Oh Astro’s Champions Of Wonder: In Samples

The Field’s “A Paw In My Face” wasn’t the only track last year to appropriate Lionel Richie’s “Hello” for new and dance-oriented ends. Oh Astro, from the sample-loving stable of Illegal Art, took Lionel’s then, we love it now:

Oh Astro – “Hello Fuji Boy” (MP3)

Champions Of Wonder, the full-length the Hot Chip/Richie & Miyagi track hails from, is a good listen all the way, the recontextualized samples never feeling forced, always creating something new. That said, we’re not gonna lie: Playing CSI: Beat Detective with the tracks is much fun. Now the married folk behind the music (Jane Dowe and Hank Hofler) are offering up the family recipe to their confections. First, a few more morsels:

Oh Astro – “Snow Queen” (MP3)
Oh Astro – “Candy Sun Smiles” (MP3)

Those are for the taking, the rest of the album can be streamed here (click the ‘Audio’ tab for track controls). Now, after the jump, the ingredients.

01 “Snow Queen” – Ratatat “Desert Eagle” and Lily Allen “Everything Is Wonderful”

02 “Hello Fuji Boy” – Hot Chip “Boy From School,” Fujiya & Miyagi “Ankle Injuries,” and Lionel Richie “Hello”

03 “Lucy Sees The Moon” – Lucy (our daughter) sings the lyrics to children’s song “I See The Moon” and it is filtered through Deanna Durbin”Amapola” and Bing Crosby “If I Had My Way”

04 “Candy Sun Smiles” – Busdriver “Sun Shower,” Gnarls Barkley “Gone Daddy Gone,” and Electronic “Getting Away With It”

05 “Empty Air” – only source is Jim O’Rourke “Good Times”

06 “Xanadu” – Jane Dowe sings the lyrics to “Xanadu” in sync with the original song (originally sung by Olivia Newton John with music by Electric Light Orchestra) filtered through Electronic “Get The Message” (strumming guitar intro) and Xiu Xiu “Bishop, CA”. Background contains samples from Pan Tone “Gringo Grinder” and The Killers “Somebody Told Me” (guitar pluck).

07 “Journey To The Center” – Remix of ROC “Journey to the Center of Brixton” (authorized), along with additional drum parts from Stefen Robinson (aka Yea Big).

08 “Itch Box” – Remix of Yea Big “Please Die, and Leave Me Alone” (authorized), which samples vocals from a chain-gang chant from the film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? Also contains vocal sample from theROC track, additional drum parts from Stefen Robinson and a synthesized harmonic progression from Tristan Hansen (a student of mine).

09 “Robot Love I Love You” – Ella (our daughter) sings her own lyric filtered through the Japanese children’s song “Inu No Omawarisan” as recorded on the compilation Doikono Douyou.

10 “Quiet Mouth” – only source is Sufjan Stevens “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”

11 “Pet Apples” – only source is The Apples In Stereo “About Your Fame”

The music’s made with nothing but samples, along with newly recorded vocals here and there. In fact, the band says “one of the common techniques on Champions of Wonder is the manipulation of vocals by spectral software that is coded by Dowe and long-time mentor Christopher Penrose.” On that point, someone should send “Lucy Sees The Moon” to Stephin “Psychocandy is the last significant event in popular music production” Merritt; that shit sounds like it was recorded on Jupiter.

Champions Of Wonder is out now on Illegal Art.

Tags: Oh Astro