Friday, April 07, 2006

Mashistory Vol. 2.: The Sour Cream Control Committee

Sorry I have been so sour of late. Let me lighten the mood with a little thing I have been thinkin about for a while. Of course, it has a Mojo connection too. So let me start there.



Bhind the counter on the wall, Mojo used to have a great collection of Whipped Cream and Other Delights knockoff records. The original Herb Albert album has become iconic among record people, partly because of its omnipresence and partly because, well, it has the super sexy picture of Dolores Erikson covered in whipped cream on the front. This is the record that is virtually guaranteed to appear in every pile of records that you ever encounter. From the sheer frequency of its appearance, it seems that everyone in the 1960's must have had a copy (if not two). According to this chronology, not everyone bought it, but a whole lot did. In 1966, "Herb Alpert sold 13.7 million albums in a 12-month period, an unprecedented achievement."

Perhaps as a result of its iconic status, but certainly reiforcing it, there have been innumerable remixes, knock offs and other homages to this record over the years. Here are delicious tags for some of the ones I found.

Mojo had all of them it seemed. All but this one. I had always wanted to give it to them, but frankly, I just couldn't part with it. Can you blame me? Maybe you will after you hear the first track on this SourCreamControlCommitteeTwofer.mp3. It's the signature, Alpert tune "A Taste of Honey", but tortured and Klezmerized in a way that seems almost too perfectly terrible to be accidental. Come on, listen to that modulation again, Peter.



I follow the Sour Cream with another of my favorite Alpert mashups. This one by the Evolution Control Committee was originally released on the 1994 Gunderphonics casette and then came out on a 1996 7" as "The Whipped Cream Mixes". Widely regarded as one of the first A+B mashups, this bastard pop classic set the standard for genre the blending hillarity of the mashup craze to come. According to info available at ECC site, Rebel Wihtout A Pause mashes Public Enemy, "The Rhythm, The Rebel", Prophets Of Rage EP with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, "Bittersweet Samba", Whipped Cream and Other Delights. My favorite thing about this track is how the juxtapositon recontextualizes the "break" in Bittersweet Samba with Flav's introduction somehow making its squareness seem super hip.

I have always wondered how they actually constructed the track. I sat with a guitar and plunked along to see if the pitch changes, and it doesn't. That means it was not done live on two decks. They must have used some kind of editing system. Was it digital? I'd love any more info anyone finds on the method behind this madness.

Either way. I think these two tracks belong together somehow. Enjoy.

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