Posted by benny
Family & friends, last month my family over at A-Side Worldwide saw fit to feature yours truly on their notoriously dope podcast. It’s been a hectic couple of months for me, preparing for and welcoming a new baby into the world, and this is the first chance I’ve had to share with you my experiences recording what may be my best work to date (of course you will make that decision).
Having said that, I’ve decided to share with you some “actual facts to snack on and chew” in regard to how this mix came to fruition. Of course, I’ve included some colorful commentary that you yourself may determine the accuracy of.
Before you read any further, point & click here, subscribe to the podcast for iTunes, and hit play on this mix:
For even more background, head over here for my thoughts on what this mix means to me:
Don’t forget to copy and paste these links to send your friends.
Random facts about this mix:
IX Lives of Now On and A-Side Worldwide had been after me to do this mix since winter of 2008.
I finally started it in February 2010.
It was posted in September 2010.
I recorded this mix in the studio of acclaimed producer Bob Stoopz of the Detroit/ Miami rap outfit Stoopz-N-Breeze. Who better to record a mix that is often times a literal blend of Miami and Detroit DJ culture?
The day I started recording this was the day I found out my wife Breanna was pregnant for our 2nd Child (my son Oscar) - just born the other day October, 15.
Stoopz and I recorded this between Feb and May 2010, getting together an average of once every week and a half, barring snow days.
Though the graphics for this mix prominently feature the Fryinginvein.com logo, the site’s gatekeeper GambitDMC (add him on AIM) was only at two of our several (almost weekly) recording sessions. Catch him EVERY SINGLE WEEK at #TweetTea.
This mix was made with all vinyl (hang on – this is gonna start getting nerdy) except for 4 songs. One never existed on wax. With the other three, I spent hours & days looking through my storage unit, my house and my parents’ house to find my copies before finally giving up and using Serato. Big up DJ Graffiti for helping to usher me into the digital age.
I recorded the main mix in about 3 sessions and did pretty much straightforward DJ sets mixing one record to the next. Then over several more sessions, we went back over many of the instrumental parts and I mixed acapellas, or stripped down tracks with vocals. Then, we looked for stripped down vocal tracks and mixed funkier beats underneath. The overall effect was to create a “four track” feel, but not have it be too perfect. I wanted for there to be almost always something new going on, and for it to progress from a basic DJ mix into pretty much a fucking bonanza, and then cool down toward the end. It’s pretty well an homage to all the greats I grew up listening to mixtapes by: Wax Tax N Dre, DJ Godfather, DJ Ugly, DJ 2 Smooth, Gary Chandler, 12 Tech Mob & others.
At one point in the mix (starting at 21:32), FOUR records can be heard in the mix at once. Guess which four tracks and I have a gift card from Henry’s Palace for you for one private dance.*
The first piece of wax we recorded was “Time Space Transmat” by Model 500 (Juan Atkins) and the last one we laid was “Bangin’ the Beat (Bangapella)” by DJ Assault. This was one of the ones I couldn’t find my wax for. After scouring my storage unit for the 1.5th time, I said “screw it,” and installed Serato on Bob’s Atari XE. It was tough to find the right place for that one. I knew I wanted the stripped down “Bangapella” mix, but there was already so much going on in the mix (hint for the challenge above), that I wasn’t sure it would sound right. However, thinking back on my trip out to LA last year with A-Side in which we chanted that refrain non-stop (“RTs” ensued on Twitter, in fact), I knew it had to be on there. Luckily we were able to fit it in, and “maximize the ability of the four track.” Soon we had a perfect fit and it became the title track.
The “Let Me Bang” track is sometimes credited to DJ Assault or DJ Deeon. Assault has included it on mixtapes. The track though is produced by Deeon, and there’s even a repress of the remix under his name on Databass Records. But the OG releases were credited and broken down differently. The original, credited to the alias Debo, was released on Dance Mania Records (along with “1995 Hit” a “Hit it From the Back” remix also included here) on the Split Personality EP. The original is the one that starts on the “Big booty bitches...” verse, and the remix, credited to another alias, Low End Theory (also on Dance Mania Records) is called “L.M.B. (RMX)” and is on the 3455 EP (along with “Suck It” which is also on this mix). The remix is better known and starts out with “This track is for them player haters…” Both versions are included here.
Equipment-wise, we used two Technics 1200 turntables, a Gemini 626 mixer, a Vestax 07 Pro mixer, two Shure M447 needles, two Prozack Turner promo slipmats, one Upstairs Records slipmat, a bad-ass Apple computer with the OG version of Protools, a Mac book Pro (thanks @HubertGAM), Rane Serato software & hardware, a couple of crates of records, an Atari XE, a Sony Minidisc Walkman, a small Realistic mic and one good ass mic to record this magic.
I was lucky enough to get some drops from some of my famous friends (Self Says, Loe Louis and my Sky Children homies Buff 1 and Mayer Hawthorne). When I got the drop from 14KT I was surprised to hear singing in it. Bonus!
Bob Stoopz recorded me in Protools and when we got done, we had a session so large that he was forced to delete several gigs of snuff pornography and Dan Marino highlight reels just to get it to “bounce down” to an .mp3. How we ran Protools on an Apple II, I’ll never know.
When we finally got everything laid down and it was time for Bob Stoopz to do the mixdown, he turned to me and exclaimed that this was “gonna be a nightmare” for him.
Bob Stoopz sports the strong scent of Jordache cologne mixed with Taco Bell’s Spicy Chicken Burrito, and he could only get me in for studio sessions in between visits from “Woodward’s finest.” I’ve never seen so many hookers over 40.
The process of recording a booty mix (particularly the content of the music) presents any number of opportunities for either I or Stoopz to say “That’s what she said.”
Bob Stoopz was will soon be compensated for his studio time with a case of Labatt Blue (per Bob “you can’t get this shit in Miami!”) and a couple of trips to the Sonic drive-in which he refers to as “tits & tots.”
Coming soon: A geographical breakdown of the mix by artists' hometowns (pie chart if you’re lucky).
*No prize will actually be awarded.