Turntablism: At times it can be accused of being slightly elitist. Its practitioners sometimes more concerned with the aesthetic intricacies of spinning than the good times of the paid-up folks in front of the decks. Mash-ups: At their ubiquitous best, 2manydjs. At their purile worst, a Bootylicious Kurt Cobain or a Hard To Explain Christina Aguilera. "Ooh, look at my iconoclastic cross referencing of the dichotomous worlds of pop and indie/grunge. It's all so ironic." Actually, it is all so unimaginative and manipulative.
Well not to worry folks, because A-Trak is really rather ingenious at both. Deft turntablistic nous and an unerring ear for a clever mash-up/bootleg are this guy's weapons of choice. One just needs to listen to his recent release Dirty South Dance for verification. Crunk meets electro scuzz/techno could seem a tired approach to the mash-up by now, but in the skilled hands of A-Trak it a revelatory one. Dirty South Dance bumps and grinds in all the right places, possessing within beat juggling and a cappella manipulation of the highest standard... Yung Joc's smooth crunkite drawl is slowed down and spread lasciviously over Soulwax's anthemic "E-Talking (Nite Version)". Rich Boy's "Throw Some D's" meets a tasty remix of Daft Punk's "Prime Time Of Your Life". M.I.A indifferently mumbles through "XR2" over the cinematic genius of Georgio Moroder's synths. Proceedings are brought to a climactic close when a mix of Timbaland's "My Love" mutates into an eruption of breakbeat hardcore lunacy, before settling back into the schmoovness once more.
(Outside of his album, his remix of Architecture In Helsinki's "Heart It Races" should really be checked out on his myspace. www.myspace.com/djatrak)
Live, A-Trak is the man to get the good times started. He brings turntablism back to the party rockin', roof raisin' intentions of its conception. Good thing then that he is confirmed for the Sunday of Electric Picnic. Certainly a gig not to be missed that weekend. Need a sampler of his skills... Check out this youtube-y vid (crap picture, but the audio is fine).