Archive for February, 2009

February 3rd, 2009

Pop Champagne, Pop Copyright

Listening to the Federation‘s recent mixx of reggae hottage for Mad Decent, a few things struck me per recent conversations here:


1) the use of the “hey” sample in the intro (0:30-0:40), like an airhorn or any other selector sound effect (speaking of which, check the first sound on that page — you can’t make this stuff up, folks!)

2) the use of the beat from “Pop Champagne” as a riddim. Importantly, not only do we hear Elephant Man’s unauthorized voicing “Sweep the Floor” (akin to “Rampin Shop,” legally speaking), but we also hear TWO DUBPLATES that also employ Ron Browz’s minimal beat. These latter recordings were no doubt commissioned by Federation Sound themselves (so special), and they call attn to the degree to which such “remixes” or “unauthorized” recordings are deeply embedded in performance practice: as long as selectors need to move a crowd and kill a next sound, they’re going to be asking artists to voice on the latest hype. That sort of activity is essentially un-police-able, in part because it resides on the margins of the music biz (if however central to reggae industry), in part because it moves so fast.

For another example, see the Fed’s most recent dancehall reggae mega-mix, in which the beat from Kanye’s “Heartless” propels a couple tracks: 1) Dr.Evil’s no-brainer (but brilliant) “counteraction“; and 2) yet another instance of Ele hopping pon the now ting quick as he can.

These all illustrate that despite overreaching laws and chilling effects, the riddim method is alive and well in Jamaica and the dancehall diaspora. Maybe more notably, it has caught on outside Jamaica in a way that perhaps outstrips reggae’s “original” model for creative (and contemporaneous) reuse.

Indeed, the most remarkable examples illustrating the global uptake of the riddim method in the last year happened in hip-hop. The beats from Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” and MIA’s “Paper Planes” essentially became global riddims, generating about a zilli remixes, freestyles, versions, voicings, wot-ever-u-call-em (and that’s not even counting post-milli beats and such).

Can the law catch up to something faster than it?


February 2nd, 2009

Kiddy Mixxage

this is how we roll

DJ Ripley re:ups (for only 7 days?) a mix she made recently for friends who have kids. I count myself in that company. It’s not what most people would finger for kids music, which I appreciate. I can only hear “Froggy Went A-Courtin” so many times.

Then again, if it were sung(jayed) by the likes of Dennis Alcapone, I could prolly call pull-up on that jawn til the breakadawn. Along those lines, don’t miss Father Reggaexx’s Big Mix Of Jamaican Nursery Rhymes (h/t CP).


February 1st, 2009

Walkie Talkie

look at her go! (watch both at once!)

nico’s been adding words to her lexicon at an exponential rate. sometimes she means what they usually mean, but sometimes she’ll use them more broadly. so, for instance, she says “uh oh” if something falls to the ground, but she’ll also say it as she’s deliberately tossing something on the floor.

other uses seem more synecdochic. e.g., she sees lots of pictures of babies, so “baby” could mean baby, or it could refer to a picture or pictures (not necessarily of a baby). similarly, she recently learned to “woof” like a dog from one of those books about animals and the sounds they make, so she currently uses the word “woof” also to say “book.”

the contents of her vocabulary, more or less in order of plausible utterance —

light (~dite)
bottle (~babu)

she also knows the gesture for “shhh” (see the end of the video on the right), and we’ve taught her the sign for “more.”

things’re getting fun!


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I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com


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