I get regular email from DJ Shadow.com selling me his songs, albums, clothing etc and I generally just hit delete because I’m too lazy to unsubscribe. Last night I got an email with the tagline “DJ Shadow x Reebok: What Does Your “Sole” Look Like? – Sneaker (Limited Edition)” and I went, “Say What?”
For those who don’t know, “What does you soul look like?” is a four part song on the albums Endtroducing… and Preemptive Strike. The Endtroducing… album is almost entirely sampled and one of Stretch’s favourite things ever. Lately Shadow has decided to become Sean fucking John (check out his website for laughs), which is okay, I suppose. He’s a businessman, no problem. But teaming up with a multinational shoe manufacturer Reebok, to produce a DJ Shadow sneaker, which looks poxy and doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Shadow? I don’t get it, there is a serious credibility issue here.
My friend MC Cog has a theory about music sponsorship that soon you will go to a gig and apart from only being able to get certain drinks, the performance will be a specifically marketed advertising campaign. The band will wear different t-shirts advertising the “product.” Flash advertising will be used as part of the visuals. As you leave the club, you will be given a shopping bag and a set of directions to the all night bar/mobile phone shop to continue on your night. Skin crawls, mind whirls, small vomit in the back of mouth.
I suppose DJ Shadow can do whatever the fuck he wants and seems like a forceful enough chap, but this, Josh, is not good. One experimental electronic duo who will never be asked to advertise anything are these Finnish guys. Pan Sonic (formerly Panasonic) had to change their name because of it being similar to a Japanese electronics company. They are such fun. Here’s what Stretch experienced at one of their shows:
Ballantine Baines comes back from the bar to our booth with the drinks. I’m drinking Dark Rum and Ale chasers. He’s having Whiskey and Pimms….We are violently drunk. The club is half empty and sitting in the lounge style booths was pleasant and oddly erotic, who knows why?
I had listened to Pan Sonic’s 4-disc album Kesto and really liked the combination of all out industrial techno and gentle ambient soundscapes, so Stretch was looking forward to it. The place went dark and two strange-looking men walked on stage to a small table with a few electronic boxes and a lot of wires on it, and with a flick of a switch unleashed HELL.
The sound of a thousand saucepans clattering into each other melded into a sub-bass which got lower and lower and lower. I looked over at Baines and realised both of us had lost a layer of skin and developed Chelsea smiles. Grinning ferociously I moved my head slowly around and saw that some people had run out of the room screaming. People who do extreme sports don’t know shit. Ballantine nudged me,
“People who do extreme sports don’t know shit, man!”
I drank deep as my ears buzzed and my head shook and my brain wobbled. We got up and went to a side door for a cigarette. The deafening noise lessened slightly when we were outside. A bunch of people were, hands on hips, panting, saying things like “intense” and “need change of trousers.” It was nice there but we had to go back inside and face the endurance test that was going down.
Behind the men a vertical electronic pulse, for want of a better word, pulsed and hypnotised us.
said Baines, his teeth chattering like a frozen bitch.
said Stretch with a serious lack of fillings.
The music stopped, gig over. We all fell from the ceiling on to the floor, gasping for air. We had been thrown back through the gates of hell into the club. A metallic acid feeling burned in the back of my throat. My vision improved but not my hearing. We didn’t talk on the way out. We both knew we had transcended all life and reality and had become Supermen. Now was the time to fight the good fight and whoop ass on a global level. Thanks Pan Sonic.
Sorry for all that. To make you feel better, check out this link here. It’s not The Day Today or any spoof, this is real and y’know probably life-affirming depending what species you are.