It’s not easy being the life of the party! As much as alleged “button-pushing” DJs get guff for their failure to play “real” instruments, there’s a hidden art to the process of conducting a sonic symphony through a merry-go-round of technology. For mashup artists, the process is an even more complex jigsaw puzzle. One track may offer the backing for a riff from another but not necessarily correspond with the original idea of laying down yet another jam to intermingle with the first. Dizzying, right?
Put down the pro-tools and breathe easy because the Hood Internet have got you covered. Whether it’s joining Ghostface Killah with Vampire Weekend to open their latest mixtape, Trillwave 3, or making Matt & Kim actually engaging by laying the Beastie Boys’ “Shake Your Rump” atop “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare,” the duo provides an even mixture of almost garish tunes that are produced with finesse. It’s a well thought-out process, though the Hood Internet didn’t necessarily start out that way.
The duo of Aaron Brink and Steve Reidell (ABX and STV SLV, respectively) first met in college, though both attended separate schools in different states; Brink was at the University of Michigan and Reidell went to the University of Wisconsin. Their shared sense of humor and fascination with the deconstruction of songs is what first formed the Hood Internet. They got their name from a domain name they’d been inexplicably holding onto; one that somehow fits their aesthetic to a “t.” It wasn’t long before they’d played their first gig, a Chicagoist party where the two struggled, their lack of experience DJing on the fly in that capacity making for a rough night.
“The Hood Internet was only a couple of months old and most of our experience came from college radio-style DJing or dance parties where you’re just picking track after track,” Reidell tells the Appeal.
“The show was bad. The next few were bad. Then we got a little bit better. We like to get people moving and keep them going. It’s still a learning process though.”
A fine-tuning of that process has prompted many musicians to seek out the Chicago group as they’ve added to their catalog. Those requests have proved advantageous for both the duo and the requesting artist. Those hard-to-find instrumental versions of songs the two adore are instantly accessible once the artist in question comes calling for a mashup. The Hood Internet have their own agenda, ultimately, which is what brought on perhaps their silliest track to date: the pairing of ubiquitous summer track “Blurred Lines” and the ’80s sitcom, Growing Pains.
“Oh, that Growing Pains mash-up, really the only question you can ask is, ‘what the hell?,’” Reidell says with a laugh.
“It was a youtube-only release where we threw the songs together as a fun thing. It’s been funny. I know that’s the big summer jam of the year and I’m a fan of Pharrell’s production but I’m not a huge fan of that song. Really, I can’t stand Robin Thicke.”
In keeping with the juxtaposition of two seriously unlikely subjects, the Hood Internet also curate Album Tacos, which is exactly what you’d expect from a blog featuring the Mexican staple and LP covers.
“Album Tacos actually came about before a show in Florida. A fan tweeted us and said the usual ‘looking forward to our show’ but his picture was the album cover for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Instead of a prism, it had a taco. Thinking about it, we felt like that’d be a whole website that the internet would enjoy,” Reidell explains.
Expect humor, hard-partying, and more when the Hood Internet hit the Independent this Saturday. The duo last played in SF opening for Black Moth Super Rainbow. They now find themselves with a headliner slot and a few expectations from the city itself. “What I’m looking forward to over there? Seeing people throw up in the Tenderloin, I guess,” Reidell says.