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Saturday, 23 June 2007

Sometimes I Smile

I think it's safe to say, I am now officially a weekend Bootlegger, only finding time to make tracks on a Friday night.

Anyway, another new track for ya, ironically half inspired by watching highlights from Glastonbury on TV last night (gutted - all of my friends are there, and for the first time in 6 or 7 years, there's no festivals for me this year) with Lily Allen appearing on stage today, and a wonderful performance by beatbox maestro Shlomo on the show, helping me remember I had this track on my PC.

The track in question is Deceptikon's "Sometimes You Here It Coming". A top chilled out track I came across on a random blog a few months back, it's another one I'd been dying to use for ages, but never having anything suitable to mix with it.

Then watching the world stage acts on Glasto last night, it struck me.... an acapella I have by (presumably) Turkish superstar Turkan - "Dudu". It worked a treat, without having to me to chop, or add filters or anything. 10 seconds work for a top mash. However, the 'pella was short by maybe 2 minutes, and I hate having to find filler material - if the track you're working with can't fill a mash, scrap it.

Back to the drawing board and the obvious was looking me in the face, Lily Allen's "Smile". Those in the know, know that Lily is an "Andy Bird" - the kind of girl I'd love to go out; she swears, smokes and wears dresses with trainers - everything I love and more. So it's only right I use her amazing vocal with an amazing track. I hope you find the results enjoyable.

Kept it simple, adding a slight bit of echo, and a leslie rotospeaker filter, mainly to hide some dodgy artifacts from some beat-stretching - easy! And I didn't even have to chop it up for the breaks - perfect timing on Mr. Deceptikon's part.

And sorry if this blog reads weird but I'm still watching Glasto whilst typing and I'm not really concentrating. Plus, the final irony, as I'm posting this, Lily has just come on the TV....sigh....I wish she were my girlfriend....

Sometimes I Smile

Deceptikon vs. Lily Allen
(Sometimes You Here It Coming vs. Smile)

Edited - 25/6/07
After a little bit of feedback on the boards, some of the guys feel that the timing was off in the original version of this track, so I've had a can of beer, pointed my finger in the air a lot counting the beats, and added a wee dash of Nat King Cole with some filters applied, in the hope that this works better for them.

Give it a go and see if it makes any difference,

Cheers, a tired Andy

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Keep Their Heads This Way

Here's one I've been itching to make for a while.

A couple of years back, I bought the awesome Fabric Live 22, mixed live by the amazing Scratch Perverts (interesting fact - the first group/band I ever saw live whilst at Uni, at the legendary Faversham - never looked back!), and the standout track at the time (bearing in mind virtually every track on the CD is a standout moment) had to be Dilated Peoples feat. Kanye West - "This Way" with it's funky samba-esque piano and gospel choir.

Well, a couple of weeks back I came across the 'pella for this sublime track. Instantly, I was wracked with a need to make a track out of it, but which instrumental to use?! I tried every hip-hop beat I had, but none seemed to fit. Then as luck would have it, I also stumbled across the instrumental of one of my fave hip-hop tracks, Dr. Dre's "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" with it's infectious "Ring-Ding-Dong" refrain.

Result - the two fitted at the beginning, but the vocal part from the choir would just not fit. However, a bit of cut and paste and some tempo changes later, and here we go. A few of you may spot a couple of choice samples in there also - the intro from UNKLE's "Back and Forth" (the legendary Original Ozzy version which I'll do something with one day), and Kanye West's "Gold Digger" and "Wake Up Mr. West", and not forgetting Saint Germain's "Rose Rouge". I was going to have a bit of Run DMC's "Walk This Way" also but unfortunately my DJ-ing skills aren't that good!

The only other problem I had was how to finish it, as eventually the Dre instrumental just wouldn't fit, so what better way to end than to bring back the original, which works really well for me, as the emotive pianos finsh off the track perfectly.

So sit back, pour a gin n' juice and enjoy.

Keep Their Heads This Way

Dr. Dre vs. Dilated Peoples (feat. Kanye West)
(Keep Their Heads Ringin' vs. This Way)

MP3 Here

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Hot Gossip

Another weekend and another mash-up to post. This time I've gone with a couple of oldies but goldies.

I've been making a couple of compilation CDs for friends, and the ontrack that constantly appears on them has to be Hot Chip's "Over and Over" - nigh on 6 minutes of tight funky rhythm, that never fails to get me on the dance floor. Well I found myself with an instrumental version of it and immediately my mind turned to Fedde Le Grand's "Take No Shhh", if only so I could make a track and call it "Hot Shit!". Well I played and puzzled and it just wasn't happening, so bereft of ideas, I did a massive acapella search.

The results of which turned up "Hollaback Girl" by the lovely Gwen Stefani. Immediately I could hear similarities, and with a couple of clicks on the mouse, my ideas were confirmed, it fitted!

A bit of chopping up and reversals later, and I had the basis of my track, but I was missing something. Fortunately, Lady Fate was smiling on me, and at about 11:30pm last night I stumbled across a great forum for acapellas and instrumentals
which whilst not my usual source for material, proved to be rich, full of stuff I'd been looking for, for a long time. One of the first tracks I found on there was a studio acapella of the mighty Gossip's "Standing in the Way of Control" - another track which has been caned on the recent compilations I've been making. The choice was obvious.

So cutting up Beth's vocals (she's an amazing singer - you really should hear the acapella with no backing beneath it, raw power!) and applying a little chorus effect to crisp things up, I had the finished article.

Then at 2:00am, I realised that I hadn't added the mysterious letters being spealt out that Hot Chip had on the original (K.I.S.S.I.N.G S.E.X.I.N.G. C.A.S.I.O. P.O.K.E. Y.O.U. M.E. ??!!), so a couple of 'Voice of Colatraon' generations later and I had my suitably mysterious letters to finish the track with.

3:30am I made it to bed, and I didn't crawl out of the Pit of Colatron until 2:30 this afternoon, but well worth wasting a day over.

As I say, oldies but goldies and great for dancing the night away to.

Right, I have 4 different versions of Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy" to go work on, see you in a week!

Hot Gossip

Hot Chip vs. the Gossip vs. Gwen Stefani
(Over and Over vs. Standing in the Way of Control vs. Hollaback Girl)

MP3 Here

Saturday, 9 June 2007


Here's some little curios for you.

Having had a couple of my tracks played on the excellent Ramdom Thoughts podcast, the host Scott Johnson asked me to put together a jingle for myself, and then later, a promo for his show.

Here's the results - they are pretty similar with just a few changes to the samples and structure, but I really like them and are probably my fave things produced. There are two other versions of the Ramdom Thoughts promos in existence too, using Gorillaz and the wonderful UNKLE remix of the Queens of the Stone Age, which I may finish off one day.

Probably of no use to anyone, but hey, in the words of the old Wrigley's Chewing gum commercials, "Great to taste, even better to share!". If any podcasters or radio hosts read this, then please, play the Ramdom Thoughts promo on your show and give Scott the publilcity he deserves...

Colatron Radio Jingle

Ramdom Thoughts podcast promo

Simon Says Give! (Bollywood Riddim)

Here's the second of the 2 updates folks.

Caning the instrumentals and acapellas this last week, I've been listening to loads of Nelly Furtado. The new style and image is incredible, and as most people know, she is my ideal Smartie's Angel, so I've been dying to use something of hers.

Also, I've just recently dowloaded the fabulous Bost & Bim mixtape (read about it and follow the link to download here, over at GYBO which takes songs you wouldn't expect to hear in a reggae style and applies a "Riddim", in many cases completely changing the feel of the vocal. So I went on the search for riddims.

What I came up with is this. I tried to keep the Timbaland and Timberlake vocals in there at first, but had real timing issues, so in the end I scrapped them and tried some raps out instead. I finally settled on Pharoahe Monch (much inspired by my lovely friend Angel aka Jaime Summerz - check her out if you can find her on MySpace - she's gonna be huge, the little cutie she is...). Still a few timing issues on there, maybe, but the overall effect works for me. See what you think.

Simon Says Give! (Bollywood Riddim)

Nelly Furtado vs. Pharoahe Monch
(Give It To Me vs. Simon Says)

MP3 Here:

Welcome to the Borderline (Colatron Dub)

Blimey - that was a while wasn't it since the last post?

So, I've been suffering pretty much the bootlegger's version of 'Writer's Block' recently. After finishing off the Sycophant vol. 3, where I was literally firing off 2 or 3 tracks a day in a creative frenzy, the last 2 or 3 weeks I've been really struggling. And that's not for lack of ideas.

I've had a download frenzy, literally laying my hands on 100s of acapellas and instrumentals, some of which I am DYING to use (Dilated Peoples feat. Kanye West - This Way; one of my fave vocals ever and d'ya think I can mix it with anything?!!) but nothing was working out properly for me, to the point where I refused to boot up the PC, as I was getting so frustrated.

However, this Wedensday spun around and I managed to come up with this. It's managed to turn things around for me, and I seem to be getting back to normal in terms of finding things that fit.

Plus, it's my first attempt at recreating the dub vibe I've always loved on the legendary Trojan Records, and more recently the bonus dub tracks on the awesome Easy Star All*Star albums (Dub Side of the Moon, is possibly one of the only records to ever surpass the original IMHO).

The Damien Marley track though, gave me nightmares trying to find a proper vocal to work with it! Probably why I bottled it and went for a stripped down vocal instead...hehe....

Welcome to the Borderline (Colatron Dub)

Damien Marley vs. Pinchers
(Welcome to Jamrock vs. Borderline)

MP3 Here: