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The Summer Mix

July 6, 2009

by The Forum
The Summer Mix

I love mash-ups like I loved America and Andy Roddick this past weekend (Andy's day will come). There's something that a mash-up artist can do with the best parts of hit songs that makes me want to relive Independence Day, eating undercooked sausages and getting sunburned at the beach while T. Mourmouras grills with one hand and shotguns with the other. Girl Talk was one of the first to make use of freely available sound editing software to give new life to old and overplayed music, but other DJs have since followed suit and improved on the genre. Here are some lesser-known favorites to download:

1- Super Mash Bros is an L.A.-based mash-up duo (they're so L.A. they have a track called "I Fucking Bleed Purple and Gold") that claims to sound like "Girl Talk's Hot Cousin."  This is party/workout music. I think they're better than Girl Talk, and that's not just me-- one music blogger raved that the duo "mixes songs together so fluently and effectively that they often end up improving on the originals."  Still, you should download their two free albums yourself or sample this song for a starting point.

So what's the difference between SMB and Girl Talk?  For one thing, Super Mash Bros makes more use of 90's music.  There's some Limp Bizkit and Spice Girls, but it manages to sound so much fresher than the middle school dance where you first heard it as parent chaperones hovered over you.  And while Girl Talk tends to have delicious moments of genius (see: "Tiny Dancer" meets Biggy), they are often fused with headache-inducing tidbits of "whoa whoa why are five songs playing at the same time." Super Mash Bros sticks with fewer samples: never more than a dozen in each track and a couple playing at a time.

From what I hear, there is a growing rivalry between upcoming artists Super Mash Bros and Girl Talk. Girl Talk has even sampled Super Mash Bros' music at some concerts (it's public domain, right?), much to the duo's ire.

2- E-603 is another mash-up artist from New Hampshire.  Ethan Ward, the man behind E-603, is a rising junior at Hampshire College, a small liberal arts college in Amherst, MA.  Pretty similar (and a real contender) to other Girl Talk and SMB if you like those.  Free download here.  I think the most impressive thing about E-603 is that Ethan is a college student like any CMCer and manages to tour the country (mostly in his region) and produce music on the side.  See a blogger's interview with E-603 here.

3- Like DJ Danger Mouse once did with Jay-Z and the Beatles, Terry Urban has done with Santigold and southern hip hop in Southerngold (also a free download).  Southerngold mashes up Santigold with artists like Lil' Wayne, Rick Ross, and Andre 3000.  Unlike the SMB and E-603, Southerngold mashes up only one song against another on each track.  I'm not a big Santigold fan, but my friends at Wesleyan University, Santigold's alma mater, introduced me to this mash-up and it's worth checking out.

Other CMC-affiliated sites to find good mash-ups from people who know much more about this stuff than I do: -- a few CMCers' site to "promote the discovery, diffusion, and dissemination of delectable cuts (music)" [cardboard living] -- Lewis Corson ('11)'s music and lifestyle blog.  Warning: Lewis loves Lil' Wayne almost as much as Weezy loves himself.


-Wale's mixtape take on Yael Naim's "New Soul"  New Soul f. Yael Naim (prod BKS) -The Hood Internet's Michael Jackson vs Ratatat: "Billie 'Wildcat' Jean"

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