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At The Mall Remixes

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Baron Zen

At The Mall Remixes

12" LP

Availability: In stock


Quick Overview

Baron Zen is DIY music that wears its pop influence on its sleeve: covers of Joy Division, Gap Band, Katrina and the Waves, and high-energy disco classic “When I Hear Music” by Debbie Deb play along side Sweet Steve’s originals, many of which are odes to Steve’s frustration of being a hip-hop & disco DJ stuck in suburbia.


Recorded by college friends between 1988 and 1992, Baron Zen's At the Mall sounds, well, a lot like something some music-loving kids would record between 1988 and 1992. The Joy Division, Black Flag, and Dead Milkmen influences are all there, as are the early hip-hop, pop, and even disco ones. It's clearly music made by people who liked a lot of different styles (one of Baron Zen's members, Chris Manak, aka DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, though he doesn't show up on every song on the album -- only Sweet Steve, the band's songwriter and main performer, has that honor -- went on to form the Stones Throw record label), and who have some fun toys (a four-track and drum machine, as well as a keyboard and some guitars) and a lot of free time. The covers of Joy Division's "Walked in Line" and Debbie Deb's "When I Hear Music" (which takes an almost industrial spin, and is actually pretty cool) are unpretentious and catchy, and the original pieces, albeit a little purposeless and messy, are guiltily enjoyable. Which means that although At the Mall isn't a great record, it's still a fun record; it's about having a good time, not taking yourself seriously, hanging out with friends, and simple, fuzzy guitar riffs. No, the musicianship is not mind-blowing, the lyrics are not particularly inventive (an exception being "Shoes," which has Sweet Steve rapping about how he loves the accessory "more than the behind of a female"), and the raw attitude and anger that often define the work of young male artists and make it exciting even when it's lacking in other areas is instead replaced by a more suburban apathetic -- or at least bored -- view of the world, but somehow this renders it all the more charming. It's a glimpse into the life of some college students having fun and making a little fun of themselves and things around them in the process, and it's worth checking out.

Additional Information

Artist Baron Zen
Track Listing Baron Zen Theme (Danny Breaks Remix) Gotta Get Ridda Rick (James Pants Remix) Night In Jail (M-80 Remix) When I Hear Music (J.Rocc Remix) At The Mall (PBW Remix) Money (Arabian Prince Remix) Shoes (Madlib Remix) Burn Rubber (Däm-Funk Remix) Fuckin Bored (Romes Remix) Electronic (Tek Blazer Remix) Walking On Sunshine (Jonny Manak Remix) Turned Around (PBW Remix) No More (Selector Dub U & Tek Blazer Remix) Walked In Line (Blu Jemz Remix) Walked In Line (M-80 Remix)

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