Codpaste podcast on WFMU

This is the archive page of People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz’s podcast “Codpaste”. Playlists and archives can be accessed indefinitely at  The album Rhapsody in Glue is now available for FREE download at UbuWeb.

Please read on…

Episode 1 – 3rd December 2007 – Cartoon Music
Vicki and Ergo ride their little bicycles with square wheels and honky hooters and tell you about their love of this funny music. Features, amongst others, the music of Carl Stalling, Roger Roger and BBC Radiophonic Workshop, all collaged with conversation and ridiculously pointless repetitions.

Episode 2 – 10th December 2007 – The Chase
Ergo and Vicki show you how fast they can juggle without dropping everything, or at least make very fast music. They play you some of their very favourite speedy rhythms, generally all at the same time, then when it’s finished they start it all over again. Features amongst others, different versions of William Tell Overture and Hungarian Rhapsody, and also the misc of Spike Jones, The Comedian Harmonists and Offenbach.

Episode 3 – 17th December 2007 – Hooked On Classics
In which Vicki and Ergo revisit the 1970’s phenomenon of Hooked On Classics, classical cover versions as well as all things light, orchestral and popular. Features a medley of the best of this fine mulch of classical music with a disco beat, as well as some tangential visits to the world of amateur orchestras. Features Portsmouth Sinfonia, The Swingle Singers, John Oswald and Wendy Carlos, amongst others.

Episode 4 – 24th December 2007 – ThEdit
All about the wonderful world of editing and cutting up of sounds. Ergo and Vicki talk about their favourite editors of life, and demonstrate how one can mess up sound so easily and to such good effect. Features the work of William Burroughs, Negativland, Language Removal Services and cut ups of BBC Radio.

Episode 5 – 31st December 2007 – Fwms Bo Wo
Features some of the best explorers of sound poetry, and general transformers of the spoken word. Is this nonsense? Is it music? Are we serious? Ultimately we don’t know but we really enjoy it, and this is a fun introduction to a kind of audio art that all too often is alienating. Features, amongst others, the work of Jaap Blonk, Leif Elggren & Thomas Liljenberg, Christian Bok and Stanley Unwin.

Episode 6 – 7th January 2008 – Snow Day
People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz examine their obsessions with the classical piece Troika (Sleigh Ride), Queen, Rod McKuen and songs about the weather, plus Vicki tries to mix Mrs Miller with B.J.Thomas and wonders why it didn’t turn out too well.

Episode 7 – 14th January 2008 – Banjos, Pots, Pans and Squeezeboxes
In which Vicki and Ergo discuss the combination of sampling, live instrumentation and voices. Features Wendy Carlos, Sun Ra and Esquivel, amongst others.

Episode 8 – 21st January 2008 – Collage
When does it stop being completely isolated from the rest of the universe and step into the world of collage, adding another patch to the huge quilt of sounds that have gone before? People Like Us “start at the very beginning” and try to find out. Features sounds from Noah Creshevsky, DJ Earlybird, Brion Gysin and Kid Koala, amongst many others.

Episode 9 – 28th January 2008 – I Can’t Tell A Waltz From A Tango
Can you? Vicki and Ergo offer a masterclass in the key of E Minor on all things that you can’t dance to. Features the swinging sounds of Percy Faith, Charles Barlow & His Orchestra, Johann Strauss II and Ferrante & Teicher.

Episode 10 – 4th February 2008 – Nana Mouskouri
Why on earth is it called this? Well, this episode is all about those themes and songs that are just so catchy that we just keep returning to them. Includes such delights as Bert Kaempfert, Lenny Dee, The Swingle Singers, The Comedian Harmonists, and of course Nana Mouskouri.

Episode 11 – 11th February 2008 – Sing Song
In which Ms. Us and Mr. Phizmiz play all their favourite songs and think about how artists fit in with the world of popular music, almost by accident at times. Features, amongst others, the fabulous works of Noel Coward, Winifred Atwell, The Ronettes and Xper. Xr.

Episode 12 – 18th February 2008 – Comedy
Funny ha ha or funny peculiar, either way, we love that music with a sense of humour, a sense of the surreal and absurd. Vicki and Ergo reflect on the aftermath of chancing a visit to a village hall full of leaping lederhosen. Listen to, amongst others, Mary Schneider, Liszt, The Goons and a bunch of WFMU DJs.

Episode 13 – 10th March 2008 – Easy Listening
No, don’t switch off, you like it really, don’t you. Easy Listening, it’s nice. Hear the beautiful noises of Glen Campbell, Esquivel, Nelson Riddle and Martin Denny.

Episode 14 – 17th March 2008 – Finale – and at the WFMU blog
The final podcast of Codpaste – a 96 minute mix of the best of the show, which when we play it back, we’re quite amazed at how much we fitted into this series in such a short space of time.

What it’s all about

“Codpaste” is a weekly podcast series in which the two artists People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz will attempt to compose collage music from the very beginning, in a “work in progress” style, attempting to open up the creative process.  The theory is that it is rare to see compositions made from the outset, and usually the audience are only invited in once the piece is finished, done and dusted. It could be that new light may be shed on the creation of art if the curtains are opened and the audience are given access to the raw, the imperfect and the wrong as well as the polished and the finished. This is what we hope anyway!

From 3rd December 2007 WFMU will be hosting the podcasts of: (i) audio sources, the tracks used as the basis for the collage in the episode, (ii) sketches, mixes and collages combining track’s elements, with added instrumentation, electronics, vocals, etc, and (iii) fragments, layers, and multitracks of the collage compositions.  These elements will be tied together by snippets of light-hearted, tangential conversations and introductions and occasional mental overload and verbal meltdown.

The previous collaboration “Boots!” experimented with combining free digital downloading with more traditional formats and forms of distribution (record and CD through record stores), and came to the conclusion that the “gift economy” does work – with evidence of increased mail order sales and reports from stores hosting the record that customers also bought things at the same time.  As a result, we will compile these weekly programmes into a mp3 album of the same name (“Codpaste”), taking selections of the free podcasts, shaping them into a finished pod-album format, for sale on iTunes. Once the project is completed, all elements will be hosted in perpetuum at WFMU’s Free Music Archive, allowing the good work to continue once the artists are done with it!

It is a rare and new thing to be making work-in-progress in front of an audience – and hopefully will prove to be both fun and an inspiration for artist and listener (and ultimately listener as remixer), and a vital exploration of unique ways of making work in a market more than saturated with products.

Background on the collaboration

Since 2002 People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz have collaborated on a number of compositional projects; including a radio show, two albums and two live performances; “Boots!” and “Screen Play”.  “Screen Play” was a live soundtrack for Christian Marclay’s film of the same name, performed as part of the Wire 25 celebrations in London in November 2007. “Boots!”, a year-long project (2006-2007), was presented online as a free downloadable 5-hour long archive (at UbuWeb), including compositional elements dissected into component parts, demonstrating creative processes that led to finished works, making it remixable by downloader.  The project received radio play on BBC Radio, Channel 4 Radio – plus 450 subscribers to our subsequent 10″ record – “Honeysuckle Boulevard”, and an additional 200 who were too late to participate.

You can subscribe to People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz’s other solo podcasts, also on WFMU, at DO or DIY with People Like Us and The Phuj Phactory with Ergo Phizmiz.

Codpaste timeline

July 2007 – So it begins: collecting sound sources and visual material, discussing structure, audio collaboration begins
The simultaneous collecting and making of work.  The podcasts will to go out as the artists are making the work, so that the outlet is time sensitive to the creation.  The creating and outputting will be going on throughout the following stages until completion in March 2008.

3rd December 2007 – Weekly podcasts begin on WFMU
A weekly podcast will go out at the same time each week – subscribe through, with playlists and other information added both on this website and also

March 2008 – Develop the material into an album
The artists will steer the collaborative material in the direction of it being collated in “album” form.  So in other words, this timeline contains a number of simultaneous and overlapping events – the making of material, outputting and collating.

May 2008 – Releasing the album plus hosting elements on WFMU’s Free Music Archive
The album, entitled “Rhapsody in Glue” is now available at! Watch this space for bonus tracks which will be hosted at WFMU’s Free Music Archive shortly!

15 May 2008 – Rhapsody in Glue – digital album release

Following the success of the critically acclaimed “Perpetuum Mobile” CD of 2007, renowned UK collagists / composers People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz reunite for “Rhapsody in Glue”, a cycle of bricolage-ballet-music, skewed-waltzes, and skewiff-pop.
There is a story behind every album, and with “Rhapsody in Glue” we find a unique approach to constructing a record. Both long-term contributors to New York radio station WFMU, People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz decided to publicly tear apart their respective practices and create an album “in the open”, presenting on a seafood-filled-platter the process of collaborative collage composition – informally discussing and jabbering nonsense to one another, resulting in the “Codpaste” free podcast series. “Rhapsody in Glue” is the culmination of the ideas explored in the podcast series.

“Rhapsody in Glue” continues in the bizarre ballroom vein of their previous efforts together, however, increasing the sonic palette into textural depths previously uncharted in their work. If “Carmic Waltz” is an expressionist painting by aged ballroom dance teacher who’s eaten the wrong kind of mushrooms in her soufflé, then “Gary’s Anatomy” is a slice of pure absurdist pop shot through with slabs of exotica and Ethel Merman. Recurring through the record is an apparent obsession with Prokofiev’s “Troika (Sleigh Ride)”, which merges and mashes with Burt Bacharach and Queen on “Snow Day”‘ and lapses into pure fantasy on the almost entirely acoustic “Withers in the Whist”, jarring with Ergo’s strange, Victoriana obsessed lyrics. Then on “Dancing in the Carmen” we discover what happens if Nana Mouskouri is thrown into a pot with Peggy Lee and let simmer for 10 minutes, whilst “In The Waking” shimmers along on multitracked guitars, meandering melodies, and music boxes.

Rhapsody in Glue is available exclusively at budget price from

3 June 2008 – Digital Single derived from Codpaste on the WFMU Blog

We are pleased to announce two brand new downloadable tracks from People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz, available to the web exclusively from WFMU’s Free Music Archive and Beware of the Blog. The Music to Run Fast By digital 7” is based around the idea of “The Chase”, where Vicki and Ergo sourced from and collaged as many fast moving sounds as they could possibly think of! This music was originally conceived for a live soundtrack to Christian Marclay’s film “Screen Play“, performed by WFMU’s delightful duo in London last year. It was then developed into “The Chase” episode of their “Codpaste” podcast on WFMU.

If you own a horse then do take this on your ipod next time you go out for a trot.
Download the mp3s at the WFMU Blog or at UbuWeb

Teaching Pack

We have produced a teaching pack to accompany the Codpaste series, in pdf form. Don’t forget you don’t need to subscribe now the series is over – just go to to listen along with this!
Download the pdf here (30mb)
Creative Commons License
Codpaste – Peaching Tack by People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at

This project is supported by Arts Council England and WFMU.

click on thumbnails for larger downloads ONLY use for joint advertisements for both artists


Using the internet and file sharing as our primary means of communication and collaboration, People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz have produced this material over a period of almost a year (Spring-Winter 2006-7).

These recordings document a collaborative research and development process using live performance (with vintage dansette turntables and vinyl dubplates), a CDr album ("Boots!"), a 10" vinyl record ("Honeysuckle Boulevard"), and a CD album ("Perpetuum Mobile").The files available here constitute the research, CDr, and the live performance. The concert is represented by an edit from that which was recorded through the mixing desk and miked up record players, a full unedited microphone recording, and an archive of the tracks which were used on the vinyl dubplates – comprising music from the research period split across various records either through splits in time (so one minute of the track may play on one deck, the next three minutes on another player, etc) or through splits in the actual layers on the tracks (so two or more records playing simultaneously would create the "full" track).


Concert – video edit

Sketches For Boots
Summer 2006

Composed 2006 as R+D for live performance, CD, Honeysuckle Boulevard 10″ Record, and Perpetuum Mobile CD (released 23 April 2007).
1. Domino
2. La Ronde
3. Erotic Ballroom Dream of Bill
4. Last Tango in Parish – Cumshot
5. Bloody Waltz
6. A Cup of Cha Cha Cha
7. Honeysuckle Roads
8. Let’s Dance with Charlie’s Loop
9. Mack
10. Puppet
11. Roy Fucks
12. Singing Lesson
13. Song For Babs
14. Sorry
15. Perpetuum (First Try)
16. Fruity Peter
17. Bed Music (Boopy Doop Doop Scoop)
18. Honeysuckle Ideas
19. Last Tango in Parish
20. Air Hostess
21. Balromulus Machinus
22. Spanked Latin
23. Tiny Mambo
24. Mambobela Rmx with Felix Kubin

Dubplates from “Boots!” Performance
Summer 2006

In which tracks from research are torn apart for live recomposition, then pressed to vinyl dubplates
1. Crying Man
2. Enoch the Drummer 01
3. Enoch the Drummer 02
4. Fat Henry’s Mambo 01
5. Fat Henry’s Mambo 02
6. Gunshot 01
7. Gunshot 02
8. Harpo’s Ambient Love Groove
9. Harpo Boulevard 01
10. Harpo Boulevard 02
11. Harpo Segue
12. Hollers 01
13. Hollers 02
14. Hollers 03
15. Hollers 04
16. Hollers 05
17. Hollers 06
18. Honeysuckle Rose & Perpetuum Mobile 01
19. Honeysuckle Rose & Perpetuum Mobile 02
20. Honks
21. Instruments of the Orchestra 01
22. Instruments of the Orchestra 02
23. Instruments of the Orchestra 03
24. Instruments of the Orchestra 04
25. Mack The What 01
26. Mack the What 02
27. Merry Go Loop
28. Merry Go Round 01
29. Merry Go Round 02
30. Oh No Not Another Cha Cha 01
31. Oh No Not Another Cha Cha 02
32. Oh No Not Another Cha Cha Segue
33. Parp 01
34. Parp 02
35. Parp 03
36. Perpetuum Mobile 01
37. Perpetuum Mobile 02
38. Sad Waltz Because His Dog Died – Solo Flute
39. Sad Waltz Because His Dog Died – Solo Sax 01
40. Sad Waltz Because His Dog Died – Solo Sax 02
41. Sad Waltz Because His Dog Died
42. Singing Lesson A
43. Singing Lesson B
44. Singing Lesson Solo 01
45. Singing Lesson Solo 02
46. Sit Well Back 01
47. Sit Well Back 02
48. Sorry 01
49. Sorry 02
50. Sorry Extra
51. Stalling Samples 01
52. Stalling Samples 02
53. Stalling Samples 03
54. Stalling Samples 04
55. Stalling Samples 05
56. Stalling Samples 06
57. Stalling Samples 07
58. Stalling Samples 08
59. Stalling Samples 09
60. Stalling Samples 10
61. Stan’s Voice
62. Tango & Leer 01
63. Tango & Leer 02
64. Valse For Lydia 01
65. Valse For Lydia 02
Saxophone by Ben Whiting-Wilbee
Flute by Heather McCallum

Boots! Live
Summer 2006

1. Sit Well Back
2. Sorry
3. Merry Go Round
4. Perpetuum Mobile
5. Tango and Leer
6. Harpo Boulevard
7. Mack the What
8. Sad Waltz Because His Dog Died
9. Enoch the Drummer
10. Fat Henry Perpetually Spanked
11. Oh No Not Another Cha Cha Cha
12. Boots! – Full microphone recording
Recorded live at Quay Arts, Newport, Isle of Wight, June 2006
Performed on Dansette Record players and vinyl dubplates, with piano, euphonium, horn, and accordian.
Track 12 “Full Microphone Recording” recorded by Simon Perry
Setlist Images : images/
Concert Images : images/

Boots! CD
Summer 2006

1. Sit Well Back
2. Fat Henry’s Mambo
3. Merry Go Round
4. Tango and Leer
5. Harpo Boulevard
6. Mack the What
7. Enoch the Drummer
8. Honeysuckle Rose & Perpetuum Mobile
9. Sad Waltz Because His Dog Died
All tracks given away on limited CD at “Boots!” Live performance, Isle of Wight, June 2006

Artwork : images/
Ergo Phizmiz website
UbuWeb (many thanks!)
In case you were wondering why this project is called “Boots” we really couldn’t remember for a while (good eh), but then recalled it’s the dancing boots graphic that we named it after. Not Boots the Chemist.

Continue reading “Boots!”