69 plunderphonics 96
( June 2001 / TORONTO ) Eleven years after Michael Jackson forced a halt to this 'Mindnumbingly amazing'' (Rolling Stone Magazine) package, Plunderphonics is back, and it 's twice as big as ever. Five dozen tracks on two discs in this deluxe twenty-seven year retrospective box set packed with legendary and notorious previously banned cuts, including the first rap song ever ('Power', from 1975), the first jungle track ('Birth') plus never-before-heard material; complete with double-size replications of all the Plunderphonics collages and a long revealing interview with project reproducer John Oswald, in a full-color 48 page exposé, all wrapped in an eye-catching, spot-the-celebrities, digibook hardback case. The genre Plunderphonics is the transformation of familiar music into surprisingly new music by any of dozens of unique and radical techniques. This collection is as categorically diverse and evocative as a blockbuster movie soundtrack, with symphonic orchestral implosions (Strauss, Beethoven, et al) interspersed with speed metal, C&W, swing, and exotica. Every curious listener will want to find out if it 's really the Beatles, Metallica, Elvis, Sonic Youth, The Doors, James Brown, Public Enemy, Igor Stravinsky and dozens more, including Dolly Parton's infamous aural sex change.
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Plunderphonics is a cultural paradox, one of the only truly underground musical phenomena to emerge in the latter quarter of the 20th century ("This art is more radical in its social and political associations than the introduction of the electric guitar"), yet featuring some of the world's most recognizable music imbedded in novel constellations of sonic diversity by John Oswald. Mr. Oswald flew past the level of mere sampling. He has taken sampling fifty times beyond what we' ve come to expect. This ambitious package contains 60 memorable tracks, from the Swinging Sixties to the Numb Nineties, on two hyper-dense discs covering the gamut of progressive musical endeavor, where punk meets classical, schmaltz marries metal, jazz divorces rap and electronica kills world. Plunderphonics is recreational savagery. A consistently brilliant record. Each title features an instantly recognizable musical icon transformed into an electroquoted Frankenstein or Hyde with a plunderphoney moniker such as Anthrax Squeeze Factory, Sinéad O'Connick Jr., Beastie Shop Beach, or Bing Stingspreen. Often visceral, occasionally poignant, sometimes funny, never predictable and always challenging, the set is an entire record collection packed into this compact book form, including an extensively annotated retrospective account by reproducer Oswald, lavishly illustrated with full color collages. For the moment John Oswald is a solo movement, the most exciting school of one in music.
"It's the greatest thing I've ever heard."
- Hal Willner, producer, Saturday Night Live
"Brilliant production... the most interesting album of 1989."
- Jens Kohler, Ice
"...the brilliant Canadian 'plunderphonist' John Oswald."
- Robert Everett-Green, Globe & Mail
"So cool, he makes you shudder."
- Toronto's Coolest Musicians, Eye
"...the brilliant brainchild of John Oswald"
- Joel Haertling: Zamizdat
- John Sakamoto: Toronto Sun
- Steve Stein: Media , NYC
"Brilliant... Really beautiful."
- Christos Hatzis: composer, Toronto
"Great, great stuff...Wildly humorous...Astonishing virtuosity...Among the most 'original' sounding work I've ever heard- I know of nothing else like it."
- Lloyd Dunn, Photostatic
"It's wild, it's crazy, it's serious, it's fresh, and it's almost impossible to describe."
- Bery, Reargarde
"...a conspicuous virtuosity. Even someone ignorant of the means being used to transform the music couldn't help being impressed by Oswald's technical mastery.... far more intriguing than the originals."
- Robert Everett-Green, Globe & Mail
"John Oswald has achieved the pinnacle of the 1980's cut-and-paste aesthetic. Spectacular Frankenstein monsters. One of the most adventurous and musically rewarding experiments to emerge from the age of digital sampling."
(TOP TEN LIST OF THE '80s) - Derk Richardson, San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Plunderphonics is as mesmerizing and synapse-frying a piece of aural vandalism as has ever been committed."
- Byron Coley, Spin
"Startling... Funny... Thought-provoking."
- Scott Isler, Musician
-Morgan Gerard, Graffiti
"Absolutely mesmerizing. Oswald is a talented guy."
(nominated Best Album of 1990)
- Jim Aiken,Keyboard
"It's a masterpiece...the best new release in five years."
- John Zorn: composer, NYC
"John Oswald is now something of a legend in both the avant-garde and pop music worlds."
- Mondo 2000
"plundergenius John Oswald."
- Gerry Belanger, Option
"Plunderphonic is my favorite release of the year. This art is more radical in its social and political implications than the introduction of the electric guitar."
- Henry Kaiser, East Bay Express
"Several truly astonishing moments... breathtaking."
- Phillip Perkins, Fun Music
"Startling. [The] year's hippest banned record."
- Richard Gehr, Creem
- Kyle Gann, Village Voice
- Don Nilson, Kyoto Journal
"...makes John Zorn look like the tortoise to Oswald's hare"
- Bill Reynolds, Metropolis
"manipulations grotesque and gleeful."
- Ted Greenwald, Creem
"The result, after electronic buggering and caressing, is a hilarious masterpiece. I love it. Oswald is a genius."
- Joe Mendelson, Metropolis
"Really choice... I love this stuff."
- Eugene Chadbourne: guitarist, Greensborough NC
- Bill Frisell: guitarist, Hoboken NJ
- Al Kooper: musician/producer, LA
"One of the most brilliant things I've ever heard."
- John Wiggins, HBO,NYC
"Incredible! ...the best record I've heard in years."
- Doug Perry: violist, Toronto
"For the moment, John Oswald is a solo movement, the most exciting school of one in music."
- Milo Miles, Village Voice
"Great! If there was a way I could release this I would in a minute.
- Robert Hurwitz, executive producer, Nonesuch Records
"I've been playing [the Plunderphonics CD] for everyone who will listen and thus far the response has been 100%. They all want copies."
- Phil Perkins: sound designer, SF
"I hope someday to achieve world class noteriety with my music so that John Oswald will deem it popular enough to plunder it."
- M. Joe: songwriter, Toronto
"It's hilarious... The last two pieces are very moving."
- Atom Egoyan: filmmaker, Toronto
"It's great! It's fab! I love it! I've played it for lots of people, whose reactions range from knocked out to completely befuddled. I guess this means you've created a masterpiece (or two or three or four - my favorites keep shifting)."
- Matt Groening: cartoonist. Life In Hell & The Simpsons
"Plunderphonics is recreational savagery... A consistently brilliant record."
- David Toop, London Times
"It tickled me...It's a celebration."
- Bob Krasnow: president, Elektra Records
"The Gravity's Rainbow of recordings. Complex, hilarious, moving and revealing."
- anon., Boston
"Mr. Oswald flew past the level of mere sampling. He has taken sampling fifty times beyond what we've come to expect."
- Brian Robertson: president,Canadian Recording Indusry Ass.
"Personally, I'm most touched by John Oswald's Plunderphonics."
- Boris Khabarovsk: Khabarovsk Music Society,USSR
"The hits keep coming! Thankyou for including me among those sure to admire your music. At any speed I remain yours in admiration,"
- Van Dyke Parks: songwriter, LA
"I recently heard a snatch of Plunderphonic at a party and became fascinated..."
- Carle Groome: critic, Ear
"The Well-Tempered Clavier of our time."
- Tom Constanten: ex-Grateful Dead
- Deidre O'Donahue, KCRW. Los Angeles
"A completely original non-original album from John Oswald."
- Laurie Brown, City-TV,Toronto
"I think Oswald is a great composer. He has maintained a stance as artist provacateur which is unrivaled in the world of music and audio art."
- Charles Amirkhanian, KPFA Berkeley
"The reigning heavyweight champion in tape manipulation is John Oswald"
- Doug Harkness, Vox
- David Fricke: critic, Rolling Stone
"This CD is amazing! "
- David Newgarden, WFMU,New Jersey
"Fabulous! Some of these pieces are closer to the true essense of the original music than anything the originals themselves could possibly produce."
- Bill Grove, CKLN Toronto
"I must say I love the stuff ... and play as much on the radio as I can."
- Steve Barker, BBC Radio Lancashire
"What an experience."
- Marika Partridge, programmer. NPR
"Simultaneously very funny and very courageous."
- Warren Burt. 3MBS, Australia
"A Canadian CD which takes sampling further than ever before..."
"... a fantastic thing"
- Paul Dresher: composer, San Francisco
"Plunderphonicker John Oswald... has been astounding audiences with his technoripoffaudacities."
- WDR, Germany
"The greatest plunderer of them all, Canada's own John Oswald."
- David Wisdom., CBC
"That's great stuff!"
- Brent Branburry. CBC Brave New Waves
"Plunderphonics is exquisite."
-Ed Osborne: audio artist, Boston
"You may never hear music the same way again."
-Derk Richardson, San Francisco Bay Guardian
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