April 11, 2004

People who share too much

I keep running into Stark Effect online. First he appeared on the Get Your Bootleg On message board. Then Dictionaraoke (to which he contributed) was the subject of some discussion on the National Puzzlers League mailing list. And recently, I discovered a free downloadable EP of some of his "mic in track" recordings via Boing Boing. The dude is everywhere. It's sort of like when I see the same person on the subway, and then at the supermarket, and then at a bar...

Anyway, he's worth your attention, and he has more than enough material to keep you busy for ages. I don't think his mash-ups are especially interesting (it's true many people are fond of his XTC/C&C Music Factory mix, but it would work way better if he'd had access to an acapella version of the XTC song; as it is I think it clashes terribly), but the dictionaraoke songs are always good for a laugh, and I highly recommend his mic in track remixes.

Of course, that may raise the question, "What the hell is a 'mic in track' remix?" Well, see, sometimes people record themselves talking or singing using MusicMatch Jukebox. And a lot of those people never bother renaming the files they record, which are all named, by default, "mic in track" (followed by a number).

So what you do, if you are of a mischievous bent, is take your favorite file-sharing software and go searching for recordings that people have made, neglected to rename, and left in their shared folder. And then you can take those tracks and post them online, or even use them as the raw materials for trippy dance music. It's got your postmodern recontextualization, plus all the juvenility of a classic prank phone call. How can that not be great?

(My favorites, incidentally, are "Skipper" and "Stop! I'm Watching TV!")

Posted by Francis at 04:23 AM