Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Speak English Please

The above photo is irrelevant, yet amusing.
For the last two weeks everybody has been talking about the Spank Records Remix competition for the ridiculously succesful single by Aussie lads Yolanda Be Cool and Dcup, 'We No Speak Americano'. Regardless of how you feel about the original or the remixes that came out of all of this, the response from bedroom producers all over the country for the competition has successfully welcomed another swarm of budding professionals onto the market. I for one think this is a good thing as it creates exposure for people who are doing good things who might of otherwise gone unnoticed.

A lot has been made also of the top 3 remixes as named by the judges. Opinion seems to be divided as to which track should have taken top honours, although given the opposing styles of all the winners it's difficult to truly put a case together without over analysing the production techniques used. Despite this, I really liked the winning remix, by a cat called Josh Mc who turned Americano into a dark, techno roller coaster of a tune that lurks in the shadows and calls on you to dance dirty in 16 bar increments. For good measure you can have a listen here, to the winners as well as the ten runners up.

For most, Josh Mc came completely out of the blue. I'm lucky enough to know the chap so I thought I'd take a minute to ask him a few questions to help you get to know him a little better.

For good measure, why not peep a few of his other tracks. A crafty original, as well as a hip hop remix of an old school classic.

Simularis by Josh Mc

Survival of the fittest - Mobb Deep (Josh Mc remix) by Josh Mc

GrooveCity: Tell us about yourself: What’s your name? where you from? What’s your quickest time over the hundred metres
My names Josh McMahon I’m from Sydney and I live on the north shore. I’d have to say I’d run the hundred at around 128bpm

GC:A lot had changed for you in the last fortnight right? Is it your hair? I think the people would like to hear the words from the man himself. What’s the big news!

I won the “We Speak No Americano” remix competition for Spank Records and Sweat It Out. Biggest shock I’ve had in awhile getting the phone call regarding win. Right in the middle of exams as well….can’t wait to see how I went.

GC:At what point did you think that you might’ve made something special?

I guess when I think about it the way lead vocal bass turned out while I was taking on the remix; it set the tone for the whole song. It let me change the entire mood of the song and darken it up a bit. I thought it might have been a little too different from the original, but after a bit of positive feed back it sat a little better.

GC:Tell us about your musical journey? How’d you get to where you are today?

I’ve always been around music; I’ve played musical instruments all my life but never really liked them. I started playing round with things like virtual DJ making little mixes to play in my car. After getting shown the ropes on how to DJ from my mate Dan Baartz, who I frequently DJ with, I found my way into producing and haven’t really looked back. In away it’s taken over mixing completely still love it and do it when ever I can though

GC:Grocery list of the things in your studio for the interested kids out there:

I’m pretty bare at the moment. All I got is desktop running ableton 8, Massive and Albino as my main synths as well as a range of other Vst synths n effects. But all of that changed the other day when I won the remix competition. Now I’m the proud owner of Komplete 6, Novation LaunchPad and Traktor pro. Would love to by a keyboard midi controller as well but don’t have the $’s at the moment

GC:Has your recent success changed your life at all? Have you been inspired to pursue another direction? And when will your remix be available to drop in da clubz?

Winning the competition was the biggest confidence builder in relation to music production. It made me want to push my self further and see what’s possible. Been doing a couple interviews like this one which is a bit of a change but I’m liking the attention…haha. It’s all given me a lot more motivation to produce more music because it’s shown me I might actually know what I’m doing behind a computer and a keyboard. This whole thing has inspired me to try and get my name out there a bit more and hopefully get known for what I’m doing. The tracks going to be released in the next couple weeks, sent it out to get mastered today actually so hopefully shouldn’t be too long. Pretty excited to see my track on beatport…

GC:What do you do away from music? What’s a typical weekend for you and when does it start? Tuesday?

Apart from music I’m at university. I’m in my 3rd year of a bachelor of science at Sydney university, there everyday of the week so I’ve learnt to deal with the worst when it comes to post-party morning education….so I try to start my weekend as early as possible, although I do work weekends at a bar in Surry Hills so that kinda cancels it out. But when I am out on the town you can usually find me in some of Sydney’s finer (filthier) establishments

GC:Have you ever thought about going on to masterchef?

I tried but my milkshake just didn’t bring enough boys to the yard

GC:The world is about to end, you can grab three things to bring with you to safety on one of those big boats from 2012. What three things can’t you live without?

Firstly I’d have to go out and buy a brand new Mac book pro, because my computer just doesn’t cut it and music production and music in general has become such an integral and therapeutic part of my life. Secondly I’d probably bring my decks and thirdly maybe a camera so I could catch a few snaps of me and the end of the world.

GC:What’s in the pipeline in terms of your musical career from now on? More work in the studio? A national victory lap tour?

I’ve got a lot in the pipeline now especially with all the software/equipment i now have. Finished a new track the other day, which you can check out on my soundcloud, also I’ve got 2 or 3 more in the working now. Depending how things go they could be done in the next week. Would love to see a few gigs coming out of this will have to stick my head out a bit to catch them tho. But on holidays now so got nothing really holding me back.

GC:Can you DJ and where are we likely to catch you playing (if anywhere)?

Yeah I can Dj and I love it, haven’t been playing out recently apart from a few things here and there with mates. Going to have to start putting in the hours tho

GC:Who is your dream girl?

Scarlett Johansson…she’s just so milky haha

GC:Finally can you speak Americano?

I’m fluent after that competition

GC:Thanks for entertaining us!

Josh Mc on SoundCloud.


  1. remix competitions aren't my cup of tea, your devaluing the product (original track) by allowing anyone to mix it... to realistically get what 10 decent ones? (of 500-1000)

    at the same time people are spamming blogs and playing them at clubs decreasing the life of the jam and allowing less eventual exposure because everyones over it.

  2. good point. very good point. for every good mix there are 30 that are terrible. and from experience you can ruin the original. from a production perspective, stems allow people to enter the world of production a lot easier than say trying to make originals as it's easier to imitate then to try and create something special from scratch.