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Letters to the Editor 

Week of Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Z-Tripped Out

Please, leave the Kraftwerk arguments at home where they belong: While I applaud coverage of the excellent Z-Trip and the (somewhat related) mash-up phenom, [Garrett Kamps' May 12 OK Then column] really riled me up. Your snobbish comparison of turntablism to mash-ups sounds suspiciously like the age-old "guitars vs. electronics" argument: "Computers aren't 'live,' so they're not legitimate." Haven't we moved past that, or do I have to argue for Kraftwerk here?

You say it takes "no musical talent" to produce a mash-up, which is just plain wrong, and sounds a lot like what rock snobs say about DJs and electronic artists. There are good and bad mash-ups, just like there are good and bad eclectic DJs and music writers.

I can personally testify that most of the DJs at "Club Bootie" make a lot of their own mash-ups and remixes -- should we stop that, so we can just play other people's records with a lot of scratching? Would that be more legitimate?

Ultimately, your article seems caught in its own logical knots -- you spend a whole paragraph decrying the supposed media saturation of the bootleg scene, then devote a whole article to it, so you feel like you have to dismiss it, because you missed out or something. Well, next week you can write an article about how it takes no talent to program a drum machine, and how Dylan sold out when he went electric.

Down with technology!

Ben Gill
Creative Services Director/Producer, "Sixx Mixx" and "Subsonic"

Marshmallow edge, maybe?: You are so far off the mark it's not true.

Z-Trip's big beef is that his allegedly groundbreaking album is in fact not very good, and he's been eclipsed several times over. Go to "Bootie" tonight and hear exactly what I mean.

I don't know if you're an aficionado of the scene, but Z-Trip is not cutting edge. He's not even blunted edge. Might I suggest you fire up Soulseek and track down some of the works of Go Home Productions (the guy who's working with Bowie), Soundhog, IDC, Steve Christ, Poj, or Lionel Vinyl? That is the true core of bootlegging (as it's generally known these days -- "blends" sounds like a type of coffee) and, as you'll see, is a million miles ahead of Z-Trip's dated, outmoded work.

To say "a computer makes it easy" denies the inspiration -- and no, you can't just slap a track on another and it'll work. [I]t takes time, skill, and dedication to make it sound good. Even longer to make it sound great.

Steve Potz-Rayner
Wiltshire, U.K.

With Smith

No contest: I'm judging a journalism contest for a housing trade group in California. [Matt Smith's May 5 column, "Building Up California,"] would have been a winner. Some entries touched on this subject, but none have developed it and told it in such a compelling manner as you have. Really great stuff.

As a real estate writer myself, I find your approach to not only the news, but what it means, to be just plain wonderful. There is too little of your style in real estate news, and it's much needed.

Broderick Perkins
Executive Editor

Rall Brawl

Hmmm. Shame. Interesting concept.: Ted Rall's cartoons have always been childish, simplistic, and heavy-handed -- but the recent one about Pat Tillman [May 5] hit an all-time low. Whatever your views on the war, Tillman was a selfless individual who spurned an incredibly lucrative future to do what he thought was right -- and he paid the ultimate price. Ted Rall is obviously a cheap-shot artist with no sense of shame. If SF Weekly does have a sense of shame, however, you might seriously consider unplugging his comic strip for good.

I never bother writing letters to editors, guys -- but this was really low.

Bob Patterson
Mountain View

We and many of our friends hadn't heard "commie fuck" since 1969: I can't believe you published that commie fuck's comics. I and several of my friends were not amused.

Joseph Cole
East Bay


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