Sunday, June 10, 2007

Musical Brilliance - The Kleptones

I meant to write about this guy's work before. Somehow, I forgot about the Kleptones for a while, and probably should have mentioned his work when talking about the book Darknet. Like Nine Inch Nails, "The Kleptones" is one guy. Oddly enough, there is NIN sprinkled throughout 24 Hours. It seems a natural choice to me - Trent Reznor seems to have a very studio-heavy type of musicianship, and someone constructing something like mashups would seem naturally drawn to his work.

Anyway, John reminded me of the Kleptones again last week - I had mentioned them to him, and since he has a much better memory than me, he eventually got around to listening to them months after I said something to him. Since he brought it up, I thought I'd go check it out again...this time using Songbird. This was the first time I heard 24 Hours, and I really enjoyed the tracks. Listening to this stuff is like trainspotting of the highest order - though there is much I do not recognize - I wonder which has more samples - 24 Hours or the Avalanches' Since I Left You, which was composed from about 3500 samples. Not sure it rises to that many samples, but there are a lot in there. I'm pretty sure I even heard samples of the comedian Bill Hicks.

Though the term "mashup" appeared relatively recently, I don't think the idea is all THAT new...I remember some station from Harrisburg in the late 80's constantly playing this thing put together (probably not by that station - I imagine stuff like that is made somewhere else and sent to all affiliates) that compared Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar on Me with an earlier track they did, in an attempt to mock how similar it was. That's the first time I can remember hearing something that would approximate a mashup, but the wikipedia entry says the practice goes back at least to the 1950's. Well, there you go. Everything old is new again, or something.

Well, enough babbling from me - just go check it out. His work is online at

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