The coolest thing happened to me recently. Well, not as cool as being able to punch Mel Gibson in the testicles, but pretty cool regardless. In order to relate this though I have to invoke a flashback sequence, so hold on to your cookies my friends, we’re going back… back… back to
Napster. I was one of those people who LOVED Napster. Now, this did not mean that I used it to download music and cheat artists out of dough – no siree bob! You see, I am a musician and I know how hard it is to make your music your livelihood. Try as most might, and regardless of skill or talent (which especially in music can be two totally different things) it is nearly impossible to achieve financial freedom by making music. Napster was, to one who spends a lot of time seeking out new stuff, a tool. I’d browse around looking up things I’d heard titterings about and if I found it, downloaded and liked it, more often than not I’d go out and buy the hard copy of the album. Realistically the thing that I really used Napster for was amassing quite an enormous collection of rare tracks by bands that I loved.
Mr. Bungle? I have their high school talent show, recorded on a hand held. I also have the Chicago Metro Disco Volante show from ’95 that marked my first time seeing them live. Ween? Soooo much weird and wonderful stuff; some live, some out-takes, some I don’t know what. This would occasionally be problematic, as when some doofus labeled any old live track of a band doing ‘gin and juice’ Ween just because ‘it was weird’. But still, I’ve got discs of great stuff and I have Napster to thank for it. And you know what? I’ve bought every Ween album they released exclusively through their website after that despite most of those CD’s containing a vast majority of those once obscure tracks.
Anyway, I’m straying off topic, or rather I suppose taking my time getting there in the first place. The mislabeling thing is a good jumping off point though, because it was a mislabeled track whose identity had haunted me for the last eight or so years that this blog is about.
For those who had ‘napstered’ (yes, I’m a douche and I did just use it as a verb) you will remember that once you found and were downloading a track from another user you could go in and browse that person’s entire library*. So, say you found a wicked Roni Size remix from user name DCheney666, you could click on them and see if they had other such things you might want.
It was in this exact way that I originally downloaded what is probably the most amazing Drum n Bass/Jungle** track I have ever heard.
The track’s author was listed as ‘Unknown’ but the title was something to the effect of, ‘Awesome Drum n Bass track’. I stumbled upon it while downloading a Roni Size ‘Watching Windows’ remix (bad ass in and of itself) and it was indeed awe-inspiring. It has lived on a mix disc ever since, devoid of its heritage. Periodically I’d listen to it and become re-obsessed with hunting around the internet for a clue, much as I did in those first weeks after downloading it, always to no avail. Without much to go on normally I’d try googling the dialogue samples used in the track, particularly one from Robocop. ‘Guess you’re on your knees about now… begging for your life.’
Nothing ever came back other than Robocop.
The other sample was outside of my familiarity and I only finally just found out where it is from – a flick I’ve never seen but everyone knows well enough regardless, the infamously bad Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man from the late 80’s. It was this sample that recently, assuming I would not find the track information I became a bit obsessed with identifying and despite previous failures sure enough, for some reason this time the pot went BINGO!
Once I’d found out the source of the sample it was like a door opened and all of a sudden I found the track!
I couldn’t believe it, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. The initial forum that linked me to the youtube page I’ve embedded below was filled with people who welcomed the long-awaited resolution to this veritable drum n bass mystery as much or more than me, with lamentations of ‘years searching’ and whatnot. Can it really be that good you ask?
See for yourself:
* And no, this wasn’t as intrusive as it might sound, as everyone had the ability to move anything they downloaded out of ‘Share’ folders.
** I know, I know, they’re two different things. I love electronic music but I hate trying to keep up with the classifications of it.