The Man Don’t Give A Fork: 10000 Spoons Interview Pt 2
The second part of the interview with bootlegger (mash up artist) Lee Spoons, in which we discuss long mixes, club Bastard and the end of mash ups.
6.Are there any bootlegs of yours that you think have withstood the test of time (don’t say, none)?
I suppose the one I’m the most proud of is A Boot Up The Eighties, which is cheating a bit as it’s a long mix, but it’s a proper bootleg mix, which you don’t hear many of these days – and it’s timeless in a way because it refers to just that one decade in music.
Free Download: A Boot Up The Eighties
7. Your Teardrops In The Air has been on Acid Ted every Christmas since it started. Do you still like the track?
Really? Thanks… I knew you liked it but I didn’t know that! Must pay more attention… anyway, yes I do still like it! The only thing that bugs me is the “suddenly, swooping low, on an ocean breeze” bit – I couldn’t find anything in the Massive Attack tune that would fit with it properly, so I just sort of left the drums running in the background, and it sounds a bit empty compared to the rest of the track. I keep meaning to revisit it, but don’t know if I ever will. [how about for this Christmas. hint hint]
8. Were you involved with the club Bastard? What was it like – I never went.
It’s my one big regret in life that I never made it up to Bastard when it was at the Asylum. I think because it was on a Thursday and a 120-mile round trip, I kept backing out of going as I was worried I wouldn’t be able to drink as I’d have to drive back in time for work the next day. Stupid really. The one time I was going to drive up there – this is true, and I think cartelmike thought I was making it up – my washing machine blew up and I couldn’t afford to go. But I did go to two or three of the relaunched Bastard nights in 2007 at the Macbeth. I’d met a few bootleggers before at a couple of nights in Brighton but it was a bit surreal having spent 3 years online chatting to these people, suddenly meeting them all in real life in one place. I even DJed at one of the later Bastard nights, if pressing play on a CD-R and standing in a box dancing counts as DJing.
9. It all seemed so exciting and vibrant in 2002/03 to hear mash ups. What marked the start of the end?
It’s a number of things. Firstly a lot of mashups these days aren’t posted on the forums, just Youtube, or Soundcloud, or Facebook – so they only pick up positive comments (and the odd “this sucks!”) but without any of the helpful constructive criticism which was what GYBO was known for in the early days. So producers think they’re doing a good job because nobody will tell them otherwise (not that they would listen anyway).
Also I think the wider availability of source material from around 2008 onwards has killed creativity to some extent – the Rock Band/Guitar Hero multitracks and so on. When there was only a limited number of acapellas/instrumentals available people would use them in a much more creative way – you’d have a whole load of mashups using stuff like Beyonce or Bros or the Gay Bar acapella, and yes, some were rubbish, but some were genuinely inspired. Now there’s so much more source material out there, most people are just plopping the latest pella over the top of the first track they can find that’s vaguely in key and in time, but without paying much attention to song structure or genre clash or whether there’s any real connection between the tracks. And then there’s all that “multimash” stuff, 17 tracks in 5 minutes, but 16 of the tracks sounded the same in the first place, so why bother? Hence my “mashups are shit” outburst on Twitter the other day – I’d downloaded a mashup album, listened to about 20 tracks, and with every single one of them I was thinking “I’d rather listen to the original” – which to me is completely missing the point. Perhaps I’m just being fussy though, there are still some decent ones out there, it’s just a matter of digging them out.
10. And what is music’s role for you now?
Well I play the drums in a rock covers band and I’ve also taken up running around my village with my ipod on (hence the dodgy ankle) – haven’t heard much new music this year but I did enjoy DJ Format’s album and the latest by Orbital. I’m trying to get my children into music too, we have a piano and my 6-year-old son has just taught himself to play the first two bars of Axel F on his sister’s keyboard (although he’s never heard of Harold Faltermeyer – he thinks he’s playing a song by Crazy Frog). And I’ve just become a moderator on Mashstix, so I’ll still be involved in the scene and pointing out odd key clashes which “would benefit from being pitch-shifted downwards half a semitone at 2:33″ and other such technical, yet hopefully constructive, gubbins. Finally, if I ever get time I’m hoping to do another long bootleg mix in the style of A Boot Up The Eighties or The Man Don’t Give A Fork – don’t hold your breath though, the last one took me four years...
He may rate A Boot Up The Eighties but if I’m honest, I’ve always preferred The Man Don’t Give A Fork, a really good long mix that has kept its freshness.
Monty Python – Penis Song
The All-Seeing I – The Beat Goes On
Peshay – Piano Tune
Dr Dre/Eminem – Forgot About Dre (pella)
Dirty Sanchez – MAME Theme
4-hero – The Paranormal In 4 Forms
Beastie Boys – Intergalactic (pella)
DJ Krush – Meiso (DJ Shadow mix)
Pierre Henry – Psyché Rock (Fatboy Slim mix)
Beyoncé – Crazy In Love (pella)
The Prodigy – Poison
Groove Armada – At The River
De La Soul – The Magic Number
Soulwax – Too Many DJs
Renegade Soundwave – The Phantom
Nightmares On Wax – Aftermath (LFO mix)
Ian Brown – Dolphins Were Monkeys (UNKLE mix)
FSOL – Papua New Guinea
iO – Claire
X-Press 2 – Lazy (pella)
Fast Eddie – Acid Thunder
Glamorous Hooligan – Stoned Island Estate (Local mix)
Lo-Fidelity Allstars – Vision Incision
Underworld – Cups
808 State – Banacheq
The Sindecut – Live The Life
Misjah & Tim – Access
Danny Tenaglia – Music Is The Answer
The Specials – Pearl’s Cafe