[My Gang] Shamantis – J. Biebz - U Smile 800% Slower : Reco of the Week 17 Aug 2010


17 Ago 2010, 18:58

Track: U Smile Ambient [ Stream/download Soundcloud ]
Artist: Shamantis
Album: To be released later this year
Tags: , , ,
Video: Click the pic...

YouTube, audio upload

This is the sound of 2010. Justin Bieber made not just palatable but downright beautiful. I haven't seen a single comment from anybody saying they didn't like it, and it's all over the internet today, even being picked up by MTV and NPR. A quick Google search for "bieber 800%" brings me over 800,000 results. The track was only 'released' last night.

The video, at just under ten minutes, is merely an excerpt. The whole piece comes in at around thirty five minutes.

The track is Justin Bieber's U Smile put through a piece of free opensource software called Paulstretch. Hand on heart, I haven't heard the original, not being a fan, so I can't compare, but this version brings to mind Sigur Rós, This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Brian Eno and Robin Guthrie. The waves are the percussive sounds, digital snares and cymbals, stretched so they crash and roll.

Sonic State stretched a picture of Justin Bieber by 800%, giving a visual idea of what's happening with the sound:

I'm not sure how everyone will tag this track or how it will appear in the charts next week. When you download it, it comes up as "U Smile Ambient", which is what I've gone with. Attribute it to the artist Shamantis.

Shamantis is 20 year old Nick Pittsinger of Tampa, Florida. From his MySpace: "[He] is an avid musician, composer/songwriter, and producer. He has had intensive jazz music theory training, and continues to push the envelope of sound by incorprating [sic] genres from traditional hindustani music to new and experimental forms of goa and down-tempo."

His track is so good, some very naughty people stole it and put it on their Bandcamp page, claiming it as their own. Fortunately, it looks like that little drama is resolved now. All this in less than 24 hours. Things happen fast on the internet.

2010 is the year of Justin Bieber bashing, with everyone from the bad boys and girls of 4chan onwards getting in on the act. Bashing him is as much a meme as it is a reaction against manufactured teeny pop. Both YouTube and Last.fm suffered Bieber attacks on 4th July, with links and images replaced with porn. Around the same time, cheeky 4chan raced to get Bieber to perform in North Korea, after there was a poll asking fans where they would like him to appear.

In Twitter, he is invariably in the top ten trending topics on a daily basis. Yesterday, Mashable reported that Bieber tweeted his phone number on Saturday. He received 26,000 texts.

Inexplicably, there is also this website: Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Whilst this bashing is going on, there are thousands upon thousands of genuine Bieber fans the world over, mostly children (I presume). One can only wonder at the impact global abuse towards their idol must be having on them. Nobody did this to earlier child stars such as Millie, Little Jimmy Osmond, the young Michael Jackson, Hanson or Britney Spears, for example, at least not to this extent.

Bieber bashing is a unique phenomenon of 2010 and the age of social networking, widely available broadband internet, and the disparity between what the media promotes and what the public wants. It wasn't so long ago that something was advertised and we were conditioned to want it because they said so. With various blockers for the internet and time-shift television, we need not view an advertisement if we don't want to. We are left to make our own decisions and word of mouth counts as much as, if not more than, paid promotion.

It would also be fair to say that this is one of the symptoms of the demise of the music industry and its desperate attempts to rake in money by creating 'paint by numbers' pop bands. There are more bands around today, and more music to listen to, than there ever has been since charts began in the 1950s. This includes everyone from bedroom artists and independents to those signed to major labels.

To my mind, it makes perfect sense that people react strongly when someone, reduced to a 'product', is over-promoted to the point there is no escape. In the past, when mass media amounted to a few channels on television, the press and public radio, if you didn't like something, you turned over or turned the page. Today's mass media tries harder, and the harder it tries, the less we pay attention. I see Bieber bashing as the public's response to the barrage attack from the music industry and his fans alike, who dominate every platform.

Not that I condone bashing anyone, just that I understand it isn't personal to Bieber or any of his fans. It's a reaction against the machine.


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No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - n/a
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Date Added: August 16, 2010
Views: 21,670, Ratings: 888, Comments: 568, Favourited: 915 times

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  • paulnasca

    I am the author of Paulstretch and I am surprised how fast things changes. And I am glad that my software is appreciated and used.

    18 Ago 2010, 10:19
  • Xemper

    Its odd. I've heard songs that have been slowed and stretched before and they didn't sound nearly as elegant as this. Interesting commentary on Bieber bashing as well. P.S. Considering people thought Bieber slowed down 800% sounded like Sigur Rós, one ponderous individual took the Sigur Rós track Svefn-g-englar and sped it up 800% to see if it sounded like Justin Bieber. These were the results.

    18 Ago 2010, 12:56
  • Babs_05

    Xemper, you're so cool! Thanks for the link. Must admit, Sigur Ros wasn't the first artist who came to mind when I first heard U Smile Ambient, but I got what they meant. The others I mentioned are closer, I reckon. What do you think? paulnasca - glad you got first post! Thanks for your comments, both of you.

    18 Ago 2010, 13:17
  • Xemper

    I must admit, it was Sigur Ros' Syndir Guos that came to mind when I first heard it. That crossed with Eno's 2/1. I knows thats being specific, but they're both tracks I love. I don't really know the other artists you mentioned.

    18 Ago 2010, 15:31
  • Babs_05

    A horrible example of the Beiber Barrage, on Twitter just now: http://www.talk2bieber.com/ Basically, he's promising to call one girl a day, every evening at 9pm.

    19 Ago 2010, 3:11
  • IanAR

    Thanks, Babs - I've, duly, connected 'Shamantis' to Streamable Track Wants - Ian

    19 Ago 2010, 17:09
  • rwitte

    (1) Brilliant Article. (2) I enjoyed the music excerpt. (3) In my youth I used to 'bash' 'manufactured acts' and later discovered that, had I stopped to listen to the music, I would have liked some of it. Nowadays I just try to listen to new tracks without preconceptions.

    19 Ago 2010, 19:42
  • Babs_05

    Thanks, rwitte. You should stream the full track, if you have time. It's free download direct from the artist if you want to scrobble it.

    20 Ago 2010, 0:55
  • akrde

    Quite interesting question: Shamantis' slowed-down Bieber: a silent victory for fair use?

    21 Ago 2010, 16:08
  • Babs_05

    Excellent, thank you.

    21 Ago 2010, 18:47
  • Babs_05

    [u]Stats after 7 days:[/u] [i]U Smile Ambient[/i] Last.fm listeners of this track - 15 No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 49 Position in Last 7 Days: 4 / 15 Position in Last 6 Months: n/a [i]USMILEAMBIENT[/i] Last.fm listeners of this track - 36 No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 123 Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 36 Position in Last 6 Months: n/a Video Views: 418,385, Ratings: n/a, Comments: 3,507, Favourited: n/a times

    25 Ago 2010, 0:11
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