Saturday, June 28, 2008



Swedish Bastard Pop artist Copycat has been mixing mashups for around five years. There are nearly forty tracks available to download at his website (and who knows how many more scattered elsewhere throughout the web). He's been featured on The Bootie Top Ten, The Toronto Star's Anti-hit list, Audio Porn Central's monthly chart, Popbytes Mashup of the week and numerous other weekly and yearly "best of" lists... The point: the word is getting out!

Check him out at his myspace page, as well as at Facebook and of course, his official website. There's lots to hear, see and read. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Copycat...

*Name: Copycat. Nothing else. Especially not Dj Copycat...

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: I sometimes tag my stuff with A Copycat Mash or A Copycat Remix. There are quite a few copycats out there, not least in the music world, so I'm kinda struggling to make sure people get the right one.

*Do you use a pseudonym?
Yes, I do. I'm a bit wary of the legal implications my production may have. Especially here in Sweden, where the prosecutors are keeping themselves quite busy at the mo. So I prefer to keep a low profile for another while.

Just the one. But I've been involved in a couple of joint bootleg ventures. Hope to do more of that in the future, in one way or another. Very rewarding. And fun!

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: It's definitely "digital deconstructions.” I cut and slice and shake and dice whatever gets in my way. Most of it ends up in the bin, but every now and then I manage to get it somewhere near my original intentions - and "release" it. On the other hand, I took a tour down memory lane the other week, in an old school meets new school kinda way, trying Traktor's Scratch software. Very inspiring and tremendously fun! Quite a few new ideas were generated. And it was a definite encouragement to go back to playing around more with turntables.

*Another genre descriptor: Dunno really. I don't care that much, to be honest. "Mash up" is fine, as is the good old "bastard pop" tag. I'm still having a problem with "bootlegs" tho. Too vague, I think. When I started doing these things I just considered them as plain "remixes,” but I suppose that's a somewhat confusing term. Especially since I've ventured into some more traditional remixing stuff as well of late. I've considered nicking Coldcut's apt term "Beats and pieces.” Especially for some of the stuff I do.

*Why you use this descriptor: Some of my "mash-ups" consist of endless snippets, bits, beats and pieces I've sampled from all sorts of sources. Sure, it's still a mash-up, but not perhaps in the everyday sense of the word. Cut-up could be one way of describing it, but it probably implies something entirely different. "Beats and pieces" seems as an apt descriptor, don't you think?

*Location: I live with my wife and 15 months old son in the very south of Sweden - just opposite Copenhagen, with only the Øresund straits dividing Sweden and Denmark.

*Original Location: N/A

*What is your creative/artistic background: I bought my first singles back in ´76 or ´77 in my hometown's two local record shops. I was immediately taken under their wings as a mascot or something and spent most of my days in either shop and even ended up working in one of them for some 10 years later on in life. One of them was a bit more edgy, with a local DJ running it, a guy with connections and a master mixer selling highly acclaimed mixtapes. Sometimes, I sat in on these productions - with great awe - and listened to the DJ's every word. His stories of the big names, big venues and big artists he'd encountered along the way. He opened an entirely new world to me, introduced me to a few of his fellow DJs and sort of showed me the ropes. One thing led to another and I started to do some DJ-ing myself. Nowadays, I'm in advertising, working as a freelance creative in the south of Sweden. The idea is essentially the same. You pick up trends in current affairs, music, film, fashion or whatever and try to mash it into a single communicative idea or concept that makes people go "Hmm..." I jumped ship from one of the major agencies in Sweden five years back and started up my own business. That's also when I started to prioritize a bit differently as regards work. Work to live, instead of the opposite. Which sort of gave me some extra time. Time enough to cultivate what I'd been neglecting during my intensive career as an employee. So I picked up my old infatuation, music, again. Best thing I've ever done.

*History: The past five years, essentially. After my "come-back" as it were. Mainly remixes and mash-ups, but I've also done my own stuff. But it's not ready to fly just yet - even if I sold a track to advertising a couple of years back.

I was born in the seventies. 1970 to be precise.

I suppose I mainly do what I do for a laugh. I love music and have a far too large and eclectic record collection to let it go to waste. I'm also very keen on scouting new things, picking up whatever comes along. Music's my therapy after long hard days of creative advertising work and gives me a chance to unwind, calm down, breathe and recharge my batteries.

I don't really think I have an outspoken philosophy. But I suppose an open mind helps. I try to avoid the most obvious creations. I'm not that into Hip-hop and R&B. Since my love for music took off in the mid-seventies and exploded during the eighties, I tend to go back to my (rather complex) roots quite a lot. I love punk - but I also love disco. The New Wave era was my dream come true, kinda combining both with added synthesizers and stuff. From disco a la Moroder and New wave, the step to electronica and synth pop, as championed by Depeche Mode, OMD and their contemporaries, wasn't that far. From there I got into all sorts of indie and alternative things. In the mid-nineties my eyes were further opened. I had the pleasure of spending a week at the BBC in London, with John Peel. Now, that gentleman knew a thing or two about music. And he didn't give a damn about genres or what people think. Since then I've developed an even more f***ed-up taste in music, I suppose... I hope and think this alloy leaves a mark in what I do.

*How would you like to be remembered:
A caring, loving husband and father, top bloke - and a not entirely untalented bastard.

*Web address:

Episode 210, Some Assembly Required

Episode 210, Some Assembly Required

01 The Who Boys – “A Song Called Bob”
02 Realistic – “Wandering Aimlessly”
03 DJ QBert – “Three”
04 Soundhog – “An Egyptian Trick”
05 Sucking Chest Wound - “That's Wrong”
06 Stunt Rock – “Dear __, thank you for attempting to never talk to me again again”
07 People Like Us – “Yodel Bomber”
08 The Tape-beatles – “Green, Blue Beautiful Place”
09 Aggro1 – “Strange Love Cocaine”
10 Eldad Tsabary - “INTO-NATION”
11 RIAA - “Zulu Qawalli”
12 Oh Astro – “Quiet Mouth”
13 Value Village People - “Live 2 Tell”
14 Bob Ostertag – “w00t (segment)”
15 Copycat – “Fade to pretty vacant”

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Sunday, June 22, 2008



DJ EZG lives and works in the UK. His was the opening track on The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever, the 2002 bootleg album which introduced a lot of people to the world of Bastard Pop. That's how I first heard about Mashups, anyway. Someone sent me a copy a little over five years ago and despite my initially negative reviews, subsequent listenings wore me down and we now feature at least a couple of mashups every week on Some Assembly Required.

DJ EZG was involved with some of the original websites to feature mashups (he preferred the term "Synergies," in fact, at the time) and shares a bit about his early experiences online in this week's Q&A. Check out his website for links to a monthly dance mix he puts together for Dance Nova, a website devoted to DJ and Dance Music news, reviews, and charts.

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

*Name: DJ EZG

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: I have only ever used my internet dj name to either promote my work or the internet sites I have been associated with, which is DJ EZG

*Do you use a pseudonym? (see below)

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I’d classify myself as a bit of an amateur who got lucky a few times.

*Is there a story behind your name? Obviously I didn’t want to use my full name when working in some of the murkier depths of the internet at that time so my name comes from meeting up with friends socially and one of the greetings regularly used by them was, “easy, g.” This was something that seemed to stick so it did seem an obvious choice. I learnt later that there is a Turkish dj who uses the same name as well, although it’s no more bizarre than finding out “ezg” is a name for a garage opening remote control or a kayak in America.

*Location: I’m from Worcester in the UK.

*Original Location: I was born in Worcester, England.

*What is your creative/artistic background: I have no formal training musically unless singing badly in the church choir for a few years counts. I am quite lucky that I started dj’ing at a time when dj’s made their own mash ups live with two or three turntables so my mash up background came from there and listening to the dmc mixes made by Les Adams, Alan Coulthard and Paul Daekyne and then trying to re-create them. Anyone who saw Carl Cox back in the late eighties cutting up two copies of Lil Louis – French Kiss & Doug Lazy – Let It Roll acapella on three decks knows what I mean. I don’t think the world was or still is quite ready for my Doop / Holiday Rap live mashup.

*History: I started dj’ing at 16, so from 1986 to the present day. I only spent a short time making synergies, roughly from 1999 to 2001. The cd, “Best Bootlegs In The World Ever” is a bootleg itself, which to be honest is what most of us who are featured on the release deserve. There was no interaction between any of the people / dj’s / artists whose work was featured on that cd and the person who compiled it, who as far as I know remains un-named to this point in time. What most people don’t know about that cd is that it is completely made up from mp3 scene releases, i.e. the tracks were either ripped from vinyl into mp3 format or downloaded from p2p which could mean that the rip quality was poor and the files were not always of the complete track. As a side note, probably the highest encoding rate that the mp3 scene releases used at that time was between 128kbps – 160kbps. There was no vbr encoding as such and no high quality rips as harddrive space and bandwidth was not available as much as it is today. I had some involvement with a few of the major mp3 groups and one of the most well known mp3 sites at the time, so I have a bit more inside knowledge than most on the subject. Obviously for legal reasons I cannot go into it further but for those that know, “buy the goddamn record b****” was our party line. For any of your listeners that have bought any mp3 files from any of the Russian websites be aware that it’s more than likely taken from an mp3 scene release as well. I never have really viewed myself as an artist and the synergies I made, as I preferred to call them at the time, were only really for use for me as a club dj and for visitors to the dance music site I supplied content to. It is strange as I was on the outside looking into the whole mash-up scene, I never got involved with websites like GYBO or others similar to it and although I knew of their work I unfortunately did not get to meet up or talk with people like Soulwax, Freelance Hellraiser, McSleazy or Richard X. Shortly after the BBITWE cd was released I disappeared from doing synergies due to a proposed release of perhaps my favourite piece of work, a synergy between Destiny Child – Bug A Boo & The Jacksons – Let Me Show You. You should be able to find this on your favourite p2p apps. Unfortunately for certain reasons this never saw the light of day to a record buying public.

*Born: June 07 1970.

*Motivations: First and foremost, I love music so I want to share my love of it with others and hopefully give people a good time whilst doing it.

*Philosophy: I don’t have a philosophy behind my work. Everything I did at the time was either for use as a dj or as a test of the software I was using, if someone else enjoyed and found a use for it then that’s a nice bonus.

*How would you like to be remembered: Apart from my family and close friends I’m not overly bothered whether I’m remembered or not. It’s not something that I worry about too much.

*Web address:
I do have some low quality encoded dj mixes on my site which I do monthly for

June 22, 2008

June 22, 2008
A quick note about this week's episode...

Episode 71
originally aired in January of 2004, and I've figured out a few things since then... First of all, I believe the playlist for this first all-mashups mix was composed primarily of three or four CDs from what was at the time a very small library. As I type this, I'm looking at two bookcases full of CDs and remembering the little wooden box which used to hold the entire collection. There are probably five times as many records to choose from now as there were when the show first started, and my mashups collection has also grown by leaps and bounds since Episode 71.

That said, it's not a bad mix, and I feel compelled to point out that some of the artists are identified incorrectly. The CD, "The Best Bootlegs In The World Ever" (discussed a bit in this week's SAR Q&A with DJ EZG), was a bootleg CD apparently put together by people who were not overly familiar with the artists they were featuring, so a few of the tracks are attributed to the wrong artists... When I interviewed The Freelance Hellraiser on Some Assembly Required (episode 147), he set the record straight concerning a track titled "Smells Like Booty," which he is often given credit for. The track is in fact by a group called 2 Many DJs, who are referred to as Soulwax on that compilation (and I believe I refer to them as both Soulwax and 2 Many DJs, at different points in Episode 71). From what I've gathered, 2 Many DJs is the name used by David and Stephen Dewaele (of the alternative rock/electro band, Soulwax), when they perform as DJs. Their Bastard Pop CD, As Heard On Radio Soulwax, Part. 2, is considered a classic of the genre.

So, that will explain the parentheses used in this week's playlist. Although I occasionally refer to the tracks as being by artists other than those listed in the playlist, this episode, to the best of my knowledge what you see written is the correct information. I'm sure someone will point it out, if it's wrong. I'm always looking for feedback...

I put together a more recent mashup mix in 2007, by the way. Check it out HERE.
Thanks for listening!
Jon Nelson

Episode 71, Some Assembly Required

Episode 71, Some Assembly Required

01 Dsico - "Just mix f***ing anything"
02 Kurtis Rush - "One minute lovecat"
03 DJ EZG - "Rockerfaction"
04 Dsico - "Dirty bootle"
05 (2Many DJs) - "Untitled (track 17, 18)"
06 DJ Broken Window - "Oh yeah uh uhh"
07 MC Sleazy - "Don't call me Blur"
08 Dsico - "Can't knack the hiding"
09 (2Many DJs) - "Smells like booty"
10 (2Many DJs) - "Untitled (track 8)"
11 Freelance Hellraiser - "I just can't get enough pills"
12 Dsico - "Untitled (track 20)"
13 DJ Broken Window - "Hair, hails, percolator"
14 Freelance Hellraiser - "A stroke of genius"
15 (2Many DJs) - "Untitled (track 20, 21)"
16 Anon - "My name is funk soul brother"

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Tom Roe

Tom Roe

Tom Roe is a "sound transmission artist" and co-founder of microradio collective free103point9 in Brooklyn, New York (with Greg Anderson and Violet Hopkins, 1997). The nonprofit arts organization is focused on "establishing and cultivating the genre Transmission Arts by promoting artists who explore transmission mediums for creative expression."

Roe performs with radio receivers and transmitters, along with CDs, vinyl, and various electronics, and has written for publications such as The New York Post, Signal to Noise and The Wire. He's also lectured at venues such as Brooklyn College, Brown University, Columbia University, Flux Factory, Grassroots Media Conference at The New School and The Kitchen.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Tom Roe...

Tom Roe

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No

*Do you use a pseudonym? Sometimes DJ Dizzy.

*Members: Collaborations on my record include Matt Bua and members of the free jazz Gold Sparkle Band.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Yes. Not so much tape, but a little.

*Location: Upstate New York.

*Original Location: I had a record store in Florida in early 90s with racks on wheels so bands such as Unwound and Team Dresch could play.

*What is your creative/artistic background: Rock critic turned microcaster, turned artist. Used to be music editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and then had a music column in The New York Post for a time in mid-to-late '90s. Helped start 87X microradio station in Tampa in early 90s, then free103point9 in 1997.

*History: Since 1997-ish.

*Born: November, 1967.

*Motivations: I used to make sort of mash-up cassette things as a kid, recording things off the radio. Wish I had those tapes now.

*Philosophy: A philosophy of using what is on the radio to make what could be on the radio. Expanding the idea of radio art, or transmission art, as we call it. I use John Cage-style chance practices, making noise tracks often in pop arrangements.

*How would you like to be remembered: ?

*Web address:

Episode 209, Some Assembly Required

Episode 209, Some Assembly Required

01 Basement Clash – “Magnificent Romeo”
02 David Weir – “Rendering Babylon”
03 Steinski and Mass Media – “Vox apostolica”
04 A plus D – “Dafter Stronger Gold Digger”
05 Klarc Qent – “Erroneous data (track 11)”
06 Think Tank – “Kobiyashi Moru”
07 Madlib – “Indian Bells”
08 Jason Forrest - “War Photographer”
09 Wobbly – “Only Musical”
10 Lenlow – “War Discographer”
11 DJ Timestretch – “Trace”
12 Constructive Engagement – “Unscrupulous Politicians”
13 Joe Frawley – “The Hypnotist”
14 team9 - “Young Cats”

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Douglas Kahn

Douglas Kahn

Douglas Kahn was featured in Craig Baldwin’s documentary/collage film, Sonic Outlaws and is a Professor in the Technocultural Studies, Department of Music, and Art History Programs at the University of California, Davis. He’s the author of Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts, and coeditor of Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio and the Avant-garde.

Produced using a razor blade and reel to reel player, the first version of his collage, Reagan Speaks For Himself (completed before Reagan was elected) opened with the former President being made to say “I want to say I’m President. I want to live in the White House!” After he was elected, the intro was changed to, “For the first time in Man’s history, I uhhh, I’m President!” The first version was issued by Sub-Pop as part of a cassette compilation (#5) in the 1980's (it was track 3, right before Digital Alarm by Steve Fisk) and got some attention on college radio. The second version was published on flexidisc in Raw No. 4, after a small skirmish with Evatone, who wanted the alternative comic magazine to obtain Reagan’s permission. As this would have, of course, been impossible, the record was eventually produced overseas. It was also issued on a folk LP called Reaganomic Blues and included as a dance remix on the Fine Young Cannibals EP, Good Times and Bad.

He’s a frequent speaker on heady subjects such as “the intersections of history, theory and contemporary practice in art, music, literature, media arts, cinema, sound, electromagnetism, science, technology and politics, from the late-19th Century to the present, with an emphasis on the traditions of the avant-garde, experimentalism, bohemian and subcultural activities” and offers free downloads of his audio work at his website.

Without further ado, here’s the SAR Q&A with Douglas Kahn…

Douglas Kahn

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No, just an individual.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: They were all tape manipulations, with a 1/4" reel-to-reel, splicing block, razor blade and tape. Two longer tapes, Hotel and the Trompebone of Chris Schiff were digital, using a Mac 512K and approx. 90 floppy discs, cut back into a tape.

*Another genre descriptor: Media ventriloquism. I have also described the genre as "mimikry."

*Why you use this descriptor: See the last chapter in my book, John Heartfield: Art And Mass Media (Tanam Press, 1985).

*Location: I live in San Francisco.

*Original Location: Bremerton, Washington.

*What is your creative/artistic background: MFA in post-studio art from Cal Arts, MA in music composition from Wesleyan University, Ph.D. in art history.

*History: From around 1976 for about 15 years.

*Born: Born and raised in the military town of Bremerton, Washington.

*Motivations: I used to be a woodcarver.

*Philosophy: Politics and comedy.

*How would you like to be remembered: Scattered ashes.

*Web address:

Episode 70, Some Assembly Required

Episode 70, Some Assembly Required

01 Steinski and Mass Media - "The motorcade sped on"
02 National Lampoon - "Missing Nixon tapes"
03 Douglas Kahn - "Reagan speaks for himself"
04 Cliff Roth - "The Reagans speak out on drugs"
05 The Tape-beatles - "America is confident"
06 Steinski and Mass Media - "Its up to you (television mix)"
07 The Evolution Control Committee - “Bush speech (corrected - part 1)”
08 Emergency Broadcast Network - "We will rock you (bipartisan mix)"
09 Chicago Matt - "Bush speaks the truth 2"
10 Department of Corrections - "PraiseGW"
11 Big City Orchestra - "F the leader"
12 Department of Corrections - "GW shock troops mix"
13 Chris Morris/Osymyso - "Bushwacked vs. Osymyso Slushalodmix"

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