As you may be aware David, Dave and I have a fascination with bootlegs. Those mixed-up play-two-records-at-the-same-time tracks. We write about them on our web sites, e-mail each other with new examples we've found and make compilations for friends. Well now that Kylie has jumped on the band wagon with the Can't Get You Out Of My Head / Blue Monday fusion it seems this musical meme is reaching it's maturity. There's even an article about it in today's Guardian. I'm not sure I agree with everything it says but it's an interesting read. It even mentions our new friend, Osymyso, and a web site that has lots of bootleggy stuff www.cartelcommunique.com.
I suppose it begs the question what is a bootleg? Is it crude sampling like M/A/R/R/S and the KLF did back in the 80s? i.e. basically stealing the hook or the bridge from another song. Is it sampling like all the rappers seem to do now? i.e. re-recording a track with permission or even getting the original vocalist to record a fresh version for them. Or is it simply an extreme form of mixing? Just playing two songs at the same time.
I think it's the latter. People have been sampling, mixing and downright stealing other people's musical ideas wholesale for years now. Bootlegging seems to tap into something else though. When done well it almost seems to create something new from two or more existing songs. It highlights the essence of each song used giving birth to a hybrid. And as any gardener will tell you F1 hybrids can be stronger than either of their parents.
Next Thursday 7th March is the next King of the Boots party at Asylum "London's Smallest Venue". I think we'll all be going.