Philly-based avant-hop producer WHY?Arcka hit the penultimate this week: the 25th entry in his Exhibits A-Z series of tightly wound, conceptually circumscribed, left-field funky remixes. Each cut takes small slivers of existing songs and refashions them into sonic trinkets. The samples he selects are too purposefully limited to be radio-friendly, and too broad to fit into the abstract world of granular synthesis. WHY?Arcka (born Shawn Kelly) has, in the process of cutting up other people’s music, also fashioned his own special place in the world of sonic appropriation.
In the case of “Exhibit Y: Jones’ Wars: Episodes 1-3,” the source material appears to be rooted in the Billy Paul r&b classic “Me and Mrs. Jones,” though Kelly never fully exposes his tools. What he does, however, is stretch vowels until their internal waveforms become new melodies, crisscross string sections until they take on slasher-film intensity, and knit new beats from micro-filaments of the original.
Get the full set at arckatron.bandcamp.com. The final track in the series, “Exhibit Z,” should be out shortly.