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Vital Weekly

J'ee-haw! Compact Disc & J'ee-haw! Remixed (review)

Published: December 8, 2004
Tags: esc.rec.01, esc.rec.02, Press

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Review in Vital Weekly (www.vitalweekly.net):
Okay, imagine this: at a certain point a CD-R comes in the mail, with the request to do a remix of one of the tracks or all or whatever. Upon listening to it, one discovers that all the tracks are silent, except for one single classic cowboy shout on each track: j’ee-haw! This is very enigmatic to say the least, if not downright hilariously minimalistic. After some inquiries it becomes clear that many dutch artists of quite different but mostly electronic backgrounds have been asked to make the same effort.

The result has now been released on two CD-R’s, that give a broad overview of the dutch electronica scene of this moment (if possible at all, of course). I will go through this track by track, spending a few lines on each.

Freiband has done his usual timestretching on the yell untill it becomes something altogether different. Radboud Mens simply made one of his funky minimal techno pieces without any overt reference to the original. Jonx is up with a dubby track with acoustic guitars, the yell on top every now and then. Parkside have done a mostly understated drum ‘n’ bass version with some freaky outbursts and the yell on top. Sasker Scheerder has done something quite incomprehensible and mysterious with synth and voice cutups. Xaf has done the obvious: he’s turned the whole thing into a bluegrass track, albeit a totally digital version of the genre and therefore a very funny one. Stijn (mijn label) goes electro: I actually believe he’s using a Casio VL-Tone 1! Humobisten (feat. Der Versucher) turn the thing into a very dry, but funky techno piece with excellent breaks and the yell on top. Maga does something similar, but rougher and freakier, less dance floor material. And he fucks up the yell on the fly. Jesse Smale uses the yell to create a sound of cows mooing and by layering these he creates a true herd of the digital beasts. Funny in a double sense really. Duo Teplaky take care of the semi acoustic french cover version, including bad playing. A true late night version. DrBadVibes takes the thing to the next stage of breakcoreany , as in: these are only breaks and destruction fx! Maga again with the 2 steppin’ version; hardcore funky breaks of high intesity. Ios Smolders closes disc 1 with a very eerie and minimalistic track, based only on the yell. Scary stuff!

Disc 2 opens with Mr. Dion, whose track is slow, but groovy and rather short. Next is yours truly with a very minimal, pseudo rhythmic piece that seems to go nowhere, but does of course. Quench take off with a sloooow psycho fx mix, without the yell it seems. Boca Raton pick up the piece with feedbacks and distant voices, taking it into an altogether different direction again. Smoking Oil Project are heading for a more ambient version, with subtle beats and flickering sounds. E_minus is kind of difficult to put into a corner, but it has a forceful drive and a strong beat and would sound good on the dance floor. DJ Harco has sampled the yell and turns it into a beat on the fly. Maga is up once more, this time with a kind of ambient tribal acid mix, the yell on top. DJ Smuthound & Dr. Auratheft present some kind of acid dub electro, also with the yell on top. DJ Pausa delivers a short kind of cutup piece, as if the yell has been swallowed by a digital frog and more. And again there is a track by Maga, this time the tibetan mix, way over the top really, sort of Muslimgauze goes to the far east. Erik en Arjen really go out west with their guitars and horses (the horses are incredible!), Ennio should know. Kodi seems to have taken the whole thing as an inspiration to make a new track, there is no direct reference to the original and things seem more oblique. Edwin van der Heide has sampled the yell and made an indonesian kadjak choir out of it, quite incredible. Last is Peter Duimelinks with a track consisting mainly of field recordings of in- and outside spaces, except for the middle part that sounds completely electronic. This track is probably just as enigmatic as the original.

So, there you go: 29 very different tracks by very different people. Of course, probably nobody will like all of them, but it is certainly worth your while checking this out. If only for the great cover!
(MR)

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