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Last months “Listen To This” raved about the genius mashup “Earthshaker” by Brubekk. It single handily re-ignited The Daily Growls interest in hip-hop, while I declared it “100% Paul & Linda” – a comment which I swear made sense at the time.

Brubekk – “Earthshaker (MP3)

Mr Brubekk himself – otherwise known as Jez stumbled across our rambling praise by “vain-gloriously googling the record name to read a few reviews“, and emailed to say thanks. Bizarely he expected the track to be given a pasting, and went on to give a little behind the scenes look at the making of a mash-up classic.

Unfortunately for musiclikedirts dodgy ticker he “hilariously” pretended to be a lawyer at first:

mail2

This is a cease and desist order for heinous and repetitive copyright infringement. I am writing on behalf of many clients who have come together and asked me to represent them.

(cue music like dirt becoming trousers full of dirt)

No it’s not, I’m taking the piss…sorry if you nearly had a heart-attack there!

Mashups had a bit of a boom a few years ago as cheap software allowed anyone with a PC to graft Missy Elliot accapellas over the top of Nolan Sister’s instrumentals. The end result… people got sick of crap blends. However with a little care and inspiration a few tracks actually make you wonder how the seperate elements ever existed on their own. The Brubekk track is one of those few tracks so here’s Jez with his explanation of “The Earthshaker“… I found it fascinating but maybe I’m just a complete spotter!?:

“I’ll tell you a little about the background of the track seeing as you like it. (It may make you hate it!) Basically it was me playing around at home… I have held too much regard for those who ‘do it properly’ to ever think of making anything. (I hate people who keep diaries and say they “write” too – if you know what I mean!).

One evening I was playing around with different records, for my own pleasure. I noticed “Off The Books (The Beatnuts)” and “Earthshaker (John Gregory)” were the same speed, and the 12″ of “Off The Books” has an acapella. I’ve got a DAT machine hooked up, for mixtapes, so I started recording and playing around. I then scoured the shelves for mid-tempoed 12″s with acapellas. And came across the other two (“Ya Playin’ Yaself” – Jeru The Damaga, and a track each from Snoop Dogg & Dre).

Listening to the instrumental in one headphone and the acca in the other I used my finger to get the speeds right.
With the whole thing recorded I brought the DAT to work and played around with it on slow afternoons (such as this one). The only vaguely music related software I have… is editing software called Sadie. Hence there are no swooshes, dub/ reverb effects in the record. Just straight up cut’n’paste. I cut word by word rather than line by line in most instances to satisfy the trainspotter inside, as I don’t like sloppy mash-ups myself. I also didn’t want to go to acapellaheaven.com or any of those sites to grab records I don’t even have, or know the context of.

I still never had the thought to release the record or to play it to anyone else…anyway, when it was all done I played it to a DJ friend – he liked it and asked if he could have it.

Several months later he told me the feedback was good, though the sound was ropey, and that most people assumed it was a GAMM record. With a little Dutch courage I put a copy in the post to Mad Mats in Stockholm, and several more months later it became GAMM 0033. It’s one-sided because I only had the one good idea and it is a one off. I tried to get friends to remix it, but as I had chopped the vocals to fit Earthshaker, and not run it all through a quantiser / sequencer thing like most mash up artists do, short of writing a new backing track, there is little the remixers could do.

It seems to have done alright for GAMM, and I have a copy to pass down the generations, but really it was all a bit of fun, which is why I didn’t want to put a real name to it. If I do, one day make the prog-folk-space-bass-2-step-boogie EP that I have in mind, I will definitely, definitely put my name to it. And send you a copy”.

Thanks to Jez for letting me post his email, and here’s looking forward to that prog-folk-space-bass-2-step-boogie epic!

For more Brubekk MP3 edits visit here. (Not had a chance to listen to them myself yet).

The Bam Bam Club have a few of Jez’s mixes: July Disco Inferno mix here, and April’s mix.

The Beatnuts – Off The Books (YouTube video / Realplayer stream (better quality)

Interview with John Gregory (including stuff about Earthshaker)

Buy Brubekk – “Earthshaker” here if there are any left.