Listening to music mashups is like discovering a parallel universe. Up is down, fast is slow, Kurt Cobain is alive and well, playing guitar with Destiny’s Child,
Adele is a speed metal balladeer and everything you ever thought you knew about music has been turned on its head, upside down and inside out.
Mashups, the combining of two or more existing songs, remixed and reimagined into a new composition, are not everyone’s cup of cocoa, with some calling them sacrilegious and mashup artists derided as ‘lazy musicians’ and ‘one step below the remixer’ in mainstream music circles. But this attitude is changing, thanks to some innovative DJs/producers with a keen ear and a flair for originality. Any journey in discovering the fun and joy of mashups must start with the genre’s Da Vinci, Eric Kleptone and his Hectic City project,
(http://soundcloud.com/kleptones) highlighted previously in Part 1 of Cliffs Notes For a SoundCloud (https://bizarrojerri.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/bizarromusic-soundcloudbusking-001/),
but his work is worth a second mention here, for his sheer audacity in creating freeform musical ideas and fantastical aural journeys from the most unlikely of sources.
Here are some other artists, available on SoundCloud, who are also creating some mind-boggling music and slowly pushing the mashup into the mainstream.
Party Ben. San Francisco, USA.
Ben is one of the few commercially successful mashup producers. He is best known for the original Snow Patrol/ Police mashup Every Car You Chase, which has not only cracked mainstream pop charts, but also one of the few mashes that have been fully endorsed by the original artists. The song has also featured in a number of films and TV shows. His other compositions are just as catchy and inventive, with his full length concept mashup of Green Day’s American Idiot album (mixing in Johnny Cash, Aerosmith and Queen) a highlight.
DJ BC, Boston, USA.
Bob Cronin is famous for his Beatles and Beastie Boys fetishes, with the majority of his work made up of these two unlikely bedfellows in a number of full length albums, the best being Let It Beast.
But his other mashup output is now gaining a wider audience, particularly the mixing of the music of neo-classical composer Phillip Glass with the a cappella raps of Lil John and Kanye West, amongst others, on the album Glassbreaks. As with most mashup artists, hip-hop vocals feature strongly inDJBC’s work, but the results are seamless and the sources work well with each other, which is not always the case with other, more amateur, mashup composers. His work and technique has been taught as technical theory at Temple University’s music school.
Daft Beatles, (AKA Jonas C), London, UK.
One of the more popular sources for mashups over the last year has been the award-winning songs of British singer Adele, and the Daft Beatles have released a number of unlikely mixes featuring her vocals from Rolling In The Deep with music as diverse as the Eurythmics and the Rolling Stones (http://soundcloud.com/daft-beatles/adele-vs-the-rolling-stones-gimme-shelter-in-the-deep).
The Daft Beatles’ style is quirky and irreverent, using a lot of musical puns and lo-fi aesthetics that make their mashups stand out from the usual. Their other works include a fun take on Tom Jones and the Theme from Ghostbusters, (http://soundcloud.com/daft-beatles/tom-jones-busters), and a rocking mash of Led Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, (http://soundcloud.com/daft-beatles/led-hot-chili-zeppers).