Mashup Masters: Eclectic Method
ECLECTIC METHOD. PHOTO COURTESY OF JEREMY BOXER
Video mashups are nothing new. In fact, these days, you can’t fling a record in a college town without hitting a wannabe knob twiddler jamming an overplayed Gaga clip into the latest YouTube sensation. Which makes the rocket-fueled trajectory of the UK-born, Brooklyn-based remix wizards Eclectic Method all the more fascinating.
“We’re changing the way we play and what we play all the time—we’re permanently collecting the latest tunes, movies, videos, clips, pop culture moments,” says Jonny Wilson, who used to work as a sound engineer in Bosnia before forming the group with former book and music critic Ian Edgar, along with Geoff Gamlen, in 2002. “But then we also collect the latest technology, which allow us to put up clips super-fast, but we still use turntables to control and scratch videos.” The result is an ever-changing, shape-shifting, copyright-defying AV feed in which fight scenes are used as drum machines and actor-comedians like Reggie Watts and Donald Glover are employed as visual MCs. Whether it’s a cheeky mix of super-spliced clips of Obama talking about the First Puppy (“Government of the puppy; For the puppy; By the puppy”) over a cadence of looping break beats, their epic 7:17 “Tarantino Mixtape“—a two-week labor of love that garnered the attention of the Weinstein Company, who used it to promote Inglorious Basterds in Europe—or the recent “Daft Tron“ vid, which mashes Tron and Tron: Legacy clips with Daft Punk classics, Eclectic Method is constantly moving the genre (or needle) forward.
“How do you not move forward?” asks Wilson. “We can’t keep up. People are always making awesome new tunes and films and TV shows and cultural moments that resonate with people.” People like Watts and Dennis Leary. Following in the footsteps of Fatboy Slim and U2, who tracked down Eclectic Method to do viral promos and background vids for their tour after seeing the group’s Entourage remix “Entourage WTF,” these high-energy comics are collaborating with the trio on their respective comedy specials. Watts is even working with them on a pilot for a “weird, Max Hedron-style overload” roundup of weekly pop culture happenings à la The Soup, tentatively called Zeitgeist or CPR.
While waiting for that to make the airwaves, you can catch Eclectic Method live, tonight at Webster Hall with ?uestlove, where their audio-visual assault will likely incorporate the latest clips of Kanye getting abused for his past transgressions against cuts from his new album—though maybe not that infamous clip of the POTUS calling Yeezy a “jackass.” “There was a time when it was cool to play Obama in a club, and now people are kind of bored of Obama,” notes Wilson, adding they’ll likely have to hold off until 2012 to incorporate more politicos because “the midterms weren’t interesting enough. We’ll wait ’til the next time when they’re all saying stupid stuff.”
ECLECTIC METHOD WILL PLAY AT WEBSTER HALL TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT, AT RICKSHAW STOP IN SAN FRANCISCO ON DECEMBER 17, AND IN HOLLYWOOD ON NEW YEAR’S EVE. FIND MORE ABOUT THEIR LIVE DATES HERE.