Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chess Without Sobriety (Wu-Tang & Eminem vs. Tanita Tikaram)

This one mixes the hard-core hip-hop of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan with some of the more goofballish stylings of Eminem with a dark 80s classic by Tanita Tikaram.

The juxtaposed tunes are, respectively, "Da Mystery of Chessboxing", "Without Me", and "Twist In My Sobriety". i also programmed and added some 'dancefloor' beats (i guess i was trying to be 'pop').

This received a mention on the personal blog of The Observer's chief leader writer. According to bastard-pop DJ Micky Maaaas, this one is quite popular in Germany, and still continues to get some worldwide shine.

Here's a little video i recently put together to accompany this track:

Peace & stay sober,

Chess Without Sobriety (Wu-Tang Clan & Eminem vs. Tanita Tikaram) Download

As featured on the MashAnthology double LP!

(track & cover by not-I, 2005, video by not-I, 2008)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pollution 500 (Ghostface Killah vs. FunDaMental)

For this track, i delved into my collection of what is sometimes called world music and came up with "Pollution 500", a mash-up that blends Ghostface Killah's classic "Daytona 500" (featuring Raekwon and Cappadonna) with Fun-Da-Mental's "Pollution", itself a mix of Asian-U.K. electronica and the soaring Qawwali song of Rizwan and Muazzam Qawwali.

"Pollution 500" represents a genre of blends/mash-ups/remixes that i would often (and continue to) return to, and i dare say it sets much of my work apart from the typical pop vs. pop A+Bs characteristic of much of the current mash-up 'scene'.

It was never my intention to be 'popular'. I simply mix together music i love to form new tracks i want to hear. If that happens to strike a chord with heads like Ankai or BristleKRS, so much the better!

Peace be with you!

Pollution 500 (Ghostface Killah vs. FunDaMental) Download

As featured on the MashAnthology double LP!

(track produced in 2005, cover by not-I, 2008, featuring Ottoman calligraphy)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Shimmember Me (ODB vs. Blue Boy)

R.I.P. O.D.B.!

This came about while i was messing around on the decks with a 12" maxi of Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and Blue Boy's Scattered Emotions EP, specifically the classic club hit "Remember Me", which samples Marlena Shaw's "Woman of the Ghetto" (that's her behind ODB on the cover above).

As ODB had passed away only months before, it quickly became clear that this was going to be a tribute blend. So i sampled his memorable Grammy rant and added some shout-outs. The result was "Shimmember Me", and the rest is, well - it became quite a popular tune indeed.

Still featured at The Rub, where it got its start back in 2005, it got massively mentioned and disseminated, was spun everywhere from Swedish radio to New Zealand clubs, made it onto top podcasts, such as Bristle's Bootleg Show and the TCRE SoundClash, blogs like Death from Below, and just generally blew up. Recent bumps include this mention on Souled On.

Love, Peace, and RIP ODB!

Shimmember Me (Ol Dirty Bastard vs. Blue Boy) Download

As featured on the MashAnthology double LP!

(cover art by Klaudia Gottwald)

Feel All Apologies (Blackalicious vs. Nirvana)

This was intended as the 'B-side' to this one, but of the two, it became the 'hit' by default.

Again mixing Blackalicious with Nirvana, this time using "Feel That Way" and "All Apologies", and featuring a slowed-down drum loop sampled from D&B outfit Origin Unknown as well as some of my bass guitar, this became a bit of a classic of its own volition (not mine).

After having been initially posted on my homepage in 2005, with no hype and few hits, i stuck it up on GYBO at the beginning of 2006, and was pleasantly surprised to see it soon featured on Mashuptown, and then on VH1's Dose of the Best Music Ever.

Massive exposure (in my experience) followed, including radio airplay, podcasting, and further blogging, e.g.
The Who Boys Show 16, Halfpie Mash Wednesday, Sirius satellite radio, and as far afield as here! (Even if somewhere along the line, an inattentive soul mistyped a much-distributed copy as being by "DJ nit-I").

"Feel All Apologies" was also listed as one of:
Culture Bully's Favorite Mash-Ups of 2006:

Literally hundreds of mashes attempt to interject some freshness into Nirvana however most find themselves far too busy. The oversimplified loop of “I Feel All Apologies” allows the mash an unglamorous headliner to shine over top it, allowing both acts to flourish. Neither too much nor too little Nirvana, but just enough to make you feel that way.

And of course, there's the fine (and ever-popular) video mash-up produced by Chrysler 76:

i'm sanguine that this positive little tune i initially thought boring continues to touch so many people (and in the meantime, i've grown quite fond of it too) - just goes to once again show that the 'not' can be more relevant than the 'I'.

Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.

Feel All Apologies (Blackalicious vs. Nirvana) Download

As featured on the MashAnthology double LP!

And by request of a couple radio stations and private peeps, a special hi-fi edition (.wav file) is available here.

(cover by Klaudia Gottwald)



Friday, February 22, 2008

Heart-Shaped Sky (Blackalicious vs. Nirvana feat. Stevie Wonder)

After picking up The Rub's Remixes Vol. 2 "Weird Sh*t" and spinning it many a time (especially Mark Ronson's remix of Outkast vs. Franz Ferdinand, "Bombs Over Scotland", i finally became aware of the mash-up (or blend) phenomenon and decided to try my hand at mixing some of the hip-hop acapellas i had on vinyl with music of other genres from the rest of my collection.

While accordingly messing around, i ended up with "Heart-Shaped Sky", which mixes California hip-hop outfit Blackalicious' "Sky is Falling" with Nirvana's "Heart-shaped Box". It also features drum-loops sampled from Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" and "Living for the City" (i'm a huge fan of all these people). i also added some additional bass guitar, and i suppose this was my first proper mash-up.

i intended "Heart-Shaped Sky" to be the 'A-side' to a two-sided blend/mash-up 'single', but the 'B-side' (originally an after-thought) turned out to be much more popular (it still is).

Nevertheless, this was briefly hosted on The Rub, received quite a lot of airplay on KRCL - radio free Utah, and made it onto BristleKRS' Bootleg Show.

Hope you enjoy what i initially thought was the better of a twin blend (i seem to have been wrong):

Heart-Shaped Sky (Blackalicous vs. Nirvana feat. Stevie Wonder) Download

As featured on the MashAnthology double LP!

UPDATE: GonzoJam recently made not one, but two Anime videos for this tune:

Proto-mash-ups (2004)

After i had been DJing for a while, i started making promotional demo-CDs (as a DJ is apt to do to get more gigs). i had been making mixtapes for ages, as well as doing occasional live blends, but i felt CDs called for a bit more professionalism, so i decided to add two signature mixes at the beginning and end of the demo. At this point, i was blissfully unaware of 'mash-ups'. i'm sure i had already heard quite a few, but i just considered them to be the kind of mixes that DJs naturally do (in the hip-hop community, they've been called 'blends' for quite a while, but that's another story).

The first was recorded live at a cafe gig on two turntables. It mixes the shakuhachi flute of Kohachiro Miyata with the drums of jazz legend Max Roach. I called it "Honshirabe Waltz". DJ Earlybird a.k.a. Uganda, who i would meet much later at GYBO, described it "like dancing drunk in a rice field". Needless to say, it's quite abstract, and the cafe-owner thought i was bit nuts by starting my set with it.

The second proto-mash-up mixes US3's famous Herbie Hancock-sampling tune "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)" with bits of John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, and a little snippet of Kohachiro Miyata, as well as a voice-over by yours truly. This one was done on the PC with an early version of Acid Pro, which i had already used for making original tracks. Hence, although my first efforts were primitive, i had already entered the world of mash-ups without knowing it. Enjoy the Beginner's Mind!


Honshirabe Waltz (Kohachiro Miyata vs. Max Roach) Download *
& Cantaloconi (US3 vs. John Coltrane vs. Eric Dolphy)

(cover by Klaudia Gottwald)

* As featured on the MashAnthology double LP!

Welcome to not-I's blog!

Hi there, and welcome to official blog of not-I a.k.a. DJ not-I a.k.a. Knoteye a.k.a. Torabisu a.k.a. Travis a.k.a. Sôhan a.k.a. The Sôhei!

As the advantages of blogging things are numerous (permalinks, subscriptions, comments, etc.) i've decided to set up this page as an alternative home for my various projects, including (and, perhaps, especially) my blends/bootlegs/mash-ups/remixes, or whatever you want to call them.

The blog format also allows me to easily include further info, links, and little stories to accompany the entries, which may or may not be of interest to you.

But you know all that already. So, without further ado, i'd like to begin with recapitulating the history of my mash-up-making. This might take a while, as i'm starting with 2004, but hey, that's what i get for being a latecomer to blogorama. My newer stuff (quite a lot) is available at

Thank you for your interest.