Interview: Andrew Dickson wants 2 complete your collection(s)

Last week a link started floating around to DL the entirety of Lil B’s myspace tracks. Notoriously, B made over 100 profiles and filled them each with a few based freestyles. The 2.5 GB, 676 track, multipart collection (and 20 page tracklist)wasn’t compiled by the based god himself though- it is the work of an obsessive completist and digital archivist named Andrew Dickson. I found Dickson on twitter and quickly realized that his myspace collection wasn’t the first, or even the most ambitious of his archival projects. What drives fandom like this? Why share with the world a prized collection that any Master Chef would be proud of? I hit him with some questions to find out.

T: What other completist type zip folders have you created/curated and posted?

D: I’ve made quite a few and the majority of them are collections of compilation & remix tracks. The only time I ever thought someone would be interested, however, was for my first Hip Hop-related one (a Jay Electronica compilation). The first one ever made was for Aphex Twin, but I’ve done them for (as you said) Lil Wayne, Animal Collective, The Velvet Underground and a few others.

T: Why do this sort of work? How do you understand this sort of archive – when obviously anyone could spend hours dling and parsing through the internet. part of the joy for master chefs seems to be chasing down and completing things themselves, ie spending a lot of time on hulkshare and maybe even arguing numbers re: releases/unreleased leaked whatever based tracks.

D: The initial reasoning is always because I want to complete my own personal collection for whatever artist happens to be the focus. I have quite an organized, lengthy collection of music, and the primary focus in acquiring music has always been ‘the studio album’. As I get more into a band, I want to really hear everything they put out, and I normally spend some time searching and researching just where their material has all gone – normally there are loads of studio tracks that were never officially released on an album. Rather than just downloading a bunch of separate .mp3s, I try to compile and organize them where-ever possible. The idea of sharing them with the internet came from the idea that I’m pretty sure most fans wouldn’t mind one, well-sourced download for, say, all of Lil B’s rare myspace tracks. I completely understand the joy that comes with ‘searching’ for secret tracks, but I also understand that in the future, many of these will be lost. Thinking on it now, I guess you could say future fans of an artist would benefit the most from a time like this. Look at Harry Smith’s collection – after the depression, all this old folk music was lost and the only reference any one had was his collection of 78” records.

Hit the jump for a grip of DL links and the rest of the interview

T: Do you live a based life?

I was living a based life before I even knew what based was, I just didn’t really have an awesome name for it like he did. Lil B’s ‘based’ philosophy, I think, really echoes a lot of Eastern Culture, and you can hear this in some of his music.

T: Are you altering the meta-data when you make a collection?

D: I always remove every tag when organizing mp3s, but I go to great efforts to try and find the “correct” / “artist-intended” track names, year of release, original album art, and anything else that may apply. If the goal is to archive, then to incorrectly alter is not option.

T: What are your plans for future collections?

D: I’m presently working on the third in a four-volume series of Lil Wayne mixtapes. I’m collecting all his featured verses, and volume three focuses on his some of the craziest featured verses ever from 2006-2007. My friend wants me to do one for Soulja Boy (shout-out to @PlenTeahoes on Twitter) and I’m always open to requests for any artist (of any genre).

T: What are you in school for?

D: I’m going for Public Relations, but the school I’m at (shout-out to RMU!) has a lot of creative options on the side. I’m very much into writing and the like, so that works out very nicely.

T: What is your methodology for completing these, ie where are you finding all the tracks… and any sense on how long- say- it took you to get a copy of every wayne verse from 2k-2k5?

D: It definitely takes a good amount of time. Honestly, when I’m doing a project like this, I have no conception of time. I put on my headphones, play an awesome album, and take on a project. On one hand it gives me something to do to completely focus my attention on the music without getting bored, and I’m actually contributing to my personal collection too. The only reason I say all of that is because I just get into this mental zone where “I can’t stop till this is done”. So I definitely remember it taking a good amount of effort, compiling all the tracks, editing the tracks down to just his verses, finding the information on the songs, getting the tags right, getting album art done, posting it, responding to feedback/criticisms/flaws within the tracks…I’d say that’s a bare-bones process.


D: “I actually have amassed quite a decent collection of personal mixtapes. Some of these work best with the rest of said artist’s collection in my personal library, but I’m sure anyone could find enjoyment in these. Album art is typically self-made or an altered image for the mixes. Also, I’m dangerously close to completing a “Featuring Wiz Khalifa” mixtape. I’ll try to go chronologically in terms of which ones I made first:

Aphex Twin – Compilation & Remix Tracks – These are a series of Aphex tracks that only appeared on other releases, and tracks that are not on here were on 26 Mixes For Cash/Other Aphex Twin releases. If they are then they are expanded versions on these tracks below.

Download link:

Album Title Track Name
Ambient 4 – Isolationism Aphex Airlines
Artificial Intelligence II My Teapot
Mealtime Bummy
Or Some Computer Music Perc #6 Exclusives Brivert & Muons Exclusives BOXENERGY4REMIX1
Rephlexions! An Album Of Braindance! Mangle 11 (Circuit Bent V.I.P. Mix)
Secret Tracks 2 Phlid
Taking Liberties Phlaps
The Braindance Coincidence Normal (Helston Flora Remix By AFX)
The New Pollution Richard’s Hairpiece
The Philosophy Of Sound And Machine n.IASP
Trance Europe Express 3 Cunt
Twist And Turn Sand Lowe (The Polygon Window Remix)
We Are Reasonable People Freeman (Hardy & Willis Acid)
Who Do You Think You Are? Who Do You Think You Are? (Quex-Ed)
Who Do You Think You Are? Your Head My Voice (Voix Revirement)
Wipeout Pure Official Soundtrack Naks Acid
Zereos & Ones Zeroes & Ones (Aphex Twin Reconstruction Mix #1)
Zereos & Ones Zeroes & Ones (Aphex Twin Reconstruction Mix #2)
Tracks from Rare & Unreleased, an “album” floating around on P2P that may be faked, bootlegged or actually real tracks from Aphex
Gabbro Rod Fix
Outside Kick Ass Violin Solo
Polygon Window
Aphex Twin Vs. Luke Vibert
Polygon Window (Dirty Motel Mix)
Come To Daddy (Richard Devine Remix)
Breathe (Like An Aphex Twin)
Asylum (Aphex Twin Remix)
Autumn Acid (Aphex Twin Remix)
Coal In, Ghost Out
Terminator 3 Theme
Windowlicker (Kriece Mix)

The Velvet Underground – After Hours – a bunch of really rare compilation appears and then the songs that the velvet underground worked on for nico’s album

1.) I’m Not A Young Man Anymore (Live)
2.) Follow The Leader (Live)
3.) Over You (Live)
4.) Sweet Bonnie Brown (Live)
5.) I Love You
6.) Love Makes You Feel Ten Feet Tall
7.) Little Sister
8.) Winter Song
9.) It Was A Pleasure Then
10.) Chelsea Girls\
11.) Wrap Your Trouble In Dreams
12.) Loop
13.) Noise

Jay Electronica – Dimethyltryptamine (at a certain point this contained every song he had done that had not appeared on a mixtape)

jay eelc tracklist

Animal Collective – Compilation & Remix Tracks

Compilation Tracks:
1.) Forest Children Risen (2001)
2.) In The City That Reads (2002)
3.) The Kite (2004)
4.) Seeing Twinkles (2005)
5.) Oi Bori Sujie (Animal Collective Vs. Kočani Orkestar Remix) (2006)
6.) Little Bird (Animal Collective Remix) (2008)
7.) Mirando (Animal Collective Remix) (Feb 2009)
8.) Zero (Animal Collective Remix) (April~ 2009)
9.) Love Like A Sunset (Animal Collective Remix / Deakin’s Jam) (Oct~ 2009)
10.) Welt Am Draht (Animal Collective Remix) (2010)
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Avey Tare – Compilation Songs

1.) Judy Biworker
2.) I’m Your Eagle Kisser

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Every Lil Wayne Guest Verse from 1995-199
Wayne 95-99 Tracklist
Every Lil’ Wayne Guest Verse from 2000-2005
Wayne Tracklist

The Rolling Stones – U.S. Rarities (collection of every song that did not appear on a UK album or elsewhere originally, for those of us who believe the UK albums to be the ‘real’ studio albums of the stones)

1.) Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Short Version)
2.) One More Try
3.) Look What You’ve Done
4.) Blue Turns To Grey
5.) Out Of Time (Short Version)
6.) My Girl
7.) Ride On, Baby
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The Beatles – Past Masters: Volume Three (for those of us who prefer mono mixes in general, this collection presents significant stereo mixes and the original Yellow Submarine Mono Mix EP)
beatles tracklist
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M.I.A. – Extra! (bonus tracks and comp appearances that have appeared on her albums throughout the years)

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jj – jj n° 0

1.) Pure Shores (Track A5 on jj n° 2 — limited Vinyl edition)
2.) Baby (Track 2 A2 on a jj 12″ ep)
3.) The Truth (Track 2 B2 on a jj 12″ ep)
4.) I Know (Track B4 on jj n° 3 — limited Vinyl edition)
5.) Let Them (Track 1 on Let Them single)
6.) My Way (Track 2 on Let Go / My Way single)
7.) 5 Minuter Med jj (Track 1 on 5 Minuter Med jj single)
8.) ceo Birthday (Track 1 on ceo Birthday single)

Salem Cover
Salem – Rarities

1.) Snakes
2.) Deepburn
3.) Dirt
4.) Water
5.) Skullcrush
6.) Whenusleep
7.) OhK
8.) Sweat (I)
9.) Legend

1-3 from Yes I Smoke Crack EP, 2008
4-6 from Water EP, January 2009
7-8 from OhK 7″, April 2009
9 from Frost 7″, September 2009