Let's just say that Mashup's have been around for a while. I'm not gonna pretend to be smarter than shit, I have "The History of Mashups" wikipedia article open in another tab right now, so you know. I don't know everything, but this article says that "mashing" has been around since recorded music started, makes sense I guess, there's some kind of indescribable rush outta hearing you're favorite m83 song mashed with Ludacris lyrics, so it would make sense some motherfuckers before us wanted to see how his favorite Waltz's would sound if crammed together. I decided to write a little guide if you'd be so kind, of my favorite mash-up albums.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Let's start with the obvious king at the moment of the Mashup scene. Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis) has been releasing a steady stream of Mash-up albums under the Illegal Art Label since 2002, but just recently, Girl Talk has definitely come to the forefront of the genre with his newest release Feed The Animals. From first listening to the album, you'll instantly know that Mr.Gillis knows what he's doing. You get the feeling many pieces have been magnetized together to create the sound, or at least that's how I feel. The best thing I can say about this album is that it's probablythe ideal party album of all time, with everything for everybody.
One of my current favorites is this lovely creature conceived using the sperm of Jay-z a capella tracks and the egg of Radiohead samples and instrumentals. It seems that Jaydiohead creator Max Tannone gets quite a bit of blowblack for his little monster, and it makes sense, Jay-z is one of hip-hop most prized sons, and Radiohead are the kings of alt rock everywhere. I don't mind a bit because I was never the biggest fan of either, but I love Jaydiohead. Some of the tracks are really well done, one of my favorites, "Change Order" using Jay's "Never Change" and Radiohead's "Gagging Order", it's a gorgeous song, one that I've actually used to open people's mind about Hip-hop, now that's something.
Easter Egg is very similar in a way to Girl Talk, when it comes down to it, but fortunately, they are different enough to allow love for both. While Easter Egg isn't anywhere as big as Girl Talk is, he definitely holds his own. Jackin' For Beats is a beast of an album, 30 or so tracks of mash-up goodness, and with smart production, it's a great album for the parties, or anyone wanting to hear Ice-Cube, MGMT, and Grandmaster Flash, all on the same jammin' album. It's got the same amount of hard hitting staying power, except in quicker, easier to digest dosages, definitely worth a listen.
Team Teamwork makes something very special, like dung beetles' turd balls. It takes a special person to see the amazing wonder in it. You got a cappellas from respected hip hop artists such as Clipse, Snoop Dogg, Common, and even MF Doom laid lovingly on top of gorgeous beat tracks composed of old school gaming songs and noises. You can hear "I Used to Love H.E.R." mashed with a beat using Zelda's Hyrule Market song. Magnifique! Now, if that doesn't sound so great, you need to hear it, because the 8-Bit goodness laden with bass and sprinkled with classic hip-hop swagga is something to truly behold.
E-603 is similar to Easter Egg and Girl Talk in that he (Ethan Ward) mashes hip-hop vocal tracks with various songs from various artists, and boy does he do it just as good as both GT and Easter Egg. It's possibly my favorite Mashup album, partially because I found myself pushing my hand to my mouth hurriedly and murmur through my fingers, "Oh shit, that's fucking Float On...in a mash-up!" or "Fuck, he just used Math The Band...shiiiit!" over the course of it's 15 tracks. Any album that give you "Oh Fuck" moments definitely has some kind of charm to it. It's your favorite dance-mash, but with M83 and Aphex Twin in it, daumn.
Ever wondered how Wu Tang and The Beatles would sound together? Or are you just wondering it now? If you answered yes, then this is definitely worth your time. 27 tracks should either tell you lots of time was spent on this, or that this was (no pun intended) mashed together quickly as a gimmick, trust me, it's the former. These beats, in a way similar to The Grey Album aren't easily placeable, they aren't simply Beatles songs with more bass, it's a crafted entity. It's still the badass Wu Tang, but with fascinating beats placed undertow.
Now, this album isn't totally my cup of tea, not on the part of the creators, Legion of Doom, but rather the songs they chose to mash, but this album simply makes it on my favorites out of pure interest in something so out-of-the-ordinary for a mash up album. Tracks by Underoath, Thrice, Norma Jean and others are crammed together, and they sound pretty cool, considering I kinda hate all three of those aforementioned artists. My favorite tracks are easily "Dangerous Business Since 1979" for its use of mewithoutYou and "Devil In A Blue Dress" for its use of Coheed & Cambria, respectively. It's definitely a horse of a different colour, and something a more open minded person in the harder genres (TYNAN) should enjoy. -Matt Galey
Respectably Honorable Mentions:
Danger Mouse - The Grey Album
The Kleptones - Yoshimi Battles The Hip-Hop Robots
The Kleptones - Uptime/Downtime
The Very Best - Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit are the Very Best
Xaphoon Jones - The Xaphoon Jones Mixtape Volume 1.
Squincy Jones - Nintendub
And as a final treat, one of my fellow bloggers here, Tynan has a mash up of his own, check it out: