Calamus Root Magician Remixes Joanna Newsom

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About a month ago a really horrible Joanna Newsom cover record was released titled Versions Of Joanna.  It was packed with really amazing artists who failed to move far enough away from Newsom's original sound/composition and ended up coming across as bad karaoke.  I hate to be hard on a record that is for charity, but it's just not good.

I was skeptical when I saw a tumblr post about someone remixing a few of her songs, but as a consumer of anything related to Joanna Newsom I had to listen.  The results are breathtaking.  Think Joanna Newsom remixed by The Books.  Calamus Root Magician chops up interview clips from Joanna and successfully finds the most precious moments in her sweeping tracks and does the impossible by adding another dimension to her beauty as a talented singer/songwriter.  This is a must listen, so go listen.

FROM Calamus Root Magician:

The Murthering Stake is the first installment in the Dread Contenders series: a trilogy of EP-length remix recordings by Calamus Root Magician. Each focuses on a separate musician or musical project and a separate recording medium.


For The Murthering Stake, we chopped up the work of Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band from vinyl LPs. CalRoot has been a long-time admirer of her work since the morning in 2005 when he awoke to the sounds of "Peach, Plum, Pear" ringing from his roommate's chamber down the hall. "The Book of Right On" bass line even found a home on the very first full-length recording by against fidelity, and since The Roots tapped that vein (as well as a variety of other thirsty postmodern entities, both righteous and rapacious in nature), we figured it was high time to run an unauthorized chop of the entire catalog before some fair-weather fan with an expensive budget and long corporate fingers got permission to do so. Please enjoy responsibly.

Reasons this was a challenging project:

- Vinyl records all crackly from over-play (especially from spring 2010, right after Have One On Me came out). Eat it up, wax fanatics.

- Newsom is mad down-tempo. In the main, we wanted the recording to sound like the originals in terms of pitch (plus we didn't want the project to come out any chirpier than it already would, considering the tonality of the musician in question), so we eschewed bumping the tempo (except slightly on "ill quickie"). Check the squash-job on "not undo" and "suffice" for prime examples of how we chopped to get the tempo up without having to shift pitch.

- Not a lot of drums on these records. We had to bring in (steal) outside drumming for most of the tracks. Other than that, there's not a lot of extra-Newsomian instrument samples, though we did add a bit here and there (for better or for worse . . .).  As far as cuts and scratches goes: we thought about it but ultimately decided that it would change the whole feel of the album--it would become more like a rap record riding samples that happened to be culled from Joanna Newsom, rather than an ode to Joanna Newsom posed in the genre. Whatever, add some scratches if you want. I don't own the shit.

- Anxiety over minutia.

Peace.  And I mean that.

-Calamus Root Magician

1 comment:

  1. Its cool by the way its nice it that is would be happen.