One of my favourite musical discoveries of 2013 is the Beastie Boys/Beatles mashups created by Atlanta based DJ BC. His 3 albums DJ BC Presents The Beastles, Let It Beast and Ill Submarine never fail to bring a smile to my face. I had a quick chat to the fifth (should that be eighth?) Beastle -
Who are you? Introduce yourself!
I'm Bob Cronin, a mashup producer, DJ and Dad. I work with A+D and the Bootie Mashup Team International, and am founder of Bootie Boston and Bootie ATL mashup parties.
How long have you been Djing/creating mashups?
Since about 1995. I started out doing them using a 4-track and a guitar digital delay pedal as a sampler/looper.
You're very prolific and cover a lot of artists but The Beatles (and the Beastie Boys) seem to have a special place in your heart. Any particular reason?
Two of my favourite bands. However, at this point [after 3 albums], its time for other things. I've done enough B-Boys and Beatles mashups.
You put the Beastles albums up and them had to take them down. Was that pressure from Apple, Grand Royal or both?
Various forces. EMI. Universal. RIAA. You name it, they probably have threatened me.
The Beatles have 'sampled' or quoted other people's music, yet retain tight control over their own catalogue. Is their attitude to legal protection a little hypocritical?
The artists themselves have very little to do with the threats. Paul is OK with mashups. I believe John was OK with sampling as well, he was always somewhat avant garde. I am sure attitudes evolved over time. The threats are really based on record companies attempts to control a valuable property, it has nothing to do with art or integrity or anything like that. It's purely a financial motivation.
On your Body Movin'/The Inner Light mashup, Belly Movin', I love the way you moved the beat. “LET me get some action” falls on the one in the original, but on Belly Movin' it falls on the two creating a whole new feel. Accidental or deliberate?
That was accidental, but I liked it and kept it.
Do you think of mashups as new piece of music, cover versions or does it depend on a case by case basis?
It's not a cover, its not a new version, it's a mashup, which is a mashup.
What is the process for deciding which songs to mash up – is it just a matter of matching keys and tempos?
Those things, and also musical content, and vibe, and meaning. Really its a matter of trial and error and tons of fine-tuning.
What do you think of Giles Martin's mashups for `Cirque Du Soleil (The Love Album)?
I thought it was cool that they embraced the idea but they are not really mashups per say, there is no genre clash or artist clash there. They are more like Beatles megamixes. Which is cool, I thought he did a pretty good job with that. (even though I find Cirque totally annoying - it's meaningless phony performance art on trampolines, a sort of "Disney On Ice" for adults).
What's your favourite Beastles track?
They are all my children. But I like the new album best of the three.
My personal faves are Let It Beast, Tripper Trouble and the aforementioned Belly Movin'. But why not just download the first two albums here and Ill Submarine here? (click on the big yellow "Download" near the bottom of the page).
Find out more about Bob here.