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Dj Broken Window

Parallel Universe Vol. 2

Violent Turd
CDEP $6.75

09/02/2003

Turd 05CD 


The Swiss army knife of pop-record-matching delivers a second CD full of hilarious whole-song mash-ups. The mysterious DJ - an unnamed international IDM and electro producer - continues amazing research on pairs of vocal and instrumental tunes that, once overlain, create a kind of Top 2Ø pop hits from a parallel universe. In addition, the CD contains printed instructions for every track used and exactly how to mix them together.  Critics have called Broken Window's work "as fun as it is dangerous," "as academic in its musicological joking as it is tongue-in-cheek with booty-shaking party music," and praised his "mash-ups that actually seek out songs that work well together.... So much fun that you may not realize how masterfully conceived it really is."  Selection and conceptual integrity is why these mashups stand out; each is the combination of an instrumental and a capella vocals that happen to be parallel arrangements across through their entire durations, but are usually a few decades and genres apart, as well: doo-wop vocal harmonies backed by micro-house; rap over '7Øs prog-rock anthems; R&B backed by classic industrial dance music; club divas backed by a '6Øs samba trio; even contemporary jabs at the Hooked On Classics series. They resemble pop tunes, except that all the "wrong" vocals are fronting all the "wrong" bands. Unlikely combinations work out perfectly due in no small part to Broken Window's encyclopedic knowledge of pop and avant-garde music. Because Parallel Universe relies on the elegant layering of whole, unedited tracks, they are free of the scars of brutal computer-based reconstructive surgery that make glitchy, MP3-based mash-ups unpalatable to many music fans. In fact, some work so well, you might suspect that they were legitimate, next-wave productions by the original artists.

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