rant response to a thread on Mashstix responding to this post on FMITracks, I thought I’d post here as it fairly succinctly explains why I rarely play mashups on what was a formerly mashup podcast.
Ahh the state of mashups…I got there in 2008, what kept you guys
I’ve noticed there is two sorts of masher/bootlegger – one that does it for love, and the other that does it for fame/money/gigs. It’s the latter sort, or ones copying the likes of Girl Talk ad nauseam that are the ones creating the deluge (like that FMI guy, I get loads at Radio Clash you would not believe).
There isn’t a problem with using a well known source, but two current Top 40 tracks ISN’T a mashup, it’s just a wannabe radio blend or a medley mix (don’t get me started on terrible ‘theme’ or no theme multimashes which are like a music bore going ‘And this IS IN THE SAME KEY! OMG!’ every 30 seconds – yawn).
Mashups and bootlegs need a WTF factor, they need to cross some boundary – genre, taste, time/era, musicality even – to really qualify. Yes you can mash similar things together, but I think for it to work it needs some originality or space between the sources. Mixing LFMAO with Lady Gaga or Black Eyed Peas (for example) isn’t original, they are doing roughly the same thing, and are current pop stars. Mixing LMFAO with Benny HIll, or Gaga with Pantera, or Black Eyed Peas with Extreme Noise Terror with all the BEP filtered out (can you guess I’m not a fan :-P) would be at least something new.
But there are loads of lazy pop vs pop, hiphop vs pop, hiphop vs rock, hiphop vs anything (really unless you are mixing hiphop with AFX twin or Babe Rainbow or some really fucked up or rare shit – World music? Egyptian pop? Ethiopian reggae? Country? Noise music? – then it’s so been done to death, sorry)
What we get now are loads of wonderfully produced but FUCKING BORING mashups – interesting that the FMI guy posted the Madeon track which for me was the best mashup of 2011, no question. Shame about some of the other mashups he posts for me don’t really fit the criteria he sets out in the post, especially that recent guy that’s copying Girl Talk – when the original GT is bad enough…like Skrillex he’s all about the ‘mad’ performance and ticking the existing boxes, not the music.
What I’m saying is, if you or others think it’s original go look and listen to Avalanches, Prodigy Dirtchamber, Greg Wilson or Freelance Hellraiser mixes or any of the classic mashups….look at the sources. You find that in most of those classic ‘greats’ unlike Girl Talk which is just a 30 second ADD reference machine (remember this? remember this? remember this? YES I DO, STOP DOING THAT AND LET THE TRACK PLAY FFS!) and the whole putting hiphop over electro thing has been Jivebunnied to death – there is a lot of weird shit – industrial, rare 80’s goth rock, weird funk singles, novelty songs (Cut Chemist and DJ Yoda please stand up), adverts, just sources that people still don’t use (well apart from rare funk 7″s).
So the originality for at least A vs B is choose stuff people don’t know and mix it in with the candy – stuff people do know – and it’s a great way to introduce new music to people which has been one of my aims through the years. But you do need to LOVE the music you’re using – or at least take the piss out of it in a funny way – cos that shows in the mashups. Far too many clever yet boring mashups out there…and I don’t think it’s hard to go listen to a different genre for a bit and find stuff you like…when I hear a completely new song or something that inspires me I have to rush off and play with it.
Mashing the latest thing in a sad FIRST! fashion I do understand (the latest acapella or instrumental/stems become quickly stale) but it does lead to overuse – LMFAO, Coldplay, Gaga, Americano, MIA – dead to me. And most of the uses are completely obvious (hence my mashup alter ego Captain Obvious – although strangely what seems fucking obvious to me others say ‘no that isn’t obvious to me’ – must be how my mind works?).
To me it’s all about the IDEA – if the idea is good. Churning out the latest thing isn’t probably going to create that unless you have a good idea…there’s a real lack of those at the moment. In fact always was – but seems to be unusually a lack even in the well known names, except a few people. Churning out the latest electro hit with Gaga or LMFAO or Avicii/Leona/Lana Del Rey seems to be latest order of the day, and it might be what the drunken dancefloor punters want at 3am (the sort of thing past shamefaced DJs hide in their record bags as a cheesy DJ tool but would never post it anywhere) – but where’s the education people? I thought DJs were supposed to EDUCATE?