b. Mark Nicholson, England. On his debut, Welcome To The Palindrome, Osymyso drew on popular culture - inane children’s television presenters, quiz show hosts and easy listening LPs - as sample fodder for his great, gleeful electronica. Partially sharing aesthetics with Mr. Scruff and People Like Us, Nicholson arranged these soundbites into funny, funky cut and paste collages that were underscored by a compelling sense of absurdity. The album’s stand-out track, ‘A Dog! A Panic In A Pagoda’, even had a comedy, faux news report narrative that was witty and incisive enough to bring contemporary media values under scrutiny.
Alongside Richard X and the Freelance Hellraiser, Nicholson is one of the more intriguing artists creating sample-heavy music dubbed ‘bootlegs’ or ‘bastard pop’ ? that is, unofficial remixes or cut and paste recordings that blatantly flout the laws of copyright. Whereas most ‘bootlegs’ splice just the vocal of a single track with the instrumental of another, Osymyso’s Intro-inspection EP commingled the introductions from 101 famous tracks into a nine-minute bastard pop epic that was a de facto history of popular music. The London-based DJ has even set an argument between characters from the soap opera EastEnders to big beats for ‘Pat ‘n’ Peg’. ‘I’m not attacking pop or cultural aesthetics, ’ Osymyso told Record Collector magazine of these creations, ‘I’m celebrating what I see as the best parts of it. I love a well-crafted pop song, from Motown to PWL, and what I do help it slip into current DJ culture just a little easier. Also, it’s fun.’ Amusingly, Osymyso has even been castigated on the pages of a tabloid newspaper for his choice of samples: when Nicholson appropriated the voice of Tourette’s Syndrome sufferer John Davidson (from a BBC documentary about the affliction) and coalesced the four-letter outbursts into a pop track, the Daily Record raged against the DJ/producer under the headline ‘Tourette’s Singdrome: Fury As TV Outburst Used On Web Track’.