My Mixtape Monday – October 5, 2015

First Name: Goob
Twitter: @Goob
Sex: Goob
Age: Goob

Occupation: Goob

Mixtape Name: Mashup Mixtape Momento Monday

Side One

1) A Stroke of Genius produced by Freelance Hellraiser with work by Christina Aguilera, The Strokes
A good place to start: this was the first mashup I ever heard, delivered to me by the Internet, back is the mean days of 2001. The point can be argued (by Negativland, Peter Schickele, and others), but this was the first track that woke up a small part of the world to mashups, and just what one could do with a computer, pop music, and a staggering amount of free time. This track has been part of my musical mental furniture for so long now, I can’t remember how strange it was on first listen.
2) Gaye Air Roses produced by CCC with work by Marvin Gaye, Air, and The Stone Roses [Link Unavailable]
There is a second version of this track released under the name La Fool D’Argent – it’s a good mix, but it’s faster, and easier. This version is the earlier version, and CCC s t r e t c h e d these songs to within a moment of being silly: instead, they found a place of smoke and wild heat out there on the edge. This is the one to look for.
3) Brimful of Buffalo Stance produced by DJ Crook Air with work by Cornershop and Neneh Cherry [Link Unavailable]
I have a friend who, for a period in our lives, would call me up while waiting for his food at the drive through and mash the keypad on his phone when he was cranky about something. He’s a big New Order fan; at one point I sent him DJ Crook Air’s track Crystal Shack, and he beep-dialed me for a week. That’s a great track. This one is, too.
4) The Roof is on Fire produced by Lenlow with work by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Joseph Stein, and Dog Ruff
I apologize for the video. And this is just goofy, but fun. When he released it on GYBO (now in it’s fifth incarnation at GYBO5) I remember Lenlow writing something like “this is pretty silly, and I wasn’t going to release this, but I found myself listening to it on repeat while riding the bus on the way to work, bobbing my head like a fool and grinning like an idiot, so here you go.”
5) Einstein On The Beast produced by DJ BC with work by Philip Glass and Beastie Boys
A move into stranger territory, here. In the wake of the critical success of Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album, many artists started to try their hand at album length work. DJ BC is known for his efforts at putting together the great holiday-themed Santastic collections (and at least one collection for Halloween, if that’s your thing) and the Nifty Beatles/Beastie Boys record The Beastles, but I’ve always been partial to this effort.
6) Beautiful Prudence produced by Autopilot with work by Christina Aguilera and The Beatles [Link Unavailable]
One of the things that repeatedly amazes me about A/B mashups is how often disperate music and vocals fit together so well. I can’t tell if it means that there is something wrong with western popular music, or something very, very, right with western popular music. This track does something wonderful to McCartney’s looping bass line, and makes it make a new, deep sense. (There are several other mixes of this floating around out there, but I haven’t heard anything as good as Autopilot’s effort.)

Side Two

07) Cero Uno / Sudden Rush produced by Bumtschak with work by Leandro Fresco and Erlend Øye [Link Unavailable]
One of the great things about mashups is discovery; when I first heard this track, I had no idea who either of the contributing artists were. It took some work to find the originals in the less connected days before YouTube, but it was worth doing. And, who knew: Norway and Argentina, folded together to make new music.
08) With or Without Glycerine produced by DJ Tripp with work by U2 and Bush
Every once in a while, somebody figures out how to get two songs to shuffle cleanly, music and vocals, vocals and music. There’s a little pitch fiddling going on here, but who cares: each song steps aside just in time.
09) Casbah Wonder produced by Dunproofin’ with work by Stevie Wonder and The Clash
I like the efforts that span the years. For a little while, Rock the Casbah was one of those instrumentals that folks were putting next to anything and everything (the bass line there is too good not to try it, really) – there were lots of good efforts, but this was a standout. So: here we have a young Stevie Wonder singing from 1966, backed up by a fine group of angry young Englishmen from 1982. And it works! (And if you liked this one, try Party Ben’s Somebody Rock Me.
10) Wrapped Detective produced by Go Home Productions with work by Elvis Costello, Lionel Richie, The Police, Peggy Lee, Bob Marley & the Wailers
At a time when most of the mashup artists were trying to figure out how to make the latest pop hit interesting, GHP kept going back into the crates to find ways of piecing together past classics. I could have included four or five of his tracks in this list (Shannon Stone is a personal favorite) but this one wins for the way the decades hang together here, and for that lovely horn stab that floats in behind Ms. Lee.
11) Untitled produced by Andrew with work by New Order and Gwen Stefani [Link Unavailable]
Blue Monday is one of those tracks that everyone tries to mix with everything. Kylie Minogue has a mashup credit using the Blue Monday instrumental; as far as I know, right now, someone is somewhere dropping a Morton Subotnick or Conlon Nancarrow piece on top of Blue Monday so they can see if it will be good (it will probably be good). Here, the welcome and familiar thump of the under track transforms Stefani’s vocal at the refrain of What You Waiting For into a giant, powerful howl. As far as I know, this track doesn’t have an official title, and I’ve never been able to figure out who put it together. I have no idea how to find it, but it’s worth looking.
12) A Day in Tracy’s Life produced by Soundhog with work by the Beatles, Mogwai, and Kid Loco [Link Unavailable]
There is a knack, a trick to this, to take a thing so known and familiar and then twist it into something elegant. I cannot remember the first time I heard this track; I think I had already known about Soundhog at that point, so when it popped that he had a new work out I grabbed it. I think he put this out in one of the waves of Beatle interpretations, and I was utterly unprepared for the pairing he found here. If I remember right, no one was. I don’t know where this track is available now, but if you can find it, find it: there is a moment there (and you will know it) when the bottom drops out and everything fits like it was always supposed to be that way. It’s a moment so good that I wish I could hear it again for the first time, and it’s a moment so good I usually do.

Liner Notes: A lifetime ago, I used to listen to a lot of mashups: music tracks stitched together from the vocals of one song and the instrumental of another. This is a sampling of some of the better efforts (to my mind, anyway) of those early days from 2001-2005, when small communities of DJs and producers in Britain, France, Germany and the US found each other on the internet for support while trying to fit popular music together like some demented puzzle. A friend of mine likes these because he finds it an incredibly efficient way to listen to pop music. I tend to like ’em because they usually bring out something extra in the synergy.

(I’ve included Producer information from when the mp3s first came out – many have moved on to different names, now, but I’ve preserved the original credits here. One good way to seek this stuff on our modern internet is by Producer name.)

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