Sound-collage maestro James Melendrez aka The Superfools spent months researching and sourcing the sound sources of The Orb's sample works, then proceeded, using these original sources, to reconstruct the music of The Orb in his own image. This is the result.
In the words of Mr Melendrez...
This album has very little Orb samples. It was put together from the samples they used to make "Adventures Beyond the Ultra World". I wanted to use what they used and it took me time to get all the original samples - I had to research the hell out of it online. The little fluffy sample is from an album box set from Ricki Lee Jones but only a promo box set and only about 200 were ever made. It came out in the 80s. I got it on eBay. The Hippy and the Redneck was a little album I bought on Amazon. Also I sampled DVDs all over the place, "West World", Woody Allen's "Sleeper", "Flash Gordon", "Once Upon a Time in the West". Dub was King Tubby and Scientist. A little "Snow White" and "Alice in Wonderland". Also songs from Grace Jones, Dee Lite, and Monty Python. Smashed with sound effects. And there you have it.
And just because we couldn't resist, here's a picture of The Superfools with the great John Waters.
We're delighted to present two new albums by James Melendrez, aka The Superfools, New Mexico's sound-collage virtuoso. Featuring collaborations with Otis Fodder (of The Bran Flakes), and Forty-One, these two albums are vividly chaotic splash paintings, musically intense and superbly constructed fiestas of montage.
This is romantic, mysterious, magical, and deeply personal sample music, ranging from multi-tiered fantasias of nostalgia, to frantic, angular, fragmented playgrounds where naughty children snip each other to bits and juggle with the remains.
Put these albums on, have a party with your best friends. You'd be a fool not to....
Now for a few words from Mr Superfools Melendrez (pictured above with two other lovely gentlemen) himself...
"Once I understood that I could make music I never stopped. Hanging out at friends houses and using their equipment I started to make short quick tracks. Slowly I started buying equipment like a turntable, a computer and so on. They are my tools.
The Superfools started to become my playground. I enjoy playing with samples and sound. In the summer of 1999 I sampled sounds from the song “We Built This City” by Jefferson Starship. The Superfools came from the lyric “we are the superfools!” I started to compose tracks at home. In earlier years I have shared them with friends and I received good feed back. I had fans. Till today I am eager to hear what my closest friends like about my work, and I am constantly evolving.
In 2009 a coworker posted albums online and I have had the opportunity to collaborate with other composers and artists via email. Ergo Phizmiz is one.
My subject matter is constantly changing because my interests are forever changing. When I compose as the Superfools it allows me to work with all the things I’m interested in at that moment. So it’s ok if you hear the broken English of Ricky Ricardo, or the maniacal demands of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest, and the percussive sounds of Perez Prado all on the same track.
This double release comes courtesy of Ergo Phizmiz’s Chinstrap net label. These two albums are a mystical journey into the world of vintage records. More than 100 tracks make up the majority of samples which are used throughout the two albums. Nothing was left out, Mambo, Bossa Nova, Cha Cha Cha, Samba, the Waltz, Tango and the Polka!
What sets these two albums apart from my other work is that they contain remixes from Otis Fodder of the Brand Flakes and D.J. Fortyone. I’m From Albuquerque, New Mexico. My love for Mexican/ Latin sound is my inspiration, and I’m proud to be one of the few Latin Sample collage artist this side of the border.
This Latin Electronico musical gumbo is sure to fulfill your avant-garde sample collage needs. Enjoy!"
Like this? Try the other releases by The Superfools on Chinstrap, "Sentimental Fields" and "The Superfools".
More Superfools at his homepage.
"Aristophonics" is a new series on the Chinstrap netaudio gallery of sound-works about the history of comedy, from composers, writers, and comedians around the world.
The first installment "Sentimental Fields" comes courtesy of New Mexican sampling-composer The Superfools, who serves up an impressionistic and melancholy fantasia around the great W.C. Fields.
Like this? Check out The Superfools self-titled previous release on Chinstrap.
16 directions in sample music by James Melendrez, AKA The Superfools....
"There's nothing wrong with emulation", as the track goes. Emulation has become, to a degree, almost inevitable in the world of sample music, where recurring stylistic motifs and juxtaposition techniques have settled into a recognisable, and effective, language. The plunderphonics movement and associated artists created and developed this language through the 1980s-1990s, stylistic innovations often running parallel to technological developments.
The German sample composer Vernon Lenoir (who will also release shortly on Chinstrap), once described the contemporary approach to sample composition, with reference to the effect of versatile sequencing technologies, as "music without limits" - that's to say, music that can be constantly shapeshifted, seamlessly transformed, with endless possible permutations not allied to any stylistic school.
The music on this album, by James Melendrez AKA The Superfools, sits on the border of "traditional" plunderphonics style sample music, and something altogether more personal and idiosyncratic. The "Exercise" pieces are comic juxtapositions of work-out records with easy-listening, but achieved with a grace and finesse that renders them hugely listenable. "Mary's Popins" takes a nostalgic conversation between Julie Andrews and songwriter Robert Sherman and delicately cuts it into a subtle absurdity. Vitally, all of The Superfools recordings hum with the crackle of dusty vinyl.
Altogether more strange and personal is the epic "Getting Along With The People You Love", which takes a field-recording of a language lesson and layers it with circular, melancholy Spanish guitar loops, with occasional interjections of colour from a dizzying array of sources. "Fever (Flu Shot Mix)" slows down an acapella of Peggy Lee's finest moment, combines it with slow delayed, reverb-laden electronic drums, and through these simple means creates something wrought with tension and highly effective as a piece of music.
The Superfools are also adept at the construction of new and interesting melodic material through the processing and juxtaposition of samples, transforming the sources into something unrecognisable. In these areas, the sample music becomes something more abstract, purely "Musical" and not connected with "Context". Vitally, The Superfools is not a particularly satirical samplist - which is what separates this from a lot of plunderphonics. This is music for the sake for music. Which is, of course, no bad thing.
So sit back, pop a bottle of wine, and immerse yourself into some super foolishness courtesy of The Superfools.
Read an interview with The Superfools at Some Assembly Required.
Like this? There's lots more where that came from...