Hipper music bloggers than you're likely to ever find here have been freaking out over surrealist hip hop duo Das Racist for a while now, ever since the Pineapple Express rap tune "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" came out earlier this year. Even beyond being an ode to the brilliantly efficient fast-food convergence in the first place and implicitly legitimizing the alarming concept of the pepperoni burrito, it actually consists entirely of the lines "I'm at the Pizza Hut/I'm at the Taco Bell/I'm at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell," repeated ad nauseam. It's the most bizarre lead single I've heard in a very long time, and I'm still not sure whether it's for real -- every time I hit the play button on YouTube I half expect Sacha Baron Cohen to pop out of an enchilada or something. You will regret clicking on this: Death And Taxes found 'em early and called it a "meditation on consumer identity in corporate America;" elsewhere, "Harold and Kumar existentialism". Either might still be giving too much credit to two dudes who got just got blazed one night and hit "record" a little too soon. Nobody's really sure. That's the big joke. Maybe. But then along come LA DJ duo Wallpaper. (their punctuation, not ours) with the remix, which the Fork dorks promptly knighted Best New Music, approximately equivalent to an Oprah Book Club endorsement in the indie rock world. Having now listened many more times than you'll ever get me to cop to, I'm pretty sure they did not mean it ironically, but of course you never really know with those guys. The thing that stands out most about all this, I think, is the redemption of a thoroughly useless tune via remixing with loops and samples. One version is musically competent, while the other spectacularly (if deliberately) flops in that regard and makes me want to claw my eyes out so I can get to my brain and punch it. Consider the frequency with which the artists you've recorded have expected you to work miracles with ass-awful source material; this is as close to a success story as I've ever heard when it comes to fixing epic stupidity with production. So keep at it, Ableton rats and Fruityloopers -- if pop continues on its current intellectual trajectory, you're going to be in high demand.
Producer, mixer and engineer Eric Valentine has a video series out that digs into making records. This video takes a look at his approach to mixing drums. Enjoy!