Words: Simon Opie
According to Fuckintosh's bio, Fuckintosh is "more than a disturbing name - Fuckintosh is a disturbing artist, a disturbing sound and a disturbing hairstyle." According to Rough Trade, Fuckintosh, the Brooklyn based computer artist, is midway between old school cut-up (e.g. Negativland) and modern mash-up (e.g. 2 Many DJs) cultures.
I once tried Negativland after reading about them in Punk Planet and much as I admire their politics, I found their music far too dry for my taste. Cut-up music – or the concept of it - came to life for me the moment I heard 2 Many DJ’s with their Missy Elliot vs. AC/DC track ('Get Ur Freak On' brilliantly laid over the riff from 'Back In Black'). So make mine a modern mash-up any day.
Yet there was something about Fuckintosh’s music that intrigued me - 'Robert Johnson vs. Stockhausen', 'Johnny Cash vs. AC/DC', 'Satie vs. Wagner'. His 'Jimi Hendrix vs. Heino' is totally cool, and I would very much like to get my hands on the 'Elvis vs Nirvana' and 'Prince vs. Marilyn Manson' releases, although since they are only issued in limited editions, eBay is probably my (and your) only hope for this.
I’d recommend newcomers start with his latest CD, 'Dolly Parton vs. Edith Piaf', released in March 2010. It’s mellower than most of the other releases and has a flow which makes it almost a relaxing listening experience. Even when Dolly’s distinctive voice is pitch-shifted down to a “male” register – as in the opening track - it somehow, and disconcertingly, retains the quality of the original. There are some really great emotional highlights and the merging of the best of Dolly and Edith is a triumph.
The creation of something new from two disparate, but themselves complete, parts is a challenge but Fuckintosh is clearly an expert in collage. More importantly, I guess he also really loves his source music.
With the best cut-up music the whole is greater than the sum of its constituent parts – and this is certainly true of the Parton vs Piaf exploration. So next time you are planning a romantic night at home with an already, or intended, loved one, make sure the food is perfect, the candlelight alluring, and Fuckintosh is on the sound system. If you are trying to hook that special someone, you could do a lot worse than entertainment courtesy of 'Dolly Parton vs. Edith Piaf'.
We tip our hats in thanks to A Barrel Of Nails (who also did a great feature on the artist) for the track below.
Buy Fuckintosh's mash up album 'Dolly Parton vs. Edith Piaf' at Rough Trade. 'Sex Pistols vs. The Beach Boys' is forthcoming.
Website // MySpace