Since forming in 2007, The Hood Internet have made a name for themselves by creating elaborate hip hop and r&b remixes set over indie rock and electronic instrumentals. Through their website, they’ve rolled out unlikely pairings such as Blackstreet and Ratatat, Digital Underground and St. Vincent, and Action Bronson and Tame Impala. Proving that they aren’t starved for ideas, the Chicago-based duo recently released their latest collection of mashups, the 27-track The Hood Internet Mixtape Volume 9.
opbmusic host Mason Rippey caught up with one half of the group, DJ STV SLV, ahead of a recent sold-out show at Mississippi Studios in Portland and chatted about the art of the remix.
Listen to the full interview here and check out excerpts below:
Have you had artists give you feedback on the remixes you’ve made?
Real early on in the first year that we started posting these on our website, there was one mix of Crystal Castles and The Pack. And Ethan from Crystal Castles reached out to us and said ‘Hey, this would sound better if you changed this part and this part.” Which was awesome. That’s one of the only times that that’s happened.
Usually people are just sort of tickled by it. Deerhoof will put a mashup (we did) on a mixtape that they’re giving out to their fans, or something like that. I think it kind of comes across like fan art. We’re sampling all of these artists that we genuinely love and listen to. We’re modifying things, but it’s all out of love.
What has been your most unlikely pairing? Something that doesn’t make sense on paper, but sounded really good on tape.
I think earlier on is when these pairings seemed a lot more unlikely. People weren’t really sampling bands like The Knife and Broken Social Scene (when we started). But now, there are projects out like Big Grams— the Big Boi and Phantogram project— which is sort of like something we would do. So, they’re far more likely nowadays.
Maybe the most unlikely was a Kid Kudi and a 17 minute track by Sunn O)). (Laughter)
A big part of what you do involves acapellas— finding the bare vocals to put down over a track. I know that those are often found on b-side record singles. Over time, has it become easier to find acapellas or is that something that you have to dig for?
It’s become more scarce over time. Yeah, having an acapella on the b-side of a 12” or a CD single is where a lot of that comes from, but people release that a lot less now. And I think just because there are so many remixes out there floating around, people try to put a bit of control on that by not releasing the acapella. There are ways to make them. A real popular move is, if you have the full version of the song and the instrumental (version), to place them on top of each other (in an audio editing program), invert the WAV form of the instrumental, and then all you’re left with are the (vocals) and some artifacts in the similar frequency range.
It doesn’t always work. (Laughter)