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Saturday, 29 December 2007

Mixed Messages

Well, it's time for probably my last post of the year, and I thought what better way to see out the year than with a multi-artist mega mash!

I actually began working on this track back in June, knocking up the intro in a matter of minutes, but I hit a brick wall, in that I couldn't find a vocal worthy of slipping over the awesome Unfinished Sympathy (one of the best tracks of the 90s without doubt). 6 months later and I went back to the project to see if anything had changed, having amassed another 500 or so acapellas to my collection (I've come across some awesome Motown vocals - watch this space!).

"The Message" is one of those vocals that has probably been done to death in the world of mash-up, but it still remains one of the greatest and most powerful raps out there, it's story of life living in the ghetto being one of the most moving rhymes ever committed to vinyl (hence it's well deserved place in the Rolling Stone top 100 Greatest Songs of all time). Placed in context with the also overused "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., it creates an even more powerful and moving story.

Drop in some emotive piano from one of UNKLE's finest moments and backing vocals from the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, with a dash of the Pussy Cat Dolls and hopefully you have a party banger with a message.

Thanks again to everyone for the support in 2007, and I'll see you all next year!!!

Mixed Messages

UNKLE vs. Martin Luther King, Jr. vs. Pussycat Dolls vs. Massive Attack vs. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five vs. Aretha Franklin

(In a State (Album Version) vs. I Have a Dream vs. In a State (Edit: Music for a Film Version) vs. Don't Cha vs. Unfinished Symapthy vs. The Message vs. Who's Zoomin' Who?)

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Dedicated to the lovely Gemma Kennedy, who I promised a track to in return for listening to me CD! This one's for you hon! Looking forward to more dancing in the New Year :D

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Happy Holidays!!!

No tune for you today folks (one or two imminent though!) but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for tuning in to Radio Colatron and making this first year of my making mash-ups so much fun and so worthwhile. I may have lost innumerable hours of sleep in the process of searching for the perfect tune, and I may have broken several copyright laws along the way (!!) but considering this started as a bit of fun, here in my living room in Birmingham, UK, it's now something that I really enjoy and look forward to hearing from you all how much people enjoy what I'm doing. Here's hoping 2008 is even more succesful for me, and that I continue to improve.

In the meantime, you all have a wonderful festive period and holiday. Catch you all soon,

Happy Holidays,

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Illegal No-Ones

It's funny how things work out. This is now the second track I've made pitching the wonderful, beautiful and talented Alicia Keys against the 90s legend Ian Brown (the first being a personal fave of mine, "U F.E.A.R. My Name" somewhere down below on this page), but it wasn't meant to be this way...

I started off playing with this instrumental last week (BEEEEEEG shout out to my mate Fag for the heads up on the instrumental) and thought I had the most fantastic match ever, in dropping Christina's "Hurt" over the top. The intro worked beautifully, the various breathey vocal parts dropping in to place wonderfully against the impending danger of the string stabs. I'd even got the artwork all planned in my head. It was to be, the perfect track. But I just couldn't get the chorus to fit. It was too fast, too loud, too much like hard work! Gutted, but not put off, I started thinking, divas and big voices. I pitched every 'pella I had of every big, sweet souful voice against the track, but nothing quite fitted. At one point, I had 5 'pellas in the project in Acid. I even tried to weave the vocals in and out of each other to create a battle of the vocals. But it didn't feel right.

Then I went back to one of my fave vocals in Aaliyah's "Try Again" and with a bit of tweaking, it worked brilliantly. In fact, you'll find it down below as a bonus treat; but I always try to do something new and I'd already used this vocal in "U R Still A Dudu" which I am happy with, and so I wanted to try something new.

Alicia Key's "No-One " has been in my top ten tracks of the last few weeks, and I had been deperate to do something with it, searching high and low for somthing suitable. I'd even begged my usual sources for an instrumental of John Lennon's "Instant Karma" as it was around the right BPM - you'd be amazed how hard it is to find a non-hip-hop/soul track at around 89.9bpm, and I was determined not to use the Fugees with this vocal.

Anyway, in desperation, I tried the Alicia vocal against the Ian Brown track, thinking how ironic it would be if it worked and I ended up with another chilled out Alicia boot. Of course, it worked!
There's no beats in this one so it more likely to head for your chill-out compilations, or be used in a breakdown during a set (I arsed around in Ableton last night for hours creating my own beats but nothing really floated my boat), but I love the cinematic feel to it. And in the end, I managed to drop a sample from Try Again throughout the track, AND get some snippets of Christina in there to finish with, so it all ended up good in the hood.

I gotta get me some tickets for Alicia next Easter at the NIA....I love this girl so much....

Illegal No-Ones

Ian Brown vs. Alicia Keys (feat. Christina Aguilera)
(Illegal Attacks (Orchestral Mix) vs. No-One)

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And here is the bonus track, the simple A+B track

Try Illegal Attacks

Ian Brown vs. Aaliyah
(Illegal Attacks (Orchestral Mix) vs. Try Again)

Download Page Here:

Monday, 10 December 2007

I Saw a Bouncing Ball

Well, I threatened it and here it is, purely because the next 'new' tune I'm working on is giving me a headache with the chorus sections (but trust me, once it comes together, hopefully by this weekend, it will be well worth the wait - how do you say 'Orchestral Pop'?). My experiment with experimental music.

This one came together a good 3 or 4 months ago one night when I was pratting around with piano based ballads, looking for something that would possibly close a full length mix (and as those in the know, know, I did indeed use this to close the Part IV mix) - I'd had the visionary Bat For Lashes album for a while on the PC and hadn't really got around to listening to it. However, I'm known for dropping unheard tracks in to my compilation CDs for the car, and this was one such track.

I first came across Bat For Lashes on TV (last year?) when I saw the other-worldly Natasha Khan at the South By Southwest festival from Austin, TX. I was actually watching it to see the magnificent Scott Matthews perform (another artist I can claim to have seen before they 'made it') but Bat For Lashes were also featured strongly on the programme and I was blown away. The combination of the visual and auditory poetry I was seeing/hearing was a heady brew and put me instantly in mind of a Kate Bush/Jeff Buckley combo. I loved it.

So here I was stumbling around with the track with its tricky time signature, looking for a beat I could maybe skip in over the top. Well, if it's tricky time sigs you're after, look no further than the electronic genius of Richard D. James. Most of you know I love Aphex Twin, so as quick scan of me CDs and Bucephalus Bouncing Ball stood out like a sore thumb. Would it work? I didn't care. The Shiraz told me it would ;-)

Amazingly, at least to my ear, it's crazy drum n' ball rhythm really compliments the Bat lyrics. To me, it puts me in mind of an naively, inquisitive girl looking at the apocalypse through the eyes of an innocent. But then I do suffer from Nuclear Nightmares.

Whether I'm right or wrong, it does close out a set mighty well. The Ambient Apocalypse Anthem. I'm drinking again.

Now with amended intro including a recorded sample obtained from Freesound, created by the incredible Acclivity - he really does record some mindblowing stuff and make it available freely for use. I recommend any masher to find him out and check his work.

I Saw a Bouncing Ball

Bat For Lashes vs. Aphex Twin
(I Saw a Light vs. Bucephalus Bouncing Ball)

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Last Resort ZShare Link here:

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Shootin' From the Heart

At last - some new material. I was going to post a few tracks from the Part IV mix to keep you all going, but a part of me felt guilty, I had to make some new stuff (although I will probably get "I Saw A Bouncing Ball" up on here shortly, if only because rhythmically, it's so mental!).

So here we go. Leicester's finest, the producers of the best rock from the last 3 years or so, hook up and dance with the Princess of Pop, Kylie.

As soon as I heard 2 Hearts a few weeks back, it's potential to be a glam rock extravaganza shone immediately through the slightly weedy pianos. A couple of tracks sprang immediately to mind - Goldfrapp's 'Ooh La La' and Oasis' mighty lapdancing anthem, 'Force of Nature'. However, finding instrumentals of said tracks was nigh on impossible (and I really didn't have the time to make my own). Still, one track seemed to keep getting played on my car stereo - mash-up icon Go Home Productions' 'Bus Stop Runner' clashing Kasabian against various heroes of glam. It clicked. I love Kasabian (one of my fave live bands) and I particularly love "Shoot The Runner" and I knew straight away where I could source the instrumental from.

Big big thanks go to Mick "Slipknot" Ford (son of Tony "Harrison" Ford (It's an outrage!)) for the supply of Kasabian. Cheers dude (and I want those other instrumentals you promised!).

Surprisingly, the Kylie vocal wasn't as easy to work with as expected. And trying to make a Kasabian 'pella to float the vocals back in throughout the track wasn't as easy as expected. But I got there in the end. And the results (IMHO) rock. And who knew that 2 Hearts is a cover of the track by electro band Kish Mauve?! One to search out me thinks.

True story, I once watched the Hours in Leicester, at the Charlotte, whilst stood next to Serge. I then found out, a chap I work with, is from the same village as Serge. And then a few months later, I appear in some artwork with Serge. Lol. Even if you all hate the track, I'm chuffed with it if only because it's my favourite piece of Colatron related artwork to date.

Shootin' From the Heart

Kasabian vs. Kylie Minogue
(Shoot the Runner vs. 2 Hearts)

Download Page Here:

Last Resort ZShare Link Here:

I'm a King and she's my Queen, bitch!

EDIT: Great news Colafreaks - a top chap by the name of EvilKeg has taken this track and decided to blast it out over the airwaves/digital streams of Brap FM, down in Brighton this Wednesday coming (12th December) - this excites Colatron greatly and is great exposure for his hard work (lol), along with all the top work me good buddy Scott does over at If you get chance, tune in and support me new friends over at Tell 'em Colatron sent ya.