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The Rashomon of Remixing (MP3s)

There are few pleasures as richly kaleidoscopic as the Rashomon of Remixing: the online beat battle.

Two of the foremost beat fight clubs are located at cratekings.com and stonesthrow.com. In the message boards at both sites, disparate producers, most weaned on hip-hop, take a shared sample and do with it what they will.

Consider the latest from Stones Throw — the 126th beat battle hosted by that great record label. The originating cut is a mostly instrumental bit of soul, “Look What You’ve Done to Me.” And as of this evening, more than two dozen renditions have been posted, key among them an entry by Theory Hazit that takes the initial funk and cuts it up into something just broken enough to be entirely contemporary (MP3).

[audio:https://stlth.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/production/da5192e0-5b4f-012c-bbfa-f1948c7c9dc8/ce1fe260-5ec3-012c-d232-f102fdbc611b/Theory%20Hazit%20-%20LookWhatUMadeMeDo.mp3?Signature=r6Tb%2Bg8PDg1NmacgpEj5EizDk0A%3D&Expires=1249134489&AWSAccessKeyId=1DHMN2J6JW2RM0N4PC82|titles=”Look What U Made Me Do”|artists=Theory Hazit]

Then there’s DJ Earl-e, who slows it to a spartan pulse, the guitar flashing past like a distant comet (MP3), and, just to single out one other fine entry, an edit by Density & Time, which ratchets up the guitar into something approximating hard rock, though the looped beat ensures it’s never mistakable for anything but raw hip-hop (MP3).

[audio:https://stlth.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/production/da5192e0-5b4f-012c-bbfa-f1948c7c9dc8/33ca6610-5c2c-012c-41b3-fe73ecf756d4/DJ%20Earl-e%20-Armstrong.mp3?Signature=irH49nqmNJknkLM7pYPb2cULBIA%3D&Expires=1249135111&AWSAccessKeyId=1DHMN2J6JW2RM0N4PC82|titles=”Armstrong”|artists=DJ Earl-e] [audio:https://stlth.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/production/da5192e0-5b4f-012c-bbfa-f1948c7c9dc8/08664410-5f8a-012c-a9e3-f919f9b4a639/Density%20%26%20Time%20-%20Dirty%20Bong%20Blues.mp3?Signature=2EJd4J17O74cjWW52awLoxsGUtY%3D&Expires=1249135207&AWSAccessKeyId=1DHMN2J6JW2RM0N4PC82|titles=”Dirty Bong Blues”|artists=Density & Time]

View the full set of entries in chronological order at drop.io/stmbbattle126 — especially should the links above fail to function. Witness the original posts and voting at, respectively, stonesthrow.com and stonesthrow.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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