Sometimes great ideas are just that, great ideas. When it comes to following through on those ideas, if the execution isn’t on point, then the idea becomes an afterthought. With Strictly Mixed and Mashed, DJ BC and Big D and the Kids Table had a novel idea; but unfortunately failed to completely live up to the hype.
I’m all for creative expression and experimentation but for most of the album I find myself asking, “why?” You see, the majority of the songs are better in their original form. “Those Kids Suck” and “LAX,” two fast pasted punk gems have been turned into electronica club bangers. Why? The great horn parts that accent Big D songs so energetically are non-existent now. Why? My main gripe is that I find it hard to believe that these are the best remixes a talented DJ could create. I understand that it’s hard to create a legitimate mix tape with no outside samples and the impossible task of getting clearances in this day in age (just ask Jay-Z and Linkin Park who tried the stunt a few years back with relative success), but how about trying something like putting the lyrics to “Checklist” over the music to “She Won’t Ever Figure It Out” with some scratches and funky beats mixed in?
Some songs do benefit from the remix skills of DJ BC, like “Dave’s Shiny New Rap” (a remix of “Shining On”), which won him the Boston Music Award for Outstanding DJ, “Try Out Your Voice” with JFK speech samples and “Good Luck, Andrea” which is the song that most closely attempts my suggestion above.
The CD isn’t horrible; it’s just different. I’m not the biggest dub/dancehall/reggae fan so some of the songs just don’t make me as excited as their original ska/punk compositions. The album is long, contains some bonus (aka unnecessary) intrumentals and one a capella and doesn’t really flow for me, mainly because songs from every Big D ablum get the remix treatment and are thrown together on one CD. I think if they cut the tract list in half and went for quality over quantity, we’re looking at a solid B+ for this album.
I see this album best enjoyed as background music to a summer barbecue. The tunes have good beats and solid vibe but they don’t require your undivided attention. Die hard fans of Big D might consider this latest project blasphemous, but I commend them for trying something new and expanding their repertoire. As for DJ BC, some of his remixes are excellent while others feel lazy and repetitive. His other mash-up work on Beatles/Beastie Boys (“Beastles”) and Wu-Tang Clan/New Orleans Jazz (“Wu-Orleans”), has earned him his reputation as a great “mash-up” DJ and should probably be sampled before diving into the Big D material.
In a slow first quarter of the year, this would not be the worst thing you could pick up to bump in your stock speakers.