Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dreaming in mp3 Format

A few of weeks ago I had a dream that I received a call on my cell phone. I looked down at the caller id and saw "DatA"--the not-so-well known musician of Paris. I answered the phone and because I don't know what DatA looks or sounds like, I vaguely imagined on the other end of the phone was a woman shrouded in a black light, whose voice sounded vocodered. The rest of the dream I forget, but what bothered me--and persisted to bother me weeks after as I am only writing this down now--is how DatA, an obscure DJ that I only know about from mp3 blogs and songs like

DatA - Aerius Light

which I'm not even totally crazy about, made it into my dream. But I suppose that is how dreams work. Obscure pieces of our lives (and in this case obscure on two levels) somehow sink into our consciousness and surface as a telephone conversation.

I think the fun thing about surfing mp3 blogs and dedicating yourself to finding these exact obscure DJs, musicians and remixers is that, unlike major groups which everyone is aware of because of MTV and constant radio plays, you begin to feel some kind of unique connection once you find those lesser-known DJs that you like. As you see a certain name pop up more than once, and you happen to like what they put out, you begin to connect with them in a way you can't with other signed groups. You start scouring the net for remixes they might have done in the past or ones to come. Especially with remixes, which don't have release dates in the way that albums do, musicians can exceed your expectations or disappoint you on a month-to-month (or even week-to-week, depending on how prolific they are) basis. If one of these names is attached to songs which you consistently enjoy, you suddenly find that they are a piece of you, or perhaps they belong to you in a special way--in that way that Madonna could never be wholly yours, someone like DatA can.

Alan Braxe is one of those persons for me. Breakbot is another (surprise! both parisians). Like Braxe, Breakbot usually takes an electro-synth, repeats it and is able to set it to a funky bass rhythm. What normally lies at the heart of Breakbot remixes is this base line, but he also does some famous work with agreeable keyboard sounds. For example, notice the disco-feel that he gives to Justice's piece

Justice - Let There Be Light (Breakbot remix)

and additionally, DatA's

DatA - Aerius Light (Breakbot's rework)

My favorite remixes of his so far is this one that I just found while searching his name. It's a song by a London-based group called Arrow!!! I just can't get enough the bass in this one.

Arrow!!! - D.O.E.S. (Breakbot remix)

Lastly, one of Breakbot's original tracks Happy Rabbit, starts off with a tambourine and real live drums! which I might say is unprecedented for parisien DJs these days. Happy Rabbit is an apt title, something about this tracks makes me feel happy, especially in contrast with the typically heavier, ominous feel of Justice or Daft Punk.

Breakbot - Happy Rabbit

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