Mark Ronson and Madlib have utilized samples to create big hits for Bruno Mars, Lizzo, MF Doom, and Freddie Gibbs, but their latest project draws from a more unlikely source of inspiration. The artists have teamed with the Coca-Cola Company for a seven-track EP of original music made from the sounds of the soda giant’s bottle recycling process.
“From the percussion of a forklift beeping to the tonal beat of a conveyor belt to the hi-hat of air blown into a plastic bottle, the EP brings to life the magic of multiple reuses,” Coca-Cola said in a statement of the EP, which is the first release on its Recycled Records imprint. The initiative is tied to the transition of Sprite, Fresca, and Seagram’s from their familiar green to more environmentally friendly clear packaging.
In addition, fans can utilize the same sound library from which Ronson and Madlib drew to make their own tracks using “an interactive digital beat machine.” A short documentary has also been made about the creation of the EP, hosted by rapper MC Lyte. The film “draws a clear connection between the heritage and spirit of music sampling and the closed loop recycling process,” per Coca-Cola.
“Sampling is an art form which is constantly regenerating,” Ronson says. “The tiniest sound, whether from an old record or from the world around us, can inspire an entire piece of music. I learnt from my heroes, DJ Premier and Q-Tip, who all made incredible albums from sampling, and it’s stayed an integral part of my work up until today.”
Adds Madlib, who was recently seen DJing during Black Star’s Saturday Night Live performance, “a great sample doesn’t have to come from other music, it just has to make you move. The thud of a plastic bottle going through a recycling facility is, in its own way, a piece of art, it has the ability to transform. Being able to take sounds from the recycling process that are so different from what I’ve used in the past, and flipping it into a whole new format, is a great example of the versatility of sound. Now any cat has the opportunity to make some dope sounds of their own.”