Download Elliott Smith’s Forgotten EDM Demos (Yes, Really)


Way back in 1997 when Elliott Smith recorded the Oscar-nominated “Miss Misery,” he and ex-Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty were recording three songs that sliced Smith’s vocals over–wait for it–electronic beats. Doughty posted the tracks (“The Record,” “Dogs,” and “Burn (Aah Fuck)”) today under his UUL guise. Give them a listen after the jump.

According to Doughty, the tracks were recorded at L.A.’s Sunset Sound Factory while Smith was working on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack. Doughty found the tapes in November 2013 and says they’re presented in their intended form. He gave some background about the sessions to Pitchfork:

He was in L.A. for some reason. He said, “Oh, I’m doing this thing for this movie.” That’s what he said and it was Good Will Hunting… He downplayed it. He was kind of like, “Ehh, I can’t believe I’m doing this thing.” But I think he was just cool kids-ing it. You know, because he thought I’d be like, “Oh, that’s so lame, dude. It’s a fucking movie.” But I wouldn’t have said anything like that ever.

But anyway, so I just wanted to do something with him. I didn’t wanna do something– you know, a rock collaboration would always end up just somebody doing a backing vocal and you’d be like, “Yeah, well, if you listen really closely, you can hear J Mascis.” Whereas in hip-hop music– first of all, I have to say, we don’t claim that we were running in hip-hop circles; it was just my obsession– someone would come in and do a verse. They would have their own part of the song.

So I was trying to figure out how to do this and what we ended up doing was he just came down to the studio and sat in front of a binaural head. A binaural head– I don’t know if they look different now, but in the late 90s they were grey foam sculptures of a human head with a bone structure and a brow and a nose on it for facial features, with two specialized microphones in each earhole, and when you would listen back to it, it would just be an incredibly realistic stereo effect. really like if you record a street scene and if you close your eyes and have headphones on, you would seem submerged in the street scene. So we sat in down in front of this ludicrous device and he sang two songs, and the idea was I was gonna figure something to do over it and I didn’t have anything good, but I have these a cappella versions. I wish I knew where I put them…

Yeah, it’s a lot to digest, but it’s true. Go ahead and download all three songs below. If you’re hungry for a few less-EDM tracks instead, check out our staff tribute list to Elliott Smith.

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