Pogo – Lead Breakfast (‘Pulp Fiction’ Remix): That’s a Tasty Remix! (http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=F7Ad1AuHriI) Nick Bertke, aka Pogo, is an Australian electronic music producer and remixer who specializes in remixing movies in both audio and video ways. Extracting specific sound effects from the movies to create beats, and chopping dialogues to create vocals for his songs, Pogo always succeeds at creating a new interesting piece out of old material.
This particular remix, titled “Lead Breakfast”, explores the universe of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, using scenes from the movie in which appear gunshots, the sound of a lighter, briefcase slammed on a table for the rhythm and legendary quotes such as “This is a tasty burger! ” and “Say what again! ” to connect it all and form a new message. Throughout his work, Pogo shows that music is everywhere and that one can create music by rearranging and tweaking sounds that are originally meant for narration, to which he adds his own samples to create harmony.
The video adds another dimension to the remix, first providing the viewer with indications about the sources of the audio generated, but also by serving to emphasize how the remixer defines the character through repetition of key moments. For example, the briefcase he indefinitely swirls around defines John Travolta’s character, and drugs, alcohol, and guns define Uma Thurman’s character. RiP: A Remix Manifesto presents how culture always builds on the past. Indeed this video remix presents elements of the movie to create something new.
Through remixing Pulp Fiction, Pogo is building on past experiences to build a new atmosphere, carrying a new meaning and intentions. For example the drum pattern and atmosphere noises are arranged in an interesting way. They respect rules established by music, and belong to a genre of music, governed by rules. Pogo’s remix also reminds the listener of Moby’s Matrix Theme by featuring similar drum patterns and atmosphere vibes, symbolized by the guards walking backward in a circle in the remix.
The fact that they sound similar is maybe not intended, as nothing in the video remix makes any connection to Moby or Matrix, which shows how the rules governing music are adapted through our exposure to culture, and how past culture influences the work of new artists. Therefore, the same way that culture always builds on the past, Pogo builds on past pieces to create something completely new and unique, which mashes previously encountered works to form a processed product. McLuhan, in The Medium is the Massage, argues that different messages can come from the same technology.
In this video remix of Pulp Fiction, Pogo exploits this concept portrayed by McLuhan in order to contrast with the movie and create different meanings out of the same images. Pogo creates a drum kit made of objects from the movie in order to alter their meaning. For example, when Uma Thurman’s character is cutting the heroin with a credit card, mistaking it for cocaine. The credit card, which usually symbolizes money transfers, is here used in a pattern of repetition to create an off-beat rhythm, essentially representing the role of hi-hats in modern music.
Pogo here shows, using McLuhan’s argument, that objects can send different messages. In this musical piece case, the credit card sends the message of the role it is attributed through music; it becomes a tool that adds groove to the piece. In the same way, John Travolta’s character hitting on the briefcase with his hand produces a hard and round noise, representing the kick. According to the same concept, the briefcase now represents the guiding motion that sets the pace of the piece.
The drums in this remix represents key ideas from the movie, the briefcase and the credit card, which is associated with drugs in general due to its use at the precise moment. Pogo is saying that the ideas he is using to create the drums are the important ideas of the movie that set the rhythm of the Pulp Fiction story. In order to continue this description of the movie through essential themes, Pogo then attempts to describe the principal characters of the movie through themes and concepts.
According to McLuhan in The Medium is the Massage, a medium actually contains its own message; expanding on the meaning of technology by stating that it is related to the patterns it produces. For example, a powered light bulb creates light, the light allows people to see, and therefore an extended meaning of the light bulb is to allow people to see. In the part of the remix when Uma Thurman’s character is dancing on one side of the screen and images rotate on the left, Pogo is trying to associate key concepts to define her character in a simple way. Three shots rotate, portraying a gun, a needle, and alcohol.
In order to define her character, one must think about the significance of these objects. According to the principles presented by Mc Luhan, one should ask the question: “What is the extended application of those objects? What do they represent? ”. The needles represents heroin, drugs, and has for application to inject the product, with its extended application being to get someone high. The alcohol represents drinking, whiskey, and has for extended application to get someone drunk. The revolver symbolizes guns, shooting, killing, and has for extended application to destroy.
Here, Pogo links these three concepts in order to show how, in his opinion this character is defined by alcohol, drug, and guns, meaning she is driven by getting drunk, high, and destruction. Other characters are defined by several concepts throughout the video remix, such as Samuel Lee Jackson’s character, portrayed by the repeating image of the burger, the shootings and the foul language. John Travolta’s character, defined by the recurring image of the milkshake and of the dance, Pogo appears to picture him as a less violent or destructive character than the other two previously portrayed.
In this video remix, Nick Bertke, aka Pogo, uses sounds and voices from the movie Pulp Fiction to show what he considers to be the principal elements of the movie and the principal characteristics of the characters. Pogo provides an entertaining video remix that excels in musicality and in visual esthetic and that provides a preview to the main points of a movie, just like a trailer would. Extracting specific sound effects from the movies to create beats, and chopping dialogues to create vocals for his songs, Pogo succeeds at creating a new interesting piece out of old material.
This particular remix also shows how he exploits the rules of music, video, and remixing that he learned through experience and exploits in a not-always-voluntary manner. The number three also appears to be an important number exploited in this remix as three principal characters are defined by three principal characteristics. Under that lens, one could argue that Pogo is trying to say something about Tarentino’s intentions in the making of the third movie he directed. Pogo shows his mastery at music producing, video editing and at the art of remixing, and transmits interesting messages while remaining ntertaining. Throughout his work, Pogo shows that music is everywhere and that one can create music by rearranging and tweaking sounds that are originally meant for narration, to which he adds his own samples to create harmony. There is no doubt that Pogo’s work idealizes and enhances the concepts explained by McLuhan in The Medium is the Massage and in Rip! : A Remix Manifesto in order to earn his place in the remix culture. The originality, the message, and the quality of entertainment make of this piece a tasty remix! References Bertke, N. (2012). Pogo – Lead Breakfast (‘Pulp Fiction’ Remix).
Retrieved May 3, 2013, from http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=F7Ad1AuHriI Gaylor, B. , Aung-Thwin, M. , Baulu, K. , Wong, G. Y. G. , Kinosmith Inc. (Firm), Eyesteelfilm (Firm), & National Film Board of Canada. (2009). Rip! : A remix manifesto. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada. McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding comics: the invisible art. New York: HarperPerennial. McLuhan, M. & Fiore, Q. (2003). The medium is the massage: an inventory of effects. Toronto: Penguin Canada. National Geographic. (2011). Complete photography. Washington D. C. : National Geographic Society.