- Thursday, May 01, 2003
Of course, all of this is made considerably easier if you have access to the original multitrack masters of the recordings. Inspired by the relatively new phenomenon, Sparrow Records utilized their large catalog of artists who fall under the Chordant Distribution umbrella and commissioned a number of mixmasters to create their own smash-ups, including Tedd T. (Rebecca St. James, ZOEgirl) and David Larring (Matt Redman, Avalon). A successful mix in this case is to blend together two seemingly disparate songs and make them sound as though they belong together—the more bizarre the pairing the better. The trick primarily lies in the speed adjustment, and it should be noted that altering the background music is usually much easier than altering the lead vocal. Too much one way or the other and a vocalist can sound like a munchkin or a troll.
To best illustrate the concept, the most natural pairing on Sparrow's
Bearing in mind the creativity and artistry in selecting and creating a successful smash-up, there are some excellent examples to be found on this disc. The most bizarre example also involves the Newsboys, taking their anthemic classic "Shine" and dramatically raising the pitch of it to fit the strong rock blasts of Pax217's "Tonight." The result is a complete transformation that's a lot of fun. In this case, Rusty Varenkamp goes so far as to adjust the rhythm of the chorus in "Shine" to fit the syncopated lead-in of the chorus to "Tonight."
Equally strange is Rebecca St. James's "God," pitched down and merged with the modern reggae rock of Earthsuit's "One Time." Oddly enough, the two songs work together, and the irony is that Earthsuit is one of Rebecca's favorite bands. Another track takes the playful hometown hip-hop of "TN BWOYS" by GRITS and matches it to the rocking sounds of Switchfoot's "You Already Take Me There." They go together like peanut butter and chocolate, as do the aggressive dance pop of ZOEgirl's "Dismissed" over dc Talk's equally aggressive "Jesus Freak."
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