Over the years, I have really become fond of blend tapes, mixing original vocals with previously released instrumentals used by other artists, sometimes taken from a totally different genre. When put together properly, by those that know their ass from their elbow, these projects can end up sounding better or as good as the original versions.
For example in 2004, Jay-Z commercially released his Black Album in a cappella form to encourage mashups and remixes. These vocals were used by a then unknown New York bred producer by the name of Danger Mouse who created what became an internationally critically acclaimed classic blend tape called The Grey Album, fusing Hov’s a cappellas with reworked instrumentals from The Beatles‘ classic White Album.
Last year, art and music blogger Gerald Watson came across the work of Michigan-based graphic designer Logan Walters entitled the Wu-Note series, where the artist redesigned Wu-Tang album covers in the similar vein of classic jazz album artwork released by Blue Note Records, originally produced by design icon Reid Miles.
Inspired by his findings, the blogger contacted Logan Walters for an interview, during which the graphic designer stated he’d “love to” design an official cover for a real Wu-Tang/Jazz blend tape. The blogger then sought out the help of longtime friend DJ/producer DJ 2-Tone Jones, who agreed to rework a selection of Wu Tang songs with jazz sample and thus Shaolin Jazz – The 37th Chamber was born…
Set to drop on April 11th, the blend tape will consist of samples from Jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock and Lonnie Liston Smith. Thus far, the full tracklist has not been released however one of the tracks that will feature on the tape has been liberated. Entitled, “Astral C.R.E.A.M.”, the track is a mashup of Pharoah Sanders’ “Astral Traveling” and Wu-Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M.”.
“Astral C.R.E.A.M.” (off Shaolin Jazz – The 37th Chamber) | DOWNLOAD