As I explained in the last post about DJ Cheese, the remixes we collaborated on were done on analog equipment. I remember spending hours fast-forwarding and rewinding through numerous tapes to overdub specific frames of video into a particular piece. The process was not only time-consuming but tedious, meticulous and at times frustrating which is why some glitches could never be redone at the time. Still, it was mostly fun in a video geek kind of way. Most of those hours of painstakingly crafting one 4 min video was something I, like most artists do, out of sync with ‘real-time’. Those hours in the studio don’t seem like hours at all, at least on a certain conscious level.
When an artist or producer is crafting a piece, they are not only in the moment, but in a space mentally where they see the piece completed already. They are trying to make the piece conform in reality to what they see it should be in its completed form. So in effect, a horn riff, or a 1 second video clip is just a piece of a puzzle that they have already envisioned in their mind completed. Even though works in progress have a way of crafting themselves as they take form, they also have an aspect of being guided by a vision that the producer gets ahead of time. Trying to see the puzzle clearly enough to put all the pieces together is the enjoyment an artist gets when producing, at least to me it is.
The remixes I did for Shades of Hip Hop with DJ Spunk, then with DJ Cheese, are an example of improvised manipulation of technology intrinsic to Hiphop consciousness. Before 2000, there were few video remixes produced outside the studios authorized by record labels. Shades of Hip Hop was one of the few productions that took the time to create them.
Some basic examples…