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Mashit 004 (Billy Jungle)

by DJ C

Billy Jungle 05:41


This is a #MashitMashup if ever there was one. DJ C remixes the remix; versions the version; makes a classic classic classic; a raging, post-modern, dancehall, reggae, jungle masterpiece.

Shinehead knew his 1984 lovers-rock, dancehall version of Michael Jackson's mega-hit “Billie Jean” would be a classic dance-floor killer as he whistles “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” theme over The Upsetters‘ sultry, digital rub-a-dub “Chim Cherie” riddim. Llegend has it that Bob Marley & The Wailers’ bass player Aston “Family Man” Barrett originally programmed the riddim in Lee “Scratch” Perry's studio at some point in the ‘70s. DJ C flips that classic into the jungle stormer that is “Billy Jungle.”

There's also an instrumental version which moves from sultry hip-hop and dancehall into jungle before it eventually crashes down and dubs-out into a 4-on-the-floor, hardcore-techno banger.



“One of the most forward-looking labels (if you like your electronics mashed up) finally releases this version of the Shinehead original, which was a corking reggae version of Michael Jackson's ‘Billie Jean.’ If you ever need a record to get a party started and you've forgotten your copy of Blue Monday, whack this on.”


**** Four Stars (back when Pitchfork was doing star-ratings)

“DJ C takes us back to a time when [MJ] convinced the world he was an inveterate seed-spreader while seducing us into feeling sorry for him. (Which, in a much grosser way, he's still doing.) I actually think it's a new vocal or some contemporaneous lovers rock version over a heavy stepping intro (kicks holes through that light-up sidewalk) and a tear out that proves even at his slickest, our biggest public pervert was rugged never smooth.”


“Mashit head honcho DJ C has added to the fray with his label's string of 12-inches straight outta Boston. He's behind the controls for the latest EP, which features a version of Shinehead's ‘Billie Jean’ – itself a version of ‘Billie Jean’ – and then offers a version of C's version on the flip side. Of course, fourth-generation versioning is just a start of things in dancehall culture, where a new rhythm can spawn 20 different versions in the time it takes to smoke a spliff.

You can't miss with anything based around ‘Billie Jean,’ and Shinehead added a distinctive little whistle based on ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’ to his version. C frames the verses with those all-so-familiar frantic breaks, but the see-saw effect of the tempo changes gives this a bopping, almost paradoxically laid-back feel in an otherwise-manic genre. C's versioning of the A-side strips out the lyrics, bringing focus to the whistle and the beats – probably a more palatable trak for the breakcore massive, but it isn't quite as much pop fun.”


“The most recent outing from DJ C has been rinsed out by John Peel, Resonance.fm, Ninja Tune, and happy junglists in Europe and the U.S. – no surprise there as he’s really excelled himself this time with a scorching version of Shinehead’s classic, old skool dancehall take on “Billie Jean” (it’s all about versioning the version). There’s just enough of the Morricone-sampling original to lull you into a skanking reggae vibe before the amen breaks come crashing in, leaving you clinging on to that elusive melody – ‘they told me her name was billy jean...’. It’s hard to make an impact when you take on one of the most versioned tunes in dance music but this more than succeeds and has kept us at the Bear entertained and amazed since we first dropped the needle on the test pressing. We don’t usually review stuff that’s not available to buy in the U.K., but this is well worth paying u.s. postage costs for – a proper anthem.”


released September 1, 2004




Mashit Chicago, Illinois

A Chicago record label producing body-moving genre-blends

“Innovative … clever … futuristic. Stop overthinking shit and go jump up and down." - Chicago Reader

“Mashit releases are killing dance-floors across Europe and the US.” - John Peel, BBC Radio 1

“One of the most forward-looking labels.” - URB Magazine
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