Published Nov 27, 2010Anyone who saw Josh Raskin's 2007 Oscar-nominated short I Met the Walrus knows the Toronto-based filmmaker has some ADD tendencies. Now he's turned his attention span to music via his warped, glitchy mash-up project Kids & Explosions, available as a pay-what-you-can download at www.kidsandexplosions.com/shitcomputer. The project evolved from DJ gigs Raskin was doing, when he employed a computer instead of records or CDs, and cut up a bunch of his favourite songs into digital loops. He then took a bunch of environmental soundscapes he'd recorded for some MTV Canada bumpers and chopped them into beats. "I took all the songs I'd normally play at a party, cut the loops and put these beats over top of them," he says. "That was the first show."
Like most mash-up DJs (Girl Talk comparisons are inevitable), Raskin uses the familiarity of the source material to draw listeners in. "I was interested in figuring out how far you have to push or manipulate something before it becomes new," he says. "After a while that became less important and I became more interested in making songs that I liked."
The challenge in creating his debut, Shit Computer, was "narrowing it down and creating something song-based out of those live drunken sketches." The result pushes the boundaries of what a mash-up album can be. "This kind of music hasn't been around for that long," he notes. "It still sounds like an epileptic cat throwing up, but that wasn't necessarily the goal the whole way through."