With the recent release of “Yeezer,” I remembered a period of high school when I only listened to mashups. Producers were getting pretty savvy with their equipment. It was only a matter of time before people got bored with any old new song. This was just before the big EDM boom.
As it turns out, there is some good material out there. Check the following, which combines “Bad Blood” and “Iron Man.”
On its own, I’m pretty sure “Bad Blood” is middling. 1989 is strong. “BB” contains elegant hooks, but lyrically…oh boy. Words are less important to me than instruments, but this time it’s distracting. The lyrics come across as not only lazy, but postured as such in order to imply that the laziness is intentional. Laziness is never intentional!It is always due to a lack of intention. If you intend on doing nothing, however, you’re not being lazy––you are being proactively indolent. Tim Wilson offers a solid mashup. I think “Bad Blood” is especially conspicuous given the minimalist production. Combined with sounds, however, it’s improved. In turn, the last minute or so is excellent.
First, I should say, you can find a ton of info about mashups through this site: http://www.bootiemashup.com/. They have many downloads, too. It’s always fun to go through the tracks and figure out what is compatible. You may have some ideas on your own. They’re flexible. Mashups can be comprehensive and sentimental.
One such effort is “Rock In the End,” which is understated, but exhaustive––an understatement. It’s cool to hear a nu metal/alt rock medley, but the vocals could use a lift. All the same, “Gone Away” fits especially well.
Another is this amped up version of a Lion King classic, which is more of a remix or remaster:
With the advent of social media, new content is always being shoved in your face, if not down your throat. Mashups were one of the few things I discovered on my own. Done well, they bring out the strengths of each song and minimize their weaknesses. Naturally, you can find numerous instances of garbage.
Here is a terrible combination of “Crawling,” by Linkin Park, and the “Green Hill Zone” theme from Sonic the Hedgehog. The production is actually creative, but cannot have been intended for anything but mild torture. This is certainly a joke. On another note, check out the songs actually used for torture.
Mashups became more mainstream thanks to Glee, which produced a few quality examples. We have the classic “Umbrella/Singin’ in the Rain,” “Thriller/Heads Will Roll,” and consensus favorite “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You.”
Sometimes Glee is hard to watch, because it is so heavy handed and occasionally ham-fisted. Even for someone like me, who appreciates theatricality (and was in a mandatory glee club), it can be difficult to see all these singers taking high school extracurriculars so, so seriously. On one level, that’s great. The arts are very important.
On another level, you get the feeling they know they’re performing for a million people.
Anyway, mashups come in many forms. This one is particularly trendy:
This is one of the first I heard:
And one of the best:
Late Registration was just coming out:
In some ways, “Bittersweet Symphony” makes more sense as a hip-hop hook because it is so repetitive:
Onto the albums…
Yeezer (no idea how long this will be up since a DMCA complaint was isssued):
Here’s a link to an earlier Weezer/Jay-Z mashup album. One of the bonus tracks:
There’s a bunch of other mashups albums that have held up well over 10 years or so:
The Kleptones: Yoshimi Battles the Hip-Hop Robots (2003)
DJ Danger Mouse: The Grey Album (2004)
Jay-Z & Linkin Park: Collision Course (2004)
The Kleptones: A Night at the Hip-Hopera (2004)
I couldn’t find the whole thing streaming, but this is the best song.
The Kleptones: 24 Hours (2006)
Mark Vidler, Loo & Placidoo: Mashed (2007)
By far, the best of all…Dean Gray: American Edit (2008)
Super Mash Bros:
Fuck Bitches. Get Euros. (2008)
All About the Scrillions (2009)
The White Panda: Rematch (2010)
E-603: Torn Up (2010)
Smokeshow (2011) (Interview)
Milkman: Algorithms (2011)
Crisp, eclectic, and not glitchy/manic.
And, of course, the numerous Girl Talk albums…
Night Ripper (2006)
Feed the Animals (2008)
All Day (2010)
Finally, there are the end of year mashups, by DJ Earworm:
And the more comprehensive Tim Wilson compilations:
Tristan Garner, a favorite of mine, did his own MIDI mashup. This features a number of Daft Punk loops with rock-infused modulation. Although “Pop Culture” is more accomplished, I actually prefer listening to this.