Limitless Mishmash

The Mashit mix is up!

I’ll just post it directly here at the top with a direct link to the mp3 for people looking for just that, but be sure to see my notes below about who Mashit/Beat Research are and how they are related to Toneburst and the fact that Mashit is touring this summer. And please visit the Mashit site here for the direct scoop.

Masher’s without Boarders Mix for Mashit Records, April ’05
(Save Bandwidth: Streaming download here)

Strategy – Dunes Dub (Shockout)
Radiohead – Paperbag Writer (Parlophone)
Timeblind – What the…? (Shockout)
Kush Arora – F’in Simmering Bastard [BB Mix] (Record Label Records Dub)
Eek-a-Mouse – Jamacanese (Ras Jamaica)
Aaron Spectre – I Hear Voices (Moonbunny Dub)
David Last – Posca Kid (The Agriculture)
Echotwist – Frankie’s Next Move (Dhamaal SF)
The Nextment feat. Cutty Ranks – Silent Weapon (Scenario)
The Orb – Assassin [Live] (Island)
Stereotyp meets. Al’Haca – Me Nuh Joke (Klein)
Dizzee Rascal – Everywhere (XL Recordings)
Pole – Raum 1 Variation[Kit Clatyon Mix] (~scape)
Unknown – Wicked Turntable Games (White)
La Funk Mob – Motor Bass Get Funked Up [Electrofunk Mix] (Mo Wax)
TV on the Radio – Mr. Grieves (Touch and Go)
Transient Waves – Always Ascending (Darla)
Massive Attack – Teardrop [Mad Professor Mazaruni Vocal Remix] (Wild Bunch)
Horace Andy – Do You Love My Music [Black Star Liner Ext. Remix] (Select Cuts)
Transdub Massiv feat. Ce’cile – Hill and Gully (Nocturne)
Rockers Hi-Fi – Mic Check (Groove Attack)
Nasty Habits – Prototyped (31 Records)
The Police – Shadows in the Rain (A & M Records)
Digital – Lower Depths (Photek Productions)
Loefah – Jungle Infiltrator (Big Apple Records)
The Art of Noise – Moments in Love (Island)
Deep Alpha -All Think [Kode 9‘s Alphadub] (Voltage)
Sly and Robbie Meet Bunny Lee – Legalize the Dub (Jamaican)
DJ Distance – Dark Crystal (Boka)
Radiohead – You and Whose Army (Parlophone)
High Plains Drifter feat. Goldspot Productions – Sholay [Epic Mix] (Tempa)
Deadbeat – Fixed Elections (~scape)
Easy Star All-Stars – Time Version (Easy Star)
Twilight Circus Dub Sound System – Unknown (M Records)
Toasty – Like Sun (Hot Flush)
Dub Trio – Drive By Dub (RIOR)
Operator and OD5150 feat. HR – Selassie Lives (D’lux Drops)
Total Chaos feat. Thai Stylee – Das Mic (Intonation)
Fracture and Neptune – Worm Science (Inperspective)
DJ Flack – Honeymoon Breeze (Beat Research)
Version – Spice (Bassbin)
Amit – Lost Voices (Comercial Suicide)
XTC – Runaways (Virgin)
Thomas Fehlmann – Alice Springs (Plug Research)
DJ C – Crazy Baldheads (Mashit Dub)

Some background to Mashit/Beat Research:

Mashit grew out of the Toneburst collective in Boston that ran its course from 1996-2001, and their website from those days is still up here. I wasn’t ever there, so my knowledge is second hand and forgive me if I get any of this wrong or omit people, but the founders were Tony (DJ Flack) and Jake (DJ C / Electro Organic Sound System), the two artists with multiple releases out besides them who you’ve probably heard of if you read this blog are Hrvatski and dj/rupture, and there were countless other DJs, electronic and live musicians (probably 60 or 70 in all), video artists, graphic artists, breakers, photographers, scholars, techies, and just generally people who wanted to help out.

Lot’s of people throw parties in this country with electronic music, some underground and some not so, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what marks Toneburst and my group from NYC Soundlab as different from some other people. It probably lies somewhere in their lack of locus and the common thread of multiple musical genres. There is little “this is our sound, soldier for the cause” mentality that dogs many of the music genres that I, DJs C and Flack and many others follow. Instead it’s about the combination of music, good unpretentious parties that move around depending on how good a location can be gotten at anyone time, doing events small and large, and musically tending towards the stranger ends of all genres.

In a way, pictures can say it better than my fumbles, so check some of old Toneburst party photos here. But I guess the important thing vis a vis the mix is the musical genres that we tended to gravitate towards. Which is kind of what my mix was a shot at representing. Dancehall, hip-hop, lots of jungle, some harder breaky stuff that eventually turned into what is today breakcore, laptop IDM experiments, and a good dose of techno/electro (which in my case has mutated more into Dubstep/Grime).

[I really am interested to know if similar groups were out there in the mid/late 90s, early 00s in America… I only know of Toneburst and Soundlab that sort of fit the bill, people that were interested in these particular musics, the combinations of them, were a group that stayed around for more than a couple parties, and that interacted with their environment by hold events in different locations… possibly with small record labels attached… Groups that weren’t just out to throw big raves [although don’t take this as any sort of diatribe towards events like that, or weeklies/monthlies, which are also a vital part of any scene]… I know there must have been stuff here in the Bay Area and a lot of other cities as well, but I’ve yet to find two with the output and the tenacity of Toneburst and Soundlab. I’d love to hear from anyone who was involved in such a group that I don’t know about]

Anyway, back to the music. DJ C put out and album as Electro Organic Sound System and a few EPs and compilation inclusions, and in 2003 he started Mashit recordings to release a particular sound that was only being hinted at in other labels. Ragga jungle, reinvigorated with new vocals and particular production sound that is both slightly closer to the popness of dancehall and the manicness of what is now Breakcore. There’ve been 6 releases so far, the 7th is on its way back from the plant, 8 is done and 9 is almost there. It’s the epitome of a very small label, pressings of at first 500 and now 1000, C drives hundreds of miles to pick them up from the plant and mail them out to distributors, they’re all on vinyl, and they’re carried by distros that deal with slightly more left field stuff (at least here in the US). This is the face of running a label in a small genre in the US today, one that has little runs but that the owner has complete artistic control over. It’s really hard work, and it absolutely pays off in spades. For us Djs who were bitten by the jungle bug when we first heard it and saw it’s potential to influence genres outside of itself, but maintained some crititcal distance over the years, it is extremely gratifying to see rooms full of people going to nuts to Mashit records with this look of “wait, what is this again?” look…

OK, so where am I going with this… I dunno… I love these guys (DJ C, DJ Flack, Aaron Spectre in Berlin, Me and Ripley here in San Fran, and the rest of the ex-Toneburst crew that’s scattered around, although Mashit is very definitely a DJ C creation). Now there’s a second label for the more downtempo stuff that they’ve always had ties too, Beat Research, with its kick-off release by DJ Flack coming soon. If you live close to Boston, go to their weekly at the Enormous Room on Mondays (and just last year there was another Toneburst party, Resound, with pics and videos here, so it could happen again!). If you live somewhere in the States (or anywhere else for that mater), book ’em (and me!). AND, if you live in Europe this summer, C and Aaron Spectre are going on tour this summer for the month of June. Their updated tour information is up here. For examples of the mind-blowing shows that they’ll be playing, and a sense of some of the artists who are musical kindred, check out RoboOrgy in London at Elctrowerkz and the American Invasion of Toxic Dancehall in Bristol.

I hope this mix does them and everyone on it justice.

Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    hey dude, speaking of hrvatski, have you heard his classical album? i was in reckless the other day and they had it (on vinyl only, so i couldn’t listen)—it’s under his real name, which i think is keith fullerton whitman, and it’s called (i think) “antithesis”. sounded very pretty from their description….

    dubya.

  • Ol' Feezy says:

    really really nice stuff. i wish there was somewhere within driving distance where i could hear this pumping outta a right P.A. once in a while. oh well. hit me up if you ever make it to FL. easy.

  • jace says:

    somebody should write a summary history of Toneburst. on the quick– it started in the Boston area late 1996, mostly seeded by a collaboration btwn a group of friends & artists mostly at Massachusetts College of Art and Harvard, who met via music, with the particular help of Boston's great radio scene. The first wave of Toneburst event producers/djs/video & installation artists were: DJ C, DJ Flack, Jenn L, Lynn S, Mike ESP, Sasha C-S, Rafi L, Embryo, Alex R, me (DJ Rupture), with the support from a Gene S and Vincent from WZBC's NCP radio shows and a LOT of other people. we really were a collective.
    Later on we met with Hrvatski and Moosaka/Professor/Radioactive of StreetForest Music and all sorts of other heads. Over the years we put out 2 CD comps, the first one of DJ C’s first label, Bliss, the second one a free CD-r giveaway.
    we were inspired by common linkages and energies and readiness to shake things up (this wasnt organized around genre or even artistic medium) and determined to fight boston's stodginess and segregation–cool stuff on radio and our community was filled with artists, but no physical space to manifest & throw offbeat events. we started & remained nomadic, trying to do "monthly experimental audio-visual adventures". all our parties were $5 or less entrance fees. no merchandising, sometimes we'd even have a 'noise toys' improv room where you'd get a discount if you brough a cheap noisemaking toy.
    DJ C was doing groundbreaking live dubby d&b, Embryo was on a live junglehop vibe, i had a radio show, Spool was more on live idm vibe, Jenn did amazing graphic design & video, Lynn specialized in installations, etc, it all just kinda gelled..
    basic early format was a more beats/dancing room and a more experimental/listening room, always pretty eclectic and very open-ended, with lots of video and environment-transforming installations.
    at our first Toneburst party performers& event producers outnumbered audience! we made an impact over the course of a few years (dwindling as people graduated and gravitated elsewhere, boston's scourge of transience).
    strangers still come up to me and talk about the Toneburst days.

  • kidkameleon says:

    Thank you Jace!

    I was really hoping someone from Toneburst would chime in and write about it from an insider perspective since I’m very much an outsider to it proper. My info is a collage of the two members I’d talked to it extensively about it (C and Ripley) and bits I’d picked up from Flack, Moose, and others. And while in practice there are a lot of things that separate TB from Soundlab, my peeps, it is gratifying to know from your description that some of what we were trying to do runs along the same lines (at least, in my perspective of it). Having just heard Spooky talk last night about race/identity/event/music/collage stuff and sort of rolling my eyes and snaking through a lot of it, I was newly energized to seek out people who are tied together by the need to “shake things up” musically and NOT have some sort of giant and heavy handed comment behind their every move. That’s actually why I’ve been pushing the Transplant party so hard, because all the people involved with throwing it are very much coming together and I think that will turn into great events. San Francisco needs a crew of people doing this…

    So, thanks for your post, I figured a lot of people who came to this blog wouldn’t have any frame of reference for the mix or why I might be excited to do it. I didn’t want it to exist in a vacuum. I’d love it if other Toneburst people dropped notes here as well.

    -KK

  • DJ C says:

    Yo yo yo!

    First of all, thanks for the great write up Kid. And thanks to Jace for that brief historical perspective. It’s great to see some words on Toneburst now that there’re a few years in between. So while we’re talking about it, I thought I’d drop a few thoughts as well.

    Some credit is due to our friend Slide

  • DJ C says:

    Hey! My whole rant didn’t make it. As I was saying…

    Some credit is due to our friend Slide, who had been an undergrad student in the Harvard electronic music studio, and in the mid ’90s was attending grad school at Massachusetts College of Art, in the Studio for Interrelated Media. She was organizing a series of experimental events at the time called The Passing Show, which brought together people from Harvard, MassArt, and elsewhere. It was through those events that I (DJ C) met up with Sasha C-S (/splice) and Rafi L (Together they formed Embryo). I was working on my Electro Organic Sound System project at the time, and when I heard Embryo’s ambient-dub infused jungle experiments, I knew I had found kindred spirits. They were the ones who introduced me to Jace (/rupture) who at that time was doing a great radio show on WMBR, the MIT radio station. The first party I did with those guys was called Electro Organic Sound System vs. Embryo, and took place in Gloucester, MA at a place called Artspace. Most of the people who would form the core of the Toneburst collective were there, including /rupture, Mike ESP and Xrae (Spool), Jenn L (Jade), Lynn S, as well as some great DJs from WZBC, the Boston College radio station. By the end of that night a bunch of us had decided to try and keep doing this kind of thing, in alternative spaces, on a semi-regular basis.

    Jace, Mike, Raffi, Sasha, and maybe some of the others, had been to Soundlab parties and were really inspired. Jace, Sasha and I started a torrent of emails trying to decide where our first event would be and what it would be called. Jace came up with the name Toneburst (taken from the name of a Stereolab tune). We did our first event called Toneburst at Artspace. I think it was in Oct. ’96. The next month we did an other Toneburst event, this time our first in Boston (Alston). From there it took off, and as time went on we accrued members like DJ Flack, Aaron Spectre, Hrvatski, Moosaka (with Radioactive and Professor Shuman), and many many more.

    At their peak the Toneburst parties were brining in 8-900 people to bask in the immersive environments. Ahh the good ole’ days! Ha ha….

    And now onto the future!

  • ripley says:

    Although I can’t pretend to have been any kind of organizer or responsible person for Toneburst….I am indebted to the whole collective and its parts for being the best musical and artistic incubator.

    I was at Toneburst events from the beginning in Gloucester and Allston onwards. I first helped out behind the scenes at ChildStyle, and did a dance performance with some folks at one of the MassArt events, and I think a few other things. The variety of venues (required by Boston’s wack promoter/venue/social restrictions), the multiplicity of voices.. really the best kind of fertile ground.

    And it was Toneburst people who did directly support my first djing experiments (thanks c and flack and sabrina and everyone who gave kind words) – gave me gigs and collaborations, offered sounds and thoughts, and good examples.

    Toneburst particularly shaped my belief that it’s possible to live up to the kind of slogans that many party people throw up around their events. Affordable events. Integrated scenes. Treating the people involved fairly and respectfully, including paying them. Multimedia and fully immersive environments that involved carefully thought out pieces, not just pretty colors.

    Ideas were always present and living at Toneburst events, you left with some things to chew on, while the sweat dried on your body and the good-tired ache hummed in your legs.

    I still try to live up to that and create something like that in my work, haven’t found much higher aspiration for my music.

  • Tim Rutherford-Johnson says:

    I’m loving this – should be the soundtrack to a lot of late summer evenings. Particularly like the whole Orb/Chris Isaacs/Massive Attack section. Cheers!

  • Anonymous says:

    sorry! i’ve never had anything to do with toneburst either, i’m just some bloke in the tropics with a dialup and a sweaty laptop. but this mix is a blinder, i can’t stop listening to it. once a day at least. worth paying for!

    not that i aint glad it’s free 🙂

    thanks!

    j

  • El Kano says:

    it’s great to read about this stuff.. i’m part of a similar crew (Adverse Camber) in london with a like-minded approach and sprawling interests in art and sound. especially good to hear about the importance of video and installation work for toneburst.. something we’re really keen to push in our events too. Tired of visuals being a secondary consideration and background eye candy.. we’ve often spoken about using sound, light and moving image to create an ‘immersive environment’ (i’m sure we’ve used the same words too!), but one that is very much still a party and not a chin-stroking affair.

    And we’re coming across more and more other people with similar ideas (like Toxic Dancehall, Kraked, Wrong Music, etc..) Still hate the fact that financial considerations get in the way of creativity too often, but it’s always encouraging and inspiring to hear about other people getting on with it.

    couple of questions for any of you toneburst/soundlab people.. how did you finance your events? – especially considering how hard it is to actually make money doing this kind of thing (esp in london it seems). Also, what has become of the visual artists that were part of toneburst etc..? judging by the music you guys are currently making, i’d be really keen to see some of the visual work.

    btw, we were performing in the upstairs room at the RoboOrgy a few months back.. i caught some of dj c and aaron spectre at that and the toxic dancehall event – definitely the most enjoyable and engaging dj sets i’ve seen in god knows how long!

    anyway, cheers for the info.. check out our site if you get a mo (needs a revamp but should give an idea http://www.adverse-camber.net )

  • kidkameleon says:

    Awesome, thanks Kano for dropping by, and to all those who are finding this through renewed interest from /rupture and wayne. I think as I spend more and more time online in the blogging world it becomes increasingly important to reconnect back to the real world, and as ever increasing statements are made about blogs and online cultures and what not drawing people together, I sometimes find that people spend less and less time actually interacting.

    I’ll be sure to check out adverse Camber next time I’m in England, hopefully 2006.

  • wayne&wax says:

    my two cents on toneburst (and some mp3s):
    http://wayneandwax.blogspot.com/2005/07/vintage-toneborscht.html

  • marcus says:

    DOPE!

    one of the best, most interesting mixes i listened to for some time!

    best wishes, m