Top of the Mashed-Up Pops

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Check out the Top 20 Mash-Ups of 2005. Jesse Walker wrote about everyone's favorite form of aural decoupage back in 2003 (Hat tip: Boing Boing)

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  1. What?

    No love for K-Fed jamming to Peanutbutter-Jelly time?

    (Link goes to You Tube video.)

  2. I don’t have BitTorrent and I don’t feel right downloading it onto my work computer. I am having trouble downloading the alternative, the .zip file (one is saving as “suspended.html” – obviously not what I want, and the other link doesn’t seem to have a valid file location or something). Somebody help me, please!

  3. I did a mashup once. It was two of David Bowie’s songs, “The Lonliest Guy” and “Jean Genie”. I called it, “Jean Guy”. Stop laughing. Please.

  4. What is a “mash-up?”

  5. Click through the link to Jesse’s article.

  6. What is a “mash-up?”

    It’s slightly more complex than a remix. And just as boring.

  7. Hey Smacky – Azureus, for instance, is a really nice BT client and you shouldn’t feel too shy about downloading it, IMHO. C’mon, go for it, join the network.

  8. Mike,

    No way, mashups are typically much more interesting than your average remix, if done well.

    (By the way, I figured out my downloading problem. We’ve been having network problems over here, so I’ve remapped some drives and I’m getting the zip file just fine now.)

  9. Spoke to soon…the .zip file appears to be completely corrupted and will not open. What a piece of crap. Nevermind.

  10. Suprised that site hasn’t gotten a cease & desist yet…one of the biggest mashup boards (get your bootleg on) just got another one, so it’s moving again. I run a club out here in San Diego that plays a lot of mashups, and I can tell you, none of the ones on that CD went over particularly well. Where’s Eye of the Hotstepper? Hollaback Headhunter? You’re the One That I Want On the Next Episode?

  11. Smacky, try uTorrent. It’s the smallest BitTorrent client around and does a terrific job.

    http://www.utorrent.com/

    And, no, I’m not affiliated with the makers at all.

  12. smacky,

    I think the “done well” part is the key. And since mashup got hot (nobody gives their propers to Z-Trip doing it way back when it was just a DJ trick) there’s been plenty of dorks who can slow down/speed up a tempo and dig up an acapella track and call it mashup. And it just sucks. At risk of sounding like the arbiter of this hepness, good mashup isn’t just beatmatching and finding tunes that one could vaguely pass as being in the same key – like remixing, the good stuff goes beyond the gimmick and makes a tune at least as enjoyable as the original(s). Check out mcsleazy’s bootlegs of the Beastie Boys and Basement Jaxx, or Cropstar’s excellent mash of Busta Rhymes and that Spiller “Disco Jet” tune, with some Berlin thrown in for good measure. The latter of which is so good it actually surpasses the original.

  13. Actually, you’d have to go back further than Z-Trip, to John Oswald akaPlunderphonics, who did some great mashups and tape-spliced remixes in the early 90s. And, you can probably go even further back than that.

  14. As someone who likes the concept of mash-ups, but doesn’t really care for hip-hop or dance music, I’m typically disappointed by or simply not interested in most mash-ups I hear. Even the Revolver album mash-up — called Revolved and featuring great mashed up artwork — was an interesting novelty, but not something I ever feel like listening to.

    And in the rare occasion I like a mash-up better than the component parts (Stroke of Genius, for example), it is usually because I’m not that wild about the parts to begin with. Ultimately, I end up judging each mash-up by formal qualities — the seemlessness, the cleverness of the juxtapositions, etc. — rather than judging it as good or bad music.

    But I downloaded this comp, and I continue to hope that one day I’ll be blown away by a mash-up.

  15. Engineers with talent can do wonders with audio, and some of their work can be mind-bogglingly clever, but (cliche warning) at the end of the day they’re still second-handers, creating the aural equivalent of clip-and-paste paper collages. I’ve never heard a mash-up that I would listen to twice.

  16. Hey, remember the old Enigma song, “Sadeness, Part (I forget if it was 1 or 2),” that had the Gregorian-type chanting combined with the disco-type beat? Could that be considered an early proto-mash-up?

    (Then again, I also like to go around maintaining that Charlie Daniels was one of the first rappers.)

  17. Actually, you’d have to go back further than Z-Trip, to John Oswald akaPlunderphonics, who did some great mashups and tape-spliced remixes in the early 90s. And, you can probably go even further back than that.

    Indeed, you can go all the way back to Dickie Goodman’s first novelty records, back in the ’50s. And I know I’m not the only person who did what were in effect live mash-ups in my days as a college radio DJ — I once watched a colleague at my station create an inspired fusion of a Jimmy Swaggart sermon with an “educational” version of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

  18. Actually some of these improved on the originals.

    Also, Smacky, I think the account got suspended for a while, so it wasn’t your fault. I used the unix unzip command and it worked where my GUI unzip didn’t, but then I downloaded it last night and it was fine.

  19. Indeed, you can go all the way back to Dickie Goodman’s first novelty records, back in the ’50s. And I know I’m not the only person who did what were in effect live mash-ups in my days as a college radio DJ — I once watched a colleague at my station create an inspired fusion of a Jimmy Swaggart sermon with an “educational” version of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

    Indeed. I used to do a show at UCI about 9-10 years ago, and, especially since I was stuck in the midnite-3 am (and sometimes 3 am-6am) slot, I sometimes tried to layer as many things as possible. It was always amusing when I got phone calls from people under the influence of various psychedlics thanking me for enhancing their trip.

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