Bootleg is one of my favorite words in the English language. Its etymological roots stem from alcohol smugglers in the late 1800’s hiding bottles in their boots. There have been few cooler professions EVER than rum smuggler. Those fools got creative.
In the musical sense, a bootleg is a track that is unauthorized by the rights holders. So if I bring my sneaky recording device into the Kanye show and get his screaming rants on tape, that’s a bootleg. Who hasn’t watched a bootleg kung-fu movie where its like five guys smoking cigarettes and laughing between the camera and the TV that’s being recorded.
After Mediafire got shut down, and in light of the general tightening of cyberspace freedom, every time I find a bootleg is a celebration. It implies that the artist who legally owns the material isn’t a huge douche, and is not taking legal action against some bedroom producer who won’t make any money of the track anyway.
Active Child is a group that makes their money off their music and touring. They would have justifiable grounds to scrub the internet clean of any unauthorized remixes, and yet they don’t.
They don’t because the remixes in fact broaden their fan base. The original “Hanging On” is a bomb track, and well worth a listen. But it is not necessarily what the kids are listening to these days. The Chrome Wolves bootleg, however, matches up to the infatuation with beat driven music, and opens an entire new audience up to Active Child’s sounds.
It’s a win-win. Or, a win-win-win, because we get to jam out to this phatty bootleg.