Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 12:13:01 +0000

From: Grant Barrett gbarrett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]JERRYNET.COM

Subject: RE new word? mix

Mix tapes, mixed tapes:

I think what is happening here (if you'll pardon my amateur attempt) is that mix = mixed.

The "x" and the "ed" have collided and the "x" has become the dominant sound.

On the streets of New York club DJs sell mix tapes of dance, techno, pop, salsa, etc.

A good mix matches beats per minute (sometimes slowing it down or speeding it up in a way

that the sounds artful) and segues flawlessly from song to song. Often a jock will make use

of a repeating sample in such a way that the sample is heard on the tape long before the

song it comes from actually begins in order to provide continuity. Songs may not be played

through, or may be repeated, or may be totally sampled and then applied to a new beat

track. The end result is one long song: no breaks, all music.

As you might know, there's a whole cult in it. You find a DJ whose sound you like, and

you buy his tapes, go to the clubs he spins at and recommend him to your friends. The

word mixmaster has been used for these guys, but I don't believe it's universal.

Lynne's right: it's from the rap culture, in turn borrowed from Caribbean dub mixes

from the calypso/ragamuffin/reggae scene. It's complicated.

The other version is a tape you might put together for a friend, like your Dale's kids are

doing. My kith and kin have been doing this as long as I can remember (I'm somewhere

between 25 and 27). You use favorite songs, songs whose titles or lyrics apply to your

relationship or mood, or maybe just songs that you wouldn't mind hearing over and over

on a three-day road trip. It's just a mix of tunes.

Grant Barrett

Dialect Dilettante