Mark Ronson Brings the Fuzz - Rolling Stone
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Mark Ronson Brings the Fuzz

Jack White, Sean Paul, Rivers Cuomo guest on debut album

“The idea was to make the ultimate party record from start to
finish, almost like you had a little DJ in your living room,” says
Mark Ronson of his first album Here Comes the Fuzz, which
hits record stores August 26th. To nail down that party vibe, the
New York DJ tapped an all-star lineup of guests, including Mos Def,
Jack White, ?uestlove, Tweet, Sean Paul, Nikka Costa, Ghostface
Killa, Nappy Roots and Rivers Cuomo.

Ronson has been playing in rock bands since high school, DJing
on New York’s club circuit since college, and producing since his
early twenties. His stepfather is Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones,
and he’s engaged to Rashida Jones, daughter of Quincy. That
background makes for an eclectic mix of styles on the album. “It
touches on a lot of genres,” he says. “There’s a lot of hip-hop, a
little bit of rock, some disco, some funk, some dancehall reggae. I
could never make a focused record, because I’d be like, ‘This beat
is really dope or funky, but lemme add some fuzzed-out, weird
guitar shit.”

Speaking of, teaming Jack White with Nikka Costa and Freeway
might strike some rock fans as strange, but not Ronson. After
seeing the White Stripes at Radio City Music Hall, Ronson sent
White an untitled song he was working on. “He happened to really
like it,” Ronson says. “He laid down three takes of guitar the
whole way through and sent it back to me. There’s a part at the
beginning of the song when Jack is screaming in the guitar pick-up
‘Here comes the fuzz! Here comes the fuzz!’ I guess he was like,
‘Fuck it — that’s the name of the song.’ It’s cool. It sounds
really dirty and Beastie Boys-ish.”

The majority of the record was recorded over the past year in
New York, where the guests could contribute on their way through
town. “Sean Paul was really fun to work with,” says Ronson, who got
an up-close view of the dancehall star’s rise to stardom. “When we
started, ‘Gimme the Light’ was kind of getting big in New York, the
second time it was on the countdown on BET, and the third time he
was signed to Atlantic Records and ‘Gimme the Light’ was in the Top
Ten.”

“A lot of the time I get the opportunity to work with these guys
and I’m so intimidated,” Ronson continues. “Most people on the
record I’ve been a super fan of for like ten years, like Ghostface,
Rivers, Q-Tip. It was crazy getting these people on my own tracks.
When Ghostface called me I saved the message for two weeks.”

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