300 Tracks, 60 minutes, one file.
October 8, 2011 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Royal Sapien's Stacked combines 300 tracks from multiple genres into one dense, heady mix. Artists included range from Mark Mothersbaugh to Orbital with visits by Janet Jackson, Underworld, M83 and Undisputed Truth.

In addition to Stacked, Royal Sapien has also curated a mix entitled The Library and hosts two different DJ mix program each month on satellite radio. His Soundcloud page is filled with his previous mixes, independent productions and episodes of his radio shows.
posted by beaucoupkevin (51 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Downloading! Thanks so much for posting this!
posted by Shepherd at 12:53 PM on October 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

From the tracklisting, this looks like it was made just for me.
posted by empath at 12:55 PM on October 8, 2011

Game changing? Dude's heard of Richie Hawtin, right?
posted by mkb at 1:02 PM on October 8, 2011

Yes, I'm sure he's aware that other people have made mix cds previously.
posted by empath at 1:04 PM on October 8, 2011

Other people have layered hundreds of tracks together in a single mix. This has BEEN the game for ten years.
posted by mkb at 1:06 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:07 PM on October 8, 2011

I love the Hawtin mix discs, but there's a world of difference between mixing bits from dozens of very samey minimalist tracks with a few industrial bits and doing what Ben's managed here.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 1:08 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh good. He made sure to get "Owl City" into the mix.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:09 PM on October 8, 2011

Other people have layered hundreds of tracks together in a single mix. This has BEEN the game for ten years.

As someone has listened to probably 10,000 mix cds, I'd say that this one is spectacularly well done, and far more complex and sophisticated than typical examples of this style. It's more in the classic Balearic style and less the minimal super technical style that Richie Hawtin does.. I can't think of a mix in this style that uses this many songs and samples -- generally they're pretty simple and let the songs speak for themselves. But he's not just seeing how much shit he can cram into the mix, it sounds like a cohesive whole.

Just based on the first 15 minutes, I'd put it in my top mixes 10 or so all time, but it kind of pushes my buttons with the track selection. This is pure blissed out glory, as far as I'm concerned.

I've never heard of this guy before, but I'll definitely be watching to see what he does next.
posted by empath at 1:15 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Needs more Skrillex.
posted by asterix at 1:16 PM on October 8, 2011

There is no one easier to piss off than the territorial-by-nature, overly defensive, pedantic EDM nerd.
But then Im not into comics, so I don't know what their world is like over there.

That's not referring to Empath BTW. Empath is absolutely right.

This FPP is gonna see the EDM nerds flock to compare their trainspotting merit badges and it will result in the same Balkanized-genres-through-a-gem-loupe pissing contestery that seems to exist only to ...wel actually Im not sure why it exists.

Enjoy the mix. Or don't.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:24 PM on October 8, 2011

Kidding aside, this is pretty sweet (although I don't have the ear or the knowledge to evaluate the game-changingness myself). Thanks for the post, beaucoupkevin!
posted by asterix at 1:28 PM on October 8, 2011

Sectors 1-300 contain no detectable nu-metal contamination.


posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:33 PM on October 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

I would barely call this a dj mix, really. He's barely using most of these songs. This is mostly short loops and samples that have been cut up and re-edited beyond recognition. I've played about 1/3rd of the songs on the tracklist in DJ sets myself, and I don't even recognize most of them where they're supposed to be in the mix. I've tried to do similar stuff in mixes, and the amount of time it takes to make this work is extraordinary. He's probably spent 5 hours on every 10 seconds of this mix, at minimum.
posted by empath at 1:33 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm sitting in a big chair on the porch watching it rain, and this is perfect. Thanks!
posted by halfbuckaroo at 1:34 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

(well.. 250 hours he claims, so that's 4 hours per minute, only off by a factor of ten -- well it would have taken ME that long to do what he did here)
posted by empath at 1:36 PM on October 8, 2011

This looks awesome, a lot of great tracks in that mix, I expect to enjoy the hell out of this.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:51 PM on October 8, 2011

Coding music!
posted by shothotbot at 2:03 PM on October 8, 2011

Hahahaha. I'm editing php and writing CSS to this right now
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:06 PM on October 8, 2011

I'm not one for list-making, but does the Avalanches' album count as a mix?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:44 PM on October 8, 2011

Metafilter: Enjoy the mix. Or don't.
posted by cthuljew at 2:54 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm not one for list-making, but does the Avalanches' album count as a mix?

If this does, then that does. It reminded me a lot of Avalanches, but this is a bit more dance mix-y and less album-y.
posted by empath at 2:56 PM on October 8, 2011

Senor Cardgage: "There is no one easier to piss off than the territorial-by-nature, overly defensive, pedantic EDM nerd. "

Give me a break. Overhype is a disease anywhere.
posted by mkb at 3:08 PM on October 8, 2011

And in a strange, surreal juxtaposition, I stumbled across this video while listening to the mix. I turned the volume of the video to off and watched, mesmerized.
posted by PigAlien at 3:58 PM on October 8, 2011

A video full of blood coming out of someone's mouth would be mesmerizing.

Wait, what?
posted by mkb at 4:33 PM on October 8, 2011

I'm still downloading, but feel moved to point out that the branded merch is hilarious. T-shirts? Fair enough. Fine Art Archival Prints? Okaaaay. Miniature speaker? *blinks*
posted by jack_mo at 4:47 PM on October 8, 2011

Downloaded it just in time for my morning jog. Perfect for that, thanks!
posted by zardoz at 4:59 PM on October 8, 2011

Well, it has some of my favorite tracks ever, and some stuff I can't stand, so it should be interesting at least.
posted by mkb at 5:00 PM on October 8, 2011

Elton John Paul Ringo George Michael Jackson Browne, with special guest TLC&C Music Factory
posted by infinitewindow at 5:53 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Don;t you mean TLC&C Fear Factory? And don't forget Peter Gabriel Byrne.
posted by mkb at 6:23 PM on October 8, 2011

Thanks for sharing, I'm looking forward to spending time with this.
posted by dragonplayer at 6:33 PM on October 8, 2011

Misread. Thought it would be 300 songs playing at once. Wasn't far off.
posted by hal9k at 7:05 PM on October 8, 2011

Very nice, brilliant movement through genres and moods. Anytime you go to a party and see Philip Glass, Jenny Lewis, High Contrast, Jill Sobule, John Mayer, and Mark Mothersbaugh all sitting at the same table laughing it up -- well -- that's a good party to be at.

The first fifteen are definitely engaging. Bravo. Perhaps this throws Deadmau5's little comment about DJs being shit back in his face just a little bit.

For note, Royal Sapien plays on FriskyRadio in a great show call Movement. If this is your kind of thing, do have a listen to Frisky.

If this is really your kind of thing, you and your bittorrent client need to stroll hand-in-hand over to themixingbowl and get lost for a few hours... or days...

(And if you want to change it up a bit, there's always the brilliant Radio Isla Negra coming out of Chile with a bit of a meandering playlist for those lazy Sunday afternoons and/or overcast mornings)
posted by nickrussell at 7:07 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah this is nice and polished but since the bedroom DJ revolution hit, you can't call this type of mix innovative. I love the look of the track selection but the sound is a bit dry for my taste. I have always like the GYBO/boomselection sound a bit more. I won't be buying the archival print.
posted by vicx at 8:39 PM on October 8, 2011

I don't know. It's not bad, but I don't think it's as incredible as the hype is making it out to be.
posted by Wh1teboy at 10:50 PM on October 8, 2011

Sounds downright plunderphonic.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:18 PM on October 8, 2011

Plunderphonic should be the name of a new music genre.

Or a band.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 11:36 PM on October 8, 2011

Plunderphonics already is a genre - Jon Oswald coined the term in 1985.
posted by jack_mo at 1:50 AM on October 9, 2011

I seriously need to check wiki before I make my pithy comments. I blame the vodka...
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 3:54 AM on October 9, 2011

The first fifteen are definitely engaging. Bravo. Perhaps this throws Deadmau5's little comment about DJs being shit back in his face just a little bit.

To be fair, this is more production focused than typical DJing. This is someone at home with Ableton Live looping out bits of all of their favourite songs and densely arranging them in to a larger work.

Can we compare it to Girl Talk? :)

(note: I haven't listened to it yet.)
posted by Theta States at 10:11 AM on October 12, 2011

It's more cohesive and less spastic than girl talk, imo.
posted by empath at 10:12 AM on October 12, 2011

In Girl Talk's mixes, all the seams are showing, and you can easily pick out which parts of which songs are being used. In fact, one of the principle joys of Girl Talk is in recognizing the songs and the joy of hearing them re-contextualized through juxtapositions with unexpected tracks.

This is more traditional progressive, Balearic, trance-dance style mixing, with the intention being that songs flow into each other, melodies and hooks rise and fall in a staggered way so that there's never really a time where you can clearly point to one song stopping and the next starting. That's actually normally done by just mixing full songs into each other which were intended to be mixed together, but these are so cut up and edited that the source songs are more or less unrecognizable. I know a big chunk of these songs very well, and there are really only a few besides the vocal samples that really jumped out at me -- Stardust - The Music Sounds Better With You (There's a 2 second guitar sample from that), and Oizo - Flat Beat (He uses a 2 bar drum loop from that for several minutes, while layering a series of other songs over it).
posted by empath at 10:20 AM on October 12, 2011

Kittens and beans! I was off the internet for a few days and now I see this on MeFi. Huge thanks to beaucoupkevin for posting it and to everyone else who has taken a listen. Very glad so many of you enjoy it!

Empath - Thank you!! You're right that it wasn't about how much shit I could cram in. It started out as a mixtape and just evolved into something much bigger. The number of songs is something interesting that fits in a short headline so I used that to draw listeners to a piece of music that's hard to describe otherwise, but so close to me that I want as many people as possible to hear.

Senor Cardgage - Of the negative feedback I've received, some of it has been earnestly hateful. For a music mix. Hard to figure that out.

halfbuckaroo - A perfect way to relax as long as no one eyes your lemon drink.

shakespeherian - It's an honor to be compared in the same post. I was only peripherally aware of The Avalanches before Stacked and when I discovered the album to which you refer, I was stunned and really hoped no one would think I was ripping off their idea. That album/mix/project/piece is fantastic.

mkb - The hype for this came from me out of excitement and exuberance. Since it's free and people can take or leave it, I didn't mind doing it. I'm not spreading a pathogen.

jack_mo - The merch is supposed to be kind of silly. I like having it for sale because I clearly can't sell the mix but I spent a fuck ton of time on it, so if you dig it, there's a way to support its successor. And I'm a graphic designer, so of course there are t-shirts and prints. The mini-speaker is there just because I could do it and call it a "speaker stacked." I don't expect anyone to order one but I do think it's cute.

infinitewindow - Love it!! Smush was one of my favorite games and I still play it with friends sometimes.

nickrussell - I want to go to that party. Thanks for your compliments and for listening!

vicx - Stacked isn't meant to be party music or a DJ mash-up. Neither I nor people I know in the music industry knew what to call it other than a soundtrack so "innovative" stuck, however ugly a word it is.

inpHilltr8r - You have my eternal thanks for that word.

Theta States - I am working on a live version for next year! :)
posted by royalsapien at 8:03 PM on October 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

Welcome to metafilter :)

Don't know if you're still watching the thread, but a couple of things:

A) Can you post a screen shot of this in ableton? Curious what it looks like. Or even better, can you make a youtube video of a few minutes of this playing in ableton?...

B) If you're ready to tour, I can probably get you a booking at a big club in LA (and depending on when you tour, probably also at a big club in DC). Though I imagine by now you already have an agent and don't need the help.
posted by empath at 5:20 AM on October 13, 2011

(email me at empath at gmail for details on the clubs, if you're interested)
posted by empath at 5:22 AM on October 13, 2011

Well I'm glad you're still watching the thread, empath. Thanks!

I've loved MeFi for years and years and never had a reason to post, but was happy to pay a little bit to respond for my first time. The comments on reddit when this came out would have made me lose faith in humanity had I any left to lose. I stopped visiting the site after that.

Things for you:
Screenshot of the first half of Stacked
Screenshot of the second half of Stacked

I'd love to find a way to auto-generate a screenshot of an entire Live session. Since the channels are collapsed here, it just shows the edit points, but it doesn't show the automation lanes - on each channel there are EQ, filters, and fx running.

Brief video of Stacked playing in Ableton

Let me know if there is a part you would like to see on video and I'll post it.

You'll be receiving an email from me shortly. I had an agent but he was no good, so I appreciate the offer of help.
posted by royalsapien at 2:32 PM on October 13, 2011

ahhh I love those shots. But instead of that many individual channels, I will set up 8-10 mixing channels with a few sub-mixes and bounce around between those so I can fit it all on my screen.
posted by Theta States at 3:32 PM on October 13, 2011

That's what I do, too. When I DJ, I just leave the first three channels empty and load up a set with like 100 songs stacked in the rest of the channels and move them over to the first three to play.

It would drive me nuts to have three hundred different channels.
posted by empath at 3:56 PM on October 13, 2011

I use different settings, EQ, fx, and plugins for each channel, so it's easier for me to have them on their own than to keep turning them on and off and changing their parameters, whether I'm mixing 10 tracks or 300.
posted by royalsapien at 4:43 PM on October 13, 2011

heh, for me I have no problem with swapping automation settings in the channel, but to each their own.

Your massive layout is the first thing I've seen that surpasses Richie Hawtin's gigantor Ableton abuse. :)
posted by Theta States at 8:53 PM on October 13, 2011

Both Richie Hawtin's and Sven Vath's use of Traktor has also been a big influence. They loop 3 or 4 things on the fly and they sound good in a club (and it's a little more fluid with minimal techno by virtue of the genre), but I wondered what the possibilities would be if one used the same concept in a studio environment.

No one heard it while I was working on it, either. I wasn't under any time pressure. Thus, no excuses for half-assing a single thing. I had to impress myself.
posted by royalsapien at 9:57 PM on October 13, 2011

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