Diplo, Santogold, Cutty Ranks Re-imagine Black Flag's "Six Pack" (MP3)
There's only one CD that matters in my car right now, and that's Diplo's raucous and sharp recent Santogold mixtape, called Top Ranking. It moves all over the place, from early '60s girl groups -- a stunning reworking of the Dixie Cups "Iko Iko" -- to 60s rocksteady (Desmond Dekker's "Shanty Town") to a freaky remix of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Posse on Broadway" to Devo to the B-52s ("Mesopotamia," one of their under-played David Byrne-produced classics) to a funny skit featuring Santi White (who is Santogold) and Mark Ronson. The mix also includes her great reworking of the Clash's "Guns of Brixton," which she dubs "Guns of Brooklyn."
But the best moment is the wicked treatment that Diplo gives to Jamaican toaster Cutty Ranks and the thumping bassline-intro to Black Flag's "Six Pack." The producer samples Chuck Dukowski's bass, then loops it with a big reggaeton beat and Cutty Ranks' gutteral growl, which might be more menacing than Dez Cadena's on the original. But this isn't a cover; it's a riff, a springboard into unknown territory. To paraphrase William Burroughs: "When you cut into the past, the future leaks out."
Here's a YouTube of the original, followed by the Cutty/Diplo/BF MP3 from the mixtape.