Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rapdragons - Ten Stories Hijacked (Ltd Comp)

This is a remix album of tracks from last year's Rapdragons debut album Ten Stories High, and I previously posted an advance track from this a couple months ago. The main record has a remix of all 10 songs from the original album, but if you download it from the Ltd Comp site, there's a 'bonus pack' with 5 more remixes of some of the same songs, and interestingly there's a promise of a 2nd upcoming bonus pack that'll feature a remix picked from submissions sent to the site. It's all kind of a cool idea and I appreciate the collaborative spirit of the whole enterprise, which is in keeping with the upcoming Featuring Baltimore album that Rapdragons are dropping this summer, but I will say that, like the Height With Friends remix album I wrote about a few months ago, I like it more in theory than in practice. Like with the Height record, the appeal of the Rapdragons album for me was really largely in how homemade and DIY it felt, and the sense that the beats and lyrics were all created together as part of one vision, so it's not really the kind of hip hop where taking the a cappellas and throwing it on a new beat necessarily works that well. Plus a lot of the remixers here are from the indie or techno scenes so they're not really trying to make bangers anyway, it's a little more artsy and abstract, even moreso than the original record.

Rapdragons - "Take Her Home (Cex Remix)" (mp3)
As I explained once in an old post here once, Cex is a dude known primarily for making weird glitchy techno records who, briefly about 7-8 years ago, was going pretty hard with his own odd brand of indie hip hop, and made some dope records with Height and Mickey Free (who back then was called Bow'N'Arrow). When I saw that he had a remix on here, I was curious if he'd go back to his old style of hip hop beatmaking, but instead he goes more into his weird dark techno steez, with a 9-minute track full of wild vocal edits and spacey synths. It's technically on the 'bonus pack,' which is a shame because I feel like it'd make a cool statement for this to be part of the proper remix album.

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Thanks for posting this Al. We're really happy with how this project has come along. So much talent here in Baltimore, and clearly from artists with something unique to offer (it'd be hard to even find a pair amongst these tracks, every remix plays by its own rules).

With a couple remixers still working (!!!) and our vocals out for all the PIMPs (persons in music production) to download, we know Bonus Pack 02 will be super real.

Some of our upcoming projects look like they may be a series, with multiple records. But Ten Stories Hijacked felt like it should be one thing, even if more remixes are coming out. The Bonus Packs address the fact that our releases are currently free and digital, so there's no reason why we can't drop Hijacked with Pack 01, and later add a pack 02 (which will be bundled, and also available as re-up).

We're really glad we went ahead with this project, and that there was such a positive and participatory response. We love these remixes. We're into all the tracks on the record. The order came down to sequencing for the flow of the album. The bonus tracks, and even tracks that will drop later, are all part of the record proper. The designation of Bonus really means that the track has been remixed once earlier in the album, and now here's another version.

Big shout outs to everyone who worked on a track, those still in the kitchen, people thinking about d/ling the vocals and cooking something up, everyone who's downloaded Ten Stories Hijacked or Ten Stories High, Baltimore rappers, Baltimore writers, Baltimore producers, and Baltimore.
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