The Evolution Control Committee

Plagiarhythm Nation, Vol. 2.0

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The Evolution Control Committee may be best-known for the single "Rebel Without a Pause (Whipped Cream Mix)," originally done back in 1993. The track, which fused Public Enemy vocals with a Herb Alpert backing track, subsequently caused a bit of a stir; in fact, some credit the ECC as the founder of the whole "bootleg" phenomenon. People coming to Plagiarhythm Nation, Vol. 2.0 with that in mind may be a bit taken aback, and well they should be: that track was a bit of a fluke for Evolution Control Committee, who generally follow a more humorous Negativland-esque style of tape cutup and digital manipulation. Most of the tracks follow that latter path, incorporating material from a wide variety of sources, including motivational tapes, telephone calls, dusty old records found at the back of the bin, television specials from the '70s, ultra-commercial slush from the '80s, health films, and Christmas standards (among other things). Much of the material here isn't exactly new: fans who have been regularly following the ECC's website have almost certainly seen a number of these available for download already; from that perspective, it's almost a greatest-hits collection. On the other hand, it's hard to imagine the world where these tracks would actually be "hits": the album opens with the words from two Oscar Meyer jingles set to the tune of "The Star Spangled Banner," and ends with a hacked up version of "The Christmas Song" (suitably re-dubbed "The Christmas Wrong") in which Nat King Cole coolly sings about "Jack Frost roasting on an open fire." In between, astronauts express their disbelief at being on the moon, Vincent Price lists off a bounty of dinnery foodstuffs, Chuck D tells us about negativity, and Sammy Davis, Jr. provides the perfect backing track for a burst of assertiveness training. There are a few rough patches, though; "Fearsome as Odd Danger" (a remix of a DJ Spooky number) doesn't really fit the mood of the rest of the album and goes on a bit too long, and "Nasha" sounds a bit like early Skinny Puppy, but is far too repetitive to have much replay value. Worth watching: CBS has already threatened a lawsuit over the earlier 7" single release of "Rocked by Rape," which features a string of incendiary comments read out by Dan Rather over the course of many newscasts, all set to a rocking (reworked) AC/DC riff. Most of Evolution Control Committee's previous output has been self-released; with wider release for this album on Seeland, it may be worth taking bets on who sues first.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:18
2
1:57
3
0:16
4
3:40
5
4:28
6
1:31
7
4:19
8
0:43
9
1:35
10
0:30
11
0:44
12
3:04
13
0:45
14
1:28
15
0:37
16
1:19
17
0:39
18
0:18
19
2:21
20
1:00
21
1:23
22
1:36
23
7:30
24
0:59
25
1:21
26
5:08
27
0:09
28
1:31
29
0:10
blue highlight denotes track pick