely because given Radiohead’s popularity, their YouTube channel has a large number of views.  For the Charleston, this is not always the case, as the original footage sometimes will not come up with certain video remixes.  For the Downfall meme, it is even more difficult to speculate how videos produced before 2007 affect users who currently search for the meme, because they are likely to find videos that are popular, but not necessarily the newest nor the oldest—but rather the most relevant based on the terms used for the search in relation to the number of views.

[1] For the full definition of the selective remix see “Selective and Reflexive Mashups.”

[2] Meeyoung Cha, Haewoon Kwak, Pablo Rodriguez, Yong-Yeol Ahn, and Sue Moon, “I Tube, You Tube, Everybody Tubes: Analyzing the World’s Largest User Generated Content Video System,” http://an.kaist.ac.kr/traces/papers/imc131-cha.pdf

[3] For Burgess and Green this is evident based on their assessment of the emphasis of presenting popular videos first, and the fact that YouTube members deliberately find ways to promote their videos to become as popular as possible. See Jean Burgess & Joshua Green, YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture (Cambridge: Polity, 2010), 74.

Upcoming Book, Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling

Image: Preliminary cover design and logo for upcoming book by Ludmil Trenkov.

I am very happy to announce that my book Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling is scheduled to be published later on this year, by Springer Wien New York Press.  If all goes according to schedule, it should be available no later than this Fall.  The book offers an in-depth analysis on Remix as a form of discourse.  To get a sense of what to expect, you can read my previously published text, “Regressive and Reflexive Mashups in Sampling Culture,” also available through Springer: http://www.springerlink.com/content/r7r28443320k6012/. You can read my online version as well, though I encourage you to support the publishing company by downloading the official version.

I will offer more information about the book in the near future, such as the table of content, and excerpts from the text. For now I wanted to share the promotional abstract:

Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling is an analysis of Remix in art, music, and new media. Navas argues that Remix, as a form of discourse, affects culture in ways that go beyond the basic recombination of material. His investigation locates the roots of Remix in early forms of mechanical reproduction, in seven stages, beginning in the nineteenth century with the development of the photo camera and the phonograph, leading to contemporary remix culture. This book places particular emphasis on the rise of Remix in music during the 1970s and ‘80s in relation to art and media at the beginning of the twenty-first Century. Navas argues that Remix is a type of binder, a cultural glue—a virus—that informs and supports contemporary culture.

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