How can something so wrong, be oh so right?
Yeah, yeah, I know, I know – the mash-up thing is pretty old news at this point. But I still come across some that I like now and again, so let’s run with it.
The one up top made me laugh pretty hard; it’s surprisingly seamless. I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Goths cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.
If any readers were looking for songs to play at their wedding reception, the search is hereby over.
Generally, I prefer when “A vs. B” pop and rock mash-ups limit themselves to two sources per track, as above; and ideally, those sources should be in some sort of dialogue with one another, not just musically but thematically – either complementary, or contradictory (the one above is mostly just “comedic”).
My canonical complementary example is Lenlow’s “Bjorn Slippy”, in which the new lovers from the Peter, Bjorn & John song “Young Folks” get strafed by Underworld’s laser synths; like the shy protagonists are actually meeting in a hedonistic noisy strobing smoke-filled club, from which they now seek quiet romantic refuge. (Apologies for the poor sound quality on that link, that was the only upload of that mix available on YT – hopefully you get the idea).
But with hip-hop, where cut-and-paste rhythms and sampled backdrops are the norm and potentially-clashing melodies and moods are de-emphasized, it’s often enough to hear all the discrete musical puzzle pieces get fitted together skillfully, and think, “yeah…that boogies!”
So first, some history from way back in 1983, with Steinski, one of the pioneers of sample/collage music-making. Without them, we might not have gotten to the Dust Brothers, Prince Paul and DJ Shadow:
Steinski – Lesson #1 (The Payoff Mix)
And a modern descendant. Adding (once again) Herbie Hancock – and weirdly, even INXS – only makes this song funkier, though it bugs me that they did not pitch-shift the AC/DC portion back down, you’d think they could have fixed that. At least that part’s short:
Beastie Boys vs. Herbie Hancock (and INXS) – Intergalactic Rockit
An entirely different sort of mash-up is below, using “concepts” more than “songs” as ingredients. Apparently there is a BBC series called Horrible Histories, a children’s sketch comedy/history program.
To teach kids about Charles Dickens, they did a spot-on, hilarious Smiths parody (the nods to song lyrics and vocal tics killed me).
(via Dangerous Minds):
Horrible Histories – Dickens Song (Smiths Parody)
Any mash-ups out there I should check out?