Tag Archives: Beatles

Bost & Bim thirst for a cappellas

Bost & Bim is a French production duo that makes mashups based on self-produced rhythms. They’ve produced a series of mashup mixtapes under the name Yankees A Yard, and in June they released the third edition.

Matthieu Bost, one half of the duo, writes in an e-mail to Reggaemani that the most important thing is that the songs used for the mashup are in tune.

− It may seem obvious, but it’s not always the case. Also important is that the new tune changes the mood of the song. The more the better. We prefer to hear Eminem on Benny Hill music rather than on another hip-hop instrumental. Or a minor tune turned into a major.

Matthieu thinks that reggae is particularly good for mashing with other genres because it often changes the perception of the song. It makes you hear it in a new and different way.

Can’t see the woods for all the trees
The Bost & Bim mashups have made reggae fans interested in singers from other genres. He brings up a familiar example.

− For example, a lot of reggae fans have asked us “who is Usher? This singer is wicked!”. They’ve surely heard him a lot, but never realized that his songs are good because of the music, writes Matthieu.

He also writes that a lot of people have told the duo that they don’t like reggae, but like their mixtapes.

What a mashup producer needs
The main ingredients on the three volumes of Yankees A Yard are reggae rhythms combined with hip-hop and RnB voice tracks. However, the duo has also tried their hand on artists such as Daft Punk, Femi Kuti and The Beatles. Matthieu explains why they’ve chosen these genres.

− First of all because we like the music, especially hip-hop. Secondly, because in hip-hop and RnB it’s tradition to put the vocals on vinyl and, nowadays, also in the mp3 package. This is not the case in other genres. For the same reasons, we are very glad when we find a cappellas from other genres.

And if there’s something that a mashup producer needs, one thing is clearly more important than others.

− A cappellas!!!!

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This is the first part of Reggaemani’s series on mashups. Next up is an interview with NYC-based dj and producer Max Tannone.

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Can’t buy me love

billboardschartsSmaken är ju som baken – delad.  Och det framgår tydligt när jag läser om Billboardlistans reggaesektion. I toppen ligger coverbandet Easy Star All-Stars med Beatleshyllningen Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band med gästartister som Luciano och Mighty Diamonds. På andra plats återfinns Buju Banton’s Rasta got soul och tredjeplatsen stoltserar med gamla godingarna UB40.

Ett antal tankar slår mig när jag läser listan – som för övrigt inte innehåller någon platta jag skulle köpa. Min första tanke är att dagens reggaemusik inte alls håller samma klass som på 60-, 70-, och 80-talen. Visst finns det bra artister. Lutan Fyah, Fantan Mojah, Alborosie, Pressure, Etana, Warrior King, Chezidek m fl gör bra grejor. Men, jag saknar namn som Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Lone Ranger, Max Romeo, Johnny Osbourne och Freddie McGregor. Och kanske framför allt vokalgrupper som Meditations, Mighty Diamonds och Heptones. Det fanns tider då man kunde köpa helgjutna album snarare än enstaka makalösa singlar.

Det andra som slår mig är att ett förhållandevis okänt coverband toppar listan. De har visserligen idel bekanta gästartister, men det känns ändå inte helgjutet. Krävs det sådana tilltag för att nå kommersiell framgång? Klarar inte dagens reggae av att slå stort utan att Beatles ska behövas blandas in? Missförstå mig inte. Jag är den förste att omfamna reggaecovers av kända eller okända låtar. Heptones version av Bob Dylans I shall be released eller Ken Boothe’s version av Bill Withers Ain’t no sunshine kvalar båda in högt på mina topplistor. Men, någonstans känns det bekymmersamt att Beatles toppar även reggaelistan.

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