Saturday, February 28, 2009

AutoRock- "Mass Appeal"

Here's a review of AutoRock's mixtape "Mass Appeal" that I wrote this summer but never posted, for some reason...

Daft Punk and Beethoven. Flo Rida and the Beatles. Michael Jackson and the Velvet Underground. While none of these are conventional partnerships, each of these artists collaborates on DC-based DJ Adam Dylewski’s latest release, Mass Appeal. How? Dylewski, aka AutoRock, uses the cut-and-paste technique of mash-ups to create a seamless 70-minute opus, utilizing over 150 samples that range from the White Stripes to Justin Timberlake to Belle & Sebastian. The result is an enjoyable mix of new and old hits that complement each other in unimaginable ways. Take for example, track 20 (none of the track are titled, and to get the full effect the album should be listened to straight through), in which the vocals of Dead Prez’s “Hip-Hop” are layered over the instrumentals of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Dead Prez’s stale hit suddenly sounds modern, and Joy Division’s classic is revitalized in its removal from a gothic context.

While AutoRock’s technique is not original (check out DJs like Girl Talk or Go Home Productions to hear other long-form mash-ups), he brings a fresh voice to the table through his range of samples. He pulls tracks from all decades so that Mass Appeal, in a true example of living up to its name, can be as recognizable to an ‘80’s metal-head as to a teenage Top 40 lover. The joy of the record comes in hearing songs from two unrelated decades and artists from two unrelated genres merge to form tracks that can surpass the originals, or at least cause the listener to view the tunes in a different, warped light. AutoRock is not a musician in a traditional sense. He does not create his own bass lines, chord progressions or rap verses. Instead, he sifts through the bins of what others have created, dusts off the grime and pastes together the best parts to form fresh masterpieces that you only think you’ve heard before.

Mass Appeal is the follow-up to The Assquake LP, and both are available for free download on AutoRock’s MySpace,

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