Originally from Alabama and now based in Brooklyn, ModyWorks signing Aman Ellis makes electronic music that varies from extra-terrestrial-minded techno (All The Things) to down-south trip-hop (The Cacti). I spoke to him about his recent releases, his ongoing efforts in crossing musical boundaries, and how he’s inspired by BBQ.
First of all, what was the starting point for your recent Cacti EP?
Well, I’ve always been interested in the beat culture, specially the West Coast stuff. So I’ve always wanted to do a record that way. It’s a totally different style of production. One day I stumbled upon this hidden record store in Brooklyn with all the pristine records for $1. There were all these great old school records; jazz, classical, Hawaiian. Stuff like Exotic Strings, ya know! Now it’s my secret spot where I can go and I’m guaranteed to find something crazy.
I bought a bunch of vinyls in the hopes of doing the kind of record I’d always admired. I wanted a very melodic record with a melancholic, almost antique vibe to it. I wanted the dirt from the records. The scratches and pops play a big part in the way this EP sounds. For me, it’s the scratchy sounds and off-beat rhythms juxtaposed against the very pleasant melodies that makes it cool.
it was a tough call picking this mix of the weekend. there’s another one floating about the internets that i haven’t been able to download due to link issues, but when i can it will get a special mention here. so instead i have a mix that was heralded a while back, but just surfaced today. i could say something, but the man himself has already put together a spiel on his site so i’ll let mr skratch bastid take it away.
Here it is. The mix you’ve all been waiting for! In the vein of my two most recent mixes, “Get Up!” & “Satisfaction Guaranteed”, I’ve put together a 60+ minute mix of hip-hop, disco, dancehall and all things funky: a sure shot from start to finish. “110%” gives you just that; squeezing in more energy than humanly possible into the tightest collection of mixes the Bastid can bring. Fresh for summer ‘09.
Contained within are my 3 most recent remixes (Wale f/Lady Gaga, Ciara & Justin Timberlake, Major Lazer f/Santigold and Mr. Lexx) as well as plenty of new routines; 3 of which I have filmed live footage for. The first one I am releasing is posted below: my James Brown “I Got You (I Feel Good)” routine. This is one of the highlights of my mix! Pass it along and tell a friend. And make sure to check out the track list. But above all, make sure you have a listen. The devil is in the details.
For this mix, I have decided to post it up for download at 192 kbps. Since the days of cassette mixtapes, I’ve always been releasing and selling my mixes as a way of funding my record collection and giving me resources to make more mixes. I am still releasing full quality (WAV) mix CDs for all my listeners wanting the best sounding mix to bump in your car or at home. But let’s face it: any music geek with mild google skills (I’m looking at you) can find my releases online at foreign country blogs or on torrents. I’d rather you come to me for my stuff, right? So. I’m giving you the option to donate if you feel you would like to pay for my mix. Any amount you like, via paypal. You don’t have to, but it would be nice! I work really hard on these things, and it goes towards helping me purchase music and find the time to make more mixes. Here are your options:
1) Grab the new 110% CD at the store. All orders will be processed that day and shipped out ASAP. Check the rest of the store for more Bastid goodies.
2) Download the 110% mix. And feel free to donate.
Skratch Bastid – 110%
i thought the wale track with lady gaga was alright, but this remix by canada’s skratch bastid takes it to new levels of awesomeness. it’s like that unreleased soulwax remix of daft punk is playing at my house, where they dropped tiny bits of daft punk tracks throughout. check out the video here, and read what the man himself has to say:
For my latest mixtape, “110%”, I decided to remix Wale’s first major label single “Chillin” f/ Lady Gaga. For the remix, I wanted to go with something more organic to make it different than the 808- & synth-heavy original. To keep it DC, I sampled a break from go-go band Trouble Funk’s “Let’s Get Small”, which Boogie Down Productions used on their classic “Criminal Minded”. From there, I layered 2 other breaks that BDP used in that song (Isaac Hayes’ “Breakthrough” and Syl Johnson’s “Different Strokes”) and added some more samples and loops to accompany certain lines that Wale raps. The result is an uptempo, mega-mix style remix, suitable for the clubs, the jeeps, the streets, bar mitzvahs, weddings and ipods. 110%!
which means you’ve got snippets of kick in the door, top billin and paper planes among others.
Wale ft Lady Gaga – Chillin (Skratch Bastid Remix) (link updated)