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Super Mario Mashup

Eclectic Method - 8 Bit Mixtape from Eclectic Method on Vimeo.

We’re super-psyched about bringing you Eclectic Method’s newest video today. We’d introduce the video DJ’s to you, but we think they do it better themselves, so check out the video below to get more of an idea of what they’re about. Super prolific multi-media producers that they are, they’ve also got a new “Biography” video on their website that’s pretty phenomenal to boot. These guys are doing such fun stuff that we still had a few questions to ask them, so check out our exclusive Q&A with the illustrious Ian Edgar and Johnny Wilson after the drop.

So tell us about the video we’re premiering today on The Creator’s Project:
Jonny Wilson: It’s the 8-bit mix. We wanted to cover all the console games that our generation played when we were kids – you know – all that Mario, Nintendo, Sega music that whenever you hear a few seconds of everyone knows the next few bars. The little sound from Mario becomes big, the little sound from Sonic becomes big. Like with our live shows, we like to incorporate those elements that everyone knows because they have an emotive effect because of the sound and also because of the video. The difference with this video is that we built the whole mix at mostly like a game level, we built the musical score into the game, we’ve taken Biggie Smalls and made him look like he’s in an 8-bit computer game.
Ian Edgar: There’s also a kind of filth to 8-bit sounds. There’s a kind of dirt to them because they’re so simple, and if you amp that up a little bit, it sounds cool. Dirty 8-bit. That’s the thing, it’s not like a chiptune mix, cause it’s not like all made on NES or something. It’s just playing around with all the little things that you half-remember.

How do you technically layer imagery from like 10 different video games on the same screen?
Jonny Wilson: Basically we compile them the way we always compile video, it’s just many layers that we resize, place, and apply effects to over time.

Like stems in a music track, but with Mario?
Ian Edgar: Right. It’s actually quite easy to take Pac Man out of his little maze, because his maze is all blue. If you properly nerd out about it, and if you join file sharing sites and forums as well, there’s an amazing amount of stuff out there.

What’s you’re favorite site where you can go hunt down video stems?
Ian Edgar: Filestube.com searches all the major online file sharing sites.

To really break it down, what does it mean to remix video rhythmically?
Jonny Wilson: Well, basically everything you can hear you can see. So if you imagine how any composer composes samples – they’ll take a bit of base, a bit of drums, a bit of different sounds to compose – we do basically the same thing, but everything you can hear you see – you can see the drummer playing exactly the beat you’re hearing – you can see someone playing the guitar, and then sometimes you get melodies out of other stuff like machines, explosions, other things.

What are your favorite projects you’re working on now?
Ian Edgar: We’re doing a bunch of stuff for Chuck D – some videos for him and a tune with him.
Jonny Wilson: We’re making a music video for Tommy Lee and Dead Mouse. The directors called Psyberpixie, and we’re working with her on that project. We’re doing a Guns remix at the moment, we’re doing a big sports remix for a sports league, we’re making a remix for a new Public Enemy album, a remix for a DJ called J-Live, we just finished a music video for him and we’re making a song with him – we like literally have tons of stuff. In October we’re releasing our single with Chuck D which is going to be called, “Out of Sight.”

How did you get into this in the first place?
Jonny Wilson: Coldcut and Hexstatic — seeing what they did – they made a piece of video called Timber in the late 90’s which was loads of chainsaws and axes and the sounds of foresting. They built a rhythmical piece out of that which influenced us. And then we met them, and they introduced us to a group called EBM from New York who we now work with who were around in the nineties. They did the big U2 TV tour, where they did all the video that U2 was interacting with. We were playing a lot of dance clubs and festivals in Europe, and we wanted to get into the kind of stuff that like Fat Boy Slim was doing with like big builds and vertical hooks that you knew and loved but we wanted to do it with the video too, so that when you heard Eminem or Missy Elliot pipe into the crowd you basically would have Missy Elliott on the screen.

Ian Edgar: We were always bored of clubs where the DJ plays one kind of music, you know, versus the way people go home and listen to all kinds of music. With video, you can represent all of that, because what’s actually interesting are all of the kind of social cues you can take from the music, like a kind of guitar that makes you feel like it’s the 70’s, makes you feel like it’s the 60’s. Stuff that’s on screens in clubs tends not to be equal to the music in that way. It’s all the social association with music sampling that makes it so good.

You feel like video before was just sort of stock club video, like the elevator music of images or something?
Ian Edgar: Yeah, wallpaper.
Jonny Wilson: Just animated objects that sometimes moved in time with the music.
Ian Edgar: We know a lot of those people, and they’re very nice, they make good work for what they do, but it’s just not what we’re interested in. When you hear the word VJ – like in the 90’s VJ was a big part of an event in some odd way, and then your expectations of it were not really met. Cause you’re like, “I thought they were going to be doing stuff with video." And that wasn’t really possible when we started, it wasn’t possible to do it the way we’re doing it now. Then slowly they brought out the decks for it, they brought out the mixer for it. I mean, we’re still trying to do stuff that you can’t do yet. You know, where can I get all my videos available to me right now, where’s the stable platform for it –
Johnny Wilson: How do I scratch a hologram…
Ian Edgar: Exactly.

What kind of software and hardware do you use now?
Johnny Wilson:
When we play live we use Pioneer, which basically allows you to scratch video, they also make the video mixer we use, which allows you to do live video and audio effects. When we produce in the studio we use Sony Vegas, and that’s mainly because you can edit video rhythmically, in beats. Every other video editing software works in frames and seconds.

So basically you’re like meta-collagists. You’re just like collaging in all different media, all different things. Do you think that mirrors the time we live in, the way we absorb information differently than we did before the internet?
Ian Edgar: You know, like when James Brown went “uh” for example, that was only so valuable as that record. But when everyone sampled that, that was like one of the most famous noises you could hear. Like Kid Creole, the rapper, was the first guy to say, “Yes, yes, y’all,” which isn’t a particularly valuable thing in and of itself, but once everybody said it a million times, that kind of makes that one little moment bigger, like you’re the first guy to say, “Yes, yes, y’all,” imagine that. Or Diddy in the studio going, “Yeah, that’s right, bad boy,” and that’s all it is, these tiny little moments that become something bigger because we grab onto them and cherish them. You know, like “Apache,” that incredible bongo band song. It’s like yeah, it was big in the 70’s, how in the world did that break become what it is now? You know, so that takes these little things, it takes Snooky going, “Ah ah ah,” and makes it into something that you can go back to.

Are you ever in like a conversation with someone and just wish they would switch to another track?
Ian Edgar: Yeah, I just say that to people, “Next. Shuffle.”

Want more? Check out this video on Eclectic Method’s microsite, where you can watch it from inside a Gameboy.