Interview with Phonicoid
[ Conducted in July 2004 ]
A new bootleg 12" has just been released and in two very cool looking blue vinyl versions. We contacted the one man show behind these new releases to get the story...
What inspired you to press your remix onto vinyl in the first place?
I've always wanted to have a record out. I wanted to make something that had songs people know and love but in a new way, and also something that was a fun and useful DJ tool. Besides the remixes I put a dozen short breaks to loop and juggle, a slew of samples, and some beat drops, all of it recut, remastered, and timed out precisely so that all breaks and many of the major points in the samples and beats all fall on the same linear point on the record (like if you drew a straight line from the center to the edge). This is one of the things that makes my record truely unique, along with being a combination of a turntablist tool like this with a mix dj type record. You sometimes see scratch samples tail a normal club record, but never (to my knowledge) of this magnitude.
Did thoughts of prosecution cross your mind due to copyright?
Yeah, I mean, it's not like I put my name on it, but still. I've ended up in rights battles with people like Warner Brothers (over mobymusic.com, even though Moby was on my side of it they didn't care) and the Harry Fox Agency (over the online guitar archive, olga.net, which we host on my server) and it's never fun. But it's not like I'm expecting to make anything on this anyway, I just hope to break even on my immediate costs of having the record made and released, so whatever. I just hope the Beasties themselves are cool with it, the fatcats tend to just blindly hate the world. Maybe they'll track me down through this interview question and raise hell with me, that'd be ironic.
Would you consider yourself a Beastie Boys fan?
Well, not compared to you guys, but enough so that the a-side label of my record is a scan of a Beastie Boys pin I've had on my various bookbags for about 17 years now. Oh, and I got my copy of the Paul's Boutique cassette the day it came out (same day as "UHF" by Wierd Al if memory serves. Yeah, I was eclectic as a kid too). *grin*
Did you organise the pressings yourself? What was the process involved?
Indeed, pretty much a solo show. I worked on the material for the record for some time, after I got the first remix done I had a couple of dubplates made, which is good 'cause it made me realize I needed to master some of it differently (the phone at the beginning was fucking _loud_), then I did up most of the turntablist material, having a friend of mine up here who's quite a good scratch dj listen stuff over and try stuff with final scratch (as much as it would let him, it was kinda flakey). Then I got the d'n'b remix of Professor Booty done up while solidifying the deal with the plant for the pressing and sent the master off. Then it was largely a matter of waiting for things like test pressings for confirmation and then the normal run (which didn't come until the day before the release party, you can imagine how tense I was!)
What about the Numbering by Hand?
Well, it adds a little something to the records I think, especially the slightly marbled opaque ones where every one's visually different anyhow, and as I'm a bit crazy, I like being able to at least try to keep track of where all the copies end up.
What are the stats on the runs?
Oh, and a note on the Transparent ones, I've discovered a good number of them in the #250-300 range have a little black swirl off to one edge and a bit of speckling. It's kinda cool, I actually wish it had more of the swirl all over it and they were all like that. Other things to note is the labels seem to vary in darkness some, the earlier number being a bit lighter so far. The vinyl of a few of the opaque ones are a good bit darker at random (closer to the color I'd hoped for originally, in fact); and opaque copy #130 came with the edges all fucked up (looked like it was pulled before the vinyl cooled enough or something), so I cut it down to an 8-pointed star, still having all the scratch material on it.
What other Beastie Boys remixes have you created?
A while back (1998 maybe? I forget offhand) I did a more downtempo remix of "Professor Booty", which I also did a version of live off a sampler going into a d'n'b set at a very odd gig I did at the umaine campus with DJ Diggler.
Do you have future plans for more Beastie Boys mixes to be released?
Not positive offhand. If I manage to break even on this record I do want to put out more, but I'm not sure of what the content would be. I'm thinking of maybe trying to collaborate with a friend on some speed garage tracks, as that's another genre I love to spin.
You're a big Moby collector, have you pressed up any Moby mixes onto vinyl?
Nope, this is my first record, but there are some Moby samples on the scratch portions of it.
Do you have a regular DJ gig we can check you out at?
Unfortunately, nothing regular, but there's a variety of streaming dj sets on my website, phonicoid.com (which I should prolly spin some new ones for, but... I dunno, I'm a slacker I guess. It'll get new material eventually).
Any last comments?
I'd like to note about my Beastie Boys remixes on this record is that almost all the material comes from the original tracks. on "Shake Your Rump", I generated the phone number (then slowed it down to become the bassline) but other than that and the "Ask For Janice" advert bit it's all from the album version and the acapella. On "Professor Booty" I used re-assembled drum hit samples from an oldschool jungle loop for the basic break, but I'm pretty sure everything else I pulled was from the album version. I get so sick of remixes where it sounds like the person remixing the track pulled whatever leftover crap they had sitting around and threw a few samples from the track's vocals onto it and called it a day (not something you run into as much with the Beastie Boys, but a lot of club music for dj's of many genres is like that).