MIXTAPE MONDAY: WICK-IT THE INSTIGATOR – SO FAR SO GOOD

This month’s feature is a MASHUP mix. Played out and boring, right? Not this one, my friend. Not this time. One thing I hope you’ll learn, by the end of this review, is to never underestimate WICK-IT.

WICK-IT THE INSTIGATOR

wick-it 3

I’ve been posting this man’s work quite FREQUENTLY, as of recent.

He’s got a reputation for doing some thoughtfully fresh and mindblowingly original remixes that take him from beyond a standard Mashup artist to a DJ/producer with skills that have turned heads and caught ears all over the South-Eastern United States. In a live setting, he makes crowds go gorillas with his mix of humour, ingenious pop culture samples and beats that can’t be touched. While his roots are firmly planted in HIP-HOP, there is no shortage of heavy electronic BASS music at a Wick-it show.  You’re about to hear all his aforementioned skills, in this mix.

SO FAR SO GOOD (2010-2013)

Wick-it so far so good mix

The title is a complete understatement. This is the best Club Mashup mix I’ve heard in years. Perhaps it’s Wick-it’s modesty that has kept him dedicated to finding new methods of presenting familiar but beloved Pop music anthems. This is a compilation made up almost entirely of his personal favourite productions from his earliest efforts, to present day releases, mixed together with an elaborate showcasing of skills that only a seasoned turntable vet, like Wick-it, could possess. His REMIXES transform their way through DUBSTEP, TRAP, and MOOMBAHTON, covering and combining sounds from CRUNK RAP to ROCK, Video games to movie samples, 80s to now, and chances are, you’ll know every single song that Wick-it blends. This is the kind of mix that unites people, in harmonious sing alongs. It’s so impressive that he has managed to cover all of this ground in just 3 years.

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TRACKLIST

1. Wick-it the Instigator – Feel Lit
2. LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out (Wick-it 2013 Revamp) (unreleased)
3. DJ Khaled – All I Do Is Win (Wick-it Remix)
4. Lil Jon – Put Your Hood Up (Wick-it Remix) (unreleased)
5. Reservoir Dawgs feat. Bun B (Wick-it Remix)
6. Luniz – 5 On it (Wick-it Remix)
7. Apathy and Celph Titled – Grindhouse Basterds (Wick-it Remix)
8. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog vs. Trowa – Final Episode (Wick-it Bootleg Edit)
9. Beastie Boys – No Sleep Till Brooklyn (Wick-it Remix)
10. Pulp Fiction Theme (Wick-it Remix)
11. Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight (Damage Remix)
12. 2Pac and Dr. Dre – California Love (Psymbionic Remix)
13. Dr. Dre – Still California (Wick-it Remix)
14. Nate Dogg – Shake That (Wick-it Remix)
15. The Heavy – How You Like Me Now (Wick-it Remix)
16. Michael Jackson – Thriller (Wick-it Remix)
17. Van Halen – Jump (Wick-it Remix)
18. M.I.A. – Bad Girls (Wick-it Remix)
19. Kanji Kinetic – Deep Down South (Wick-it Remix)
20. Wick-it the Instigator – Golden Trap Gangster
21. Three Six Mafia vs. Metallica – Lightning Head (Wick-it Remix)
22. Ghostface of Base (Wick-it Remix)
23. Sister Nancy vs. Lauryn Hill – Never Lost One (Wick-it Remix)
24. Black Keys vs. Big Boi – Your DJ Ain’t No DJ (Wick-it Remix)
25. UGK vs. Austin Powers (Wick-it Remix)
26. Black Keys vs. Big Boi vs. Rocksonix – Afraid of the Dubstep (Wick-it Double Smash)
27. Wick-it it The Instigator – Future Krunk
28. Pink Floyd – Have a Cigar (Wick-it Remix)
29. Wick-it the Instigator – Evacuate
30. Bed Intruder (Wick-it Super Smash Up Bootleg VIP Edit)
31. MAN TALK!!!! (Wick-it Mashup)
32. Wick-it and Fyuch – Street Life
33. Nineties FTW (Wick-it Mashup)

REVIEW

HIGH POINTS: In an almost magical way, Wick-it defies my usual criteria for what makes a good mix, right from the top. Knowing that this was a Mashup, I went in to it with low expectations. I mean, Mashups have been done to death! But never underestimate Wick-it. He makes the art of mashing sound new again, by loading his creations with lots of original production, and combining sources that nobody has thought of pairing before, including material from outside the realm of music. This mix starts off with DUBSTEP. Again, this is normally the sign that an unsatisfying experience is about to commence. Dubstep got really old really fast, didn’t it? But all is well in moderation, and that opening tune promptly morphs into something completely different, making the beginning seem like a delightfully playful moment of misdirection. Showcasing Wick-it’s affinity for transition devices, this comp changes style and tempo continually. Wick-it does so by presenting the same familiar tune in two different genres. His ability to envision the same song in two formats, and create a pleasing blend between them is one that few producers are able to achieve. It’s changes that keep the human ear, and consciousness entertained, and in this mix, the changes never stop. Genres, tempos and a continual and vast array of musical sources explode from the speakers. It’s easy to miss a moment, which makes this album great for multiple play downs. It even contains a variety of mixing techniques. Devices like movie clips, overdubs, and scratching all add to the pleasantry of this ride through Wick-it’s body of work. What a ride it is, indeed. And that Nineties Megamix at the end? So well done. So satisfying. So far so good. Ha!

LOW POINTS: Writings on Wick-it frequently praise his ingenious sampling, and seasoned mixing skills, but little is said about his selecting. That is, which songs he chooses to play, and when. As I approach the hour mark of this mix, I start to feel like it could have been much better organized. In the first half, the tempo and genre changes constantly. In the second, the energy really evens out, presenting mostly Hip-Hop mashups, before the big ending. At 1:24:50, it becomes apparent that my feelings are not unfounded. We hear a musical introduction to Wick-it, produced with quite a bit of grandeur and fanfare. So much more so then the beginning of the mix, which begs me to ask the question, why was this track not placed at the start, where it couldn’t more clearly belong? Why are we being introduced to Wick-it in the final 15 mins of an extended set? It’s completely nonsensical, and it’s such an obvious oversight, that I feel like the play through would have been much stronger, if Wick-it had given the job of selecting to another trusted DJ, which is not an uncommon thing for producers to do.

Not that this mix was unenjoyable, in any way. The selecting issues don’t take away from the sheer fun, excitement, and pleasant surprises that this compilation has to offer. Some more thoughtful ordering merely would have improved the experience even further. A little something to consider for Vol 2, in 3 years time.

GET MORE WICK-IT THE INSTIGATOR:  SOUNDCLOUD / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / TUMBLR

 

 

I hope you were able to turn off your inner hipster for this one, It’s the only thing that could keep this mixtape from being a completely enjoyable experience.