Wouldn’t It Be Nice If You Could Rock Like We Do?

pet_soundSort of along the lines of The Grey Album, apparently the Beatles/Beach Boys rivalry isn’t dead. Here’s Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds, a remix/cut-up of the original Pet Sounds album by a bunch of different artists.

It’s kind of similar to Deconstructing Beck, but I think Hippocamp… is much more successful, at least as an album. It’s much more enjoyable and cohesive at any rate. Not all of the tracks are great (the album kind of peters out in the second half), but it’s definitely worth the download. The best tracks are Tiny Pixel’s version of “Sloop John B“, Nybbl’s “God Only Knows” and “Pet Sounds” by Kidgloves and Autistici. Some of the tracks that don’t work fail because they’re basically the original song with effects added over the top, and others because they’re too far removed (mikrosopht’s “Here Today” sounds similar to a record I did where I loaded samples into a program that would slice/dice samples on the fly at random; I’m not sure if this is indeed the process, and would honestly doubt it, but it still sounds a bit like that). The most successful tend to strike the right balance between faithfulness and originality. (The opening track, Kams’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” does this well, as does The Star Fighter Pilot’s “That’s Not Me“; strangely enough, though, “Pet Sounds” is both one of the more open in its interpretation and one of the most successful tracks — it’s some outside samples of Brian Wilson talking about the making of Pet Sounds over a bit of a collage of the album, segueing into a rap name-checking the track titles in a clever way. Autistici’s “Let’s Go Away For A While” also works while being pretty removed from the source material.)

Overall, this is a pretty interesting compilation; much better than I thought it’d be from just reading about it (I first saw it referenced on Snuggles, the Negativland mailing list.). Check it out before it gets C&D’d off the Internet!  Although, it’s been online for a while, so maybe it’s safe…

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