Join the hike-hop revolution!
Inspired by Dan Bull’s Skyrim Rap
So you’ve seen the Epic Hiking Rap, and now you want the background?
Are you serious or is this a joke?
I’ll leave you to apply Poe’s Law.
Where did this start?
For years, the University of Manchester Hiking Club had a tradition where a specific longstanding club member would write and present a poem at their AGM. In 2012, for the first time in a long time, that club member was absent, and so people were each egging each other on to write something. Originally, I parodied Dan Bull’s Epic Skyrim Rap, and included various bits of club folk-lore.
A friend saw one of timelapse stills from Kyrgyzstan, and mentioned Skyrim, and it started to come together. I finally finished the video editing, put it on youtube, and there you go!
How long did it take you?
Days, sporadically, over several years.
How did you record the track?
Poorly. With much difficulty. Ardour and some condenser mics were my friend, but gosh, it’s hard work. New respect was developed for people who can perform stuff well enough to record it easily. I’d say I’m good enough with audio editing to produce something that’s a thing out of what I can perform. That’s not a very high bar.
Where was the video shot?
Sweden, Kyrgyzstan & the UK. All mountainous timelapses are in Kyrgyzstan (with one of the mountains shown currently being unclimbed), there’s two shots of the peak district, and two from the lake district.
What was the video shot with?
I shot all but four of the shots on a Canon 5D mkII with the Magic Lantern Firmware. The remaining four shots were a Sanyo CA100 (I bet you can easily spot 2). I think they’re all with my f24-105 f4 lens except the timelapses, which were a 50mm f1.8, and all the shots in Sweden were taken with a Glidecam XR-2000.
Who do you have to thank?
Dan Bull, for being a massively awesome and generous dude, for giving me the track to record onto, and always being so supportive – it really makes a difference! Anyone who’ve ever had me point a camera at them, or held a camera for me. (There’s a shot in there that my girlfriend Clara held the camera for on our first date!). Anyone who ever encouraged me to try something, or give it a go.
What are the Lyrics?
I’m in nature’s gym.
I’m sprinting like a shadow,
who knows I’m running right behind him.
My hike-shout-flow is sweeter than a post-hike swim
You won’t believe you eyes
I’m like an overload of adrenaline!
An ice-axe in one hand
and a scared hiker in the other
I’m the last of the Hiking Kings!
There’s no other my brother
don’t run for cover!
If you’re going up-dale
then I’m on your tale
and I will NOT fail
like a half-crazed freesoloer
I’m off the rails
I walk the trails
through awful gales
and storms of hail
til all your ramblers
are racing for the bottom
I’m not stopping, til you’ve all gone home
and I am alone
in amongst the peaks
there’s silence for weeks
until I’m disturbed
by the sound of your shrieks
And I walk with this bloodthirsty hound!
She follows with a growl and a bound!
I’m draining my force, so chemistry comes into play with retorts and recipes.
Ceildih dancing like a DJ
HYDRATION. RESTORE my energy!
written in heavenly bodies
with every hiker
that ever did bother
to mess with me
I’m a celebrity!
You’re a wannabe!
I’m a prodigy!
The suggestion you’re better than me at being a hiker?
It’s a gift to me, I don’t just bag peaks lyrically, but literally
and the OS maps are scripts in which I’ve written your obituary
I am the Hiking King
I’m risking life and limb!
I’m Hiker Tim,
you’re nobody at all!
One of the things I said I wanted to do in 2011 year was to listen to some new and different styles of music, and I thought it might be nice to share some of the fantastic tunes I discovered in 2012!
I made this list at the end of 2012, then was a bit overwhelmed by it’s depth – but I’ve got over it and here it is – my favourite tunes from… 2012.
I have intensely eclectic music tastes that change by the month, as can be witnessed on last.fm, and over the last year I’ve developed my taste for “Mashups”. For those to whom that means very little, a mashup is perhaps a little like a Medley – usually two or more songs being mixed together to produce a combination of more than one original thing. Usually this is done by a skilled “producer” – someone who takes the studio-released mixes of the song from the CD, and then reworks the songs together with audio editing software.
A good example of the genre at it’s best, this year might be this Mashup-Germany – I Did It My Way (Frank Sinatra / Simple Plan / Aerosmith + More)
One of the nice things about Mashup’s is that whilst sometimes they’re used to join similar songs together, it’s also a way of portraying a well known song in a different style – giving it new life to a different audience.
Skyrim is a popular video game with a varied and diverse, specifically composed, symphonic soundtrack. It’s got a great theme, but obviously symphonic music is hardly suitable for a club, and some attempts to make it clubworthy are quite enjoyable:
The Skyrim theme also been remixed with that of the Pirates of the Caribbean Series in a completely different, orchestral style, producing this Epic of Epics.
But it’d be wrong to assume that Mashups were all about contemporary music – Hughes de Courson’s Il Duello is a marvellous of Vivaldi and Irish Folk.
Whilst sometimes Mashups can be about taking a contemporary pop song, and making it actually enjoyable by playing in an electro-swing style as with The Puppini Sisters’ Crazy in Love (The Real Tuesday Weld REMIX):
Some musicians have really embodied the mashup style and done the full circle – Gotye did his own mashup of random people on Youtube playing his own hit track Somebody That I Used To Know:
This year definitely had a Pop/Dance lean to it and another track, Avicii’s Levels become another popular song to combine with various things:
To make it into a frenetic Irish folk style with The Irish House Party.
To make it into more of a club track (With the Knocks)
With PSY and Skrillex to produce a hard-electro track “Level Style”
But I’ve also enjoyed other hard dance tracks – such as this Nick Thayer remix of Tonight Only – Go
Another style I’ve really started to get into this year has been pop-influenced Dubstep (sometimes referred to as “Brostep”). This is a style is very misunderstood, by those who don’t enjoy it – probably in the same way that the Sex Pistols must have been. If you’re not familiar with this, this is well worth a watch:
Something that probably was kicked off by this ca7 mashup of Skrillex vs Adele, which in my opinion, is probably better than the two original tracks:
I really like multi-layered tracks and Ben Moon is a 15 year old, super talented orchestral dubstep producer who had created several wonderful tunes recently. Sadly, in the New Year, Ben announced a hiatus from his music to focus on his studies. Sad news, but fair play and best of luck to him!
The Turning Point:
The Neoteric Empire:
But I always enjoy seeking out folk-mashups and King of the Fairies is a traditional folk tune that I vividly remember my parents playing, what better way to keep it alive than with Voltage’s Dubstep version? (Actually I think it could have been done better – the wubs shouldn’t just come right at the end).
(Someone also did improvise some electric violin over the top of it if you’re interested.)
But that wasn’t the only folk-dubstep track from this year, there was also this cracker from ap3haus.
Whilst barely scratching traditional definitions of folk, it stretches the definition no less than the previous tracks and Amanda Palmers’ Ukelele Anthem is really a tremendous song… about Ukelele’s.
Whilst I’ve been introduced to these more traditional house/bass tracks (Mosca – Bax (Numbers – NMBRS16))
I’ve also been introduced to the world of Swinghouse -a fusion of Swing and House music.
If you thought Ragtime could never Rock, then you never heard Scott Joplin’s Maple Rag set with a house beat:
This live act was fun to watch:
But there were also some banging tracks like this one from Chiloux (Diggy doo, I luv U (Original mix)) that I learnt about:
If they’ve all sounded a bit too hous-ish/in-your-face-electronic, then this set from Boost Music/Jimmy Day/Justin Langlands/Mike Potter may be just the remedy:
One of my favourite rap/metal songs was Jay-Z’s collaboration with Linkin Park and so what could be better than a remix that adds Eminem, 50 cent and other collaborators to that Numb/Encore track?
The Real Slim Shady this may not be, but this remix of 2pac vs Thomas the Tank Engine is probably one of the best Rap mashups I’ve heard:
Dan Bull, the legendary geek rapper’s touching song “Dream Girl” shows that actually, love songs can be conveyed in the form of a rap:
Sometimes, you don’t want to party, you want to relax, and the Govinda remix of Thievery Corporation’s Satyam Shivam Sundaram is quite awesome:
If you wanted something downtempo, but a little less new age-y, then Monetrik’s On A Clear Day is great.
Back in the day I used to listen to Chiptunes (well, well after their day, but still some years ago!) and towards the end of the genre, I found some more intricate tracks taking advantage of the advances in tracker technology.
Estrayk & Evelred / Hive of guitars or “hive.mod” as I knew it for years, is a classic example of this – a funky upbeat chillout tracker.
Lounge and Smooth Jazz
I really like smooth jazz and some lounge jazz tracks and The Rippingtons’ track “She Likes to Watch” is quite brilliant:
Equally, Ronny Jordan – The Jackal is one of those tracks you just have to listen to to understand why people like it:
Scott Bradlee is probably one of the best contemporary pianists I’ve heard improvise on a range of popular tracks in a rather unique style in his Mashups By Candlelight:
Lastly, no listing of these style of tracks would be complete without a reference to Scott Bradlee and friend’s collaboration – “Friday – Niia Swings the Rebecca Black Songbook”
Symphony of Science is a great project – remixing and autotuning great science communicators with remarkable respect and intricacy to produce magical pieces of music. Our Biggest Challenge is no different.
If you’re familiar from Manchester, then you’ll be aware of a suburb called Didsbury… and you’ll love this local song – I think I’m in Didsbury
When you troll Comedians on Youtube… well, you should be careful, you might get patronised… or worse, turned into an catchy song: Thank You Hater! – by Clever Pie and Isabel Fay
A number of my friend’s make music and I was priviledged to help Dan Bull with his Facebook Rap / Sharing is Caring campaign – with this cracking video:
Also, a friend of mine, Joe Henthorn released this annoyingly catchy filk song all about StreetFighter: You Had Me at Hadouken!
If you read this far, well done! If you listened to every track to this point… well I don’t believe you did… but you probably have a really great taste in music now!
Thanks for stopping by!
Obviously, “Think of the Children” and “Protect Us from the Terrorists” are continuing themes in government attacks on the internet but David Cameron’s affection for Porn Blocking has been rationally critiqued, talked about by pudits, heartfeltly written about, politically critiqued, analysed for hypocrisy and embarrassed.
Obviously, Porn is a minefield of ethical dilemmas, but Dan Bull, has also given this some thought, and it isn’t so black and white:
Every so often, the media hype machine revisits an old favourite gets the hyperbole on and asks the public?
“Is it wrong to blame hip hop?”, “Do rappers glamorise violence?” are just some of the headlines we’ve seen in recent years.
Yet whilst some people are quick to condemn violent lyrics (David Cameron criticised BBC Radio 1 in 2006 for “encouraging people to carry guns and knives”), we rarely look at violent music within the larger context of music, or culture as a whole.
Would it be possible to agree that in many urban communities, rap music is essentially “the people’s music”? With a low barrier to entry, it’s an expressive form that gives an outlet for people to tell their stories, and sharing ones culture.
So what is it that is particularly upsetting for people about violent rap music? Is it that they are worried by someone telling a story of a murder, that they think people will be encouraged to go out and commit murders?
Take these lyrics for example:
“We will pinch him, we will prick him, we will stab him with a pin.
And the nurse shall hold the basin for the blood all to run in.”
So they pinched him, then they pricked him, then they stabbed him with a pin.
And the false nurse held the basin for the blood all to run in.
“I stabbed her with a dagger,
Which was a bloody knife,
I threw her in the river,
Which was a dreadful sight.”
which are not rap lyrics, but both from old traditional folk songs.
The first one – Long Lankin – talks about the brutal murder of a baby (and wife in some versions) by the baby’s nurse and Lankin whilst the father is away, and was written at least before 1882.
The second – Down in the Willow Garden – tells us, in the first person, how the murderer poisons her, stabs her and finally disposes of her body in a river dates back to sometime prior to 1927.
We’ve had years of exposure to these songs? Are they encouraging murders? Do people feel inspired when they listen to these songs? Or are listeners able to separate a song from reality?
I’ll leave you to work it out what you think. In the mean time, I’m off to the local rugby club to warn all those young players who get confused about whether they’re still on the pitch, and accidentally tackle the old lady about to pick up the melon in Aldi.
And after that, I need to find a re-enactment society – there’s a civil war that needs starting.
It’s ACTA day. ACTA protests are happening across the country. Just yesterday it was announced that European superpower, Germany, would not be signing ACTA following widespread protests across Europe.
Bull :: Death of ACTA
I would tell you that you could download the video “here” but the link Dan has on his Youtube page is to Megaupload. As I don’t want to give you a broken link to a rude page, here is a link the internet found.
Now go kill ACTA!
Download the ogg from here: http://ur1.ca/10su6
Download the Audacity src here: http://ur1.ca/0zy17
Licence: Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0
Apologies for the codec bleed – Kdenlive didn’t like the N900 MP4’s