The Weekly Music Thread Gets Mashed

Let’s discuss any and all music here. Got a new artist who’s rocking your boat that you want to talk about? Post a video! Found out about that unearthed Coltrane album that has the jazz freak in you losing your mind? Lay it out for us! Have a theory about what your favorite band might do for their next album? Let’s hear it! Anything and everything music-related goes here.

This week’s discussion prompt: Mashups

What are your favorites? What are the first ones you remember hearing? What unlikely combinations, in your humble opinion, work really well? Have you ever attempted to make a mashup?

(For those of you who have made mashups and put your efforts out there for the world to hear, please feel free to include some links as well!)

To call John Oswald a mashup artist would be a misnomer. The work that the man who coined the term Plunderphonics puts into his compositions goes far above and beyond merely combining elements of two or three songs – especially considering that much of his work was created by cutting-and-splicing literally thousands of tapes. 1993’s Plexure alone is less than twenty minutes long, yet utilizes approximately 3000 samples.

For anyone familiar with Top 40 radio from the late eighties to early nineties, try playing spot-the-sample with this one (though in the time it takes to go “Oh, I know what this is!” undoubtedly two or three more samples will have flown by). It’s a dizzying, kaleidoscopic masterpiece – ultimately a rewarding listen, though one that commands your attention (not recommended while operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery).

Not all of Oswald’s work utilizes samples from multiple sources – one of his best-known compositions comes from manipulating a single source. One of my favorite pieces of his that comes closer to following the more conventional approach of combining two sources (though as it dates from 1990, it predates the popular usage of the term “mashup”) combines Carly Simon’s 1971 hit “You’re So Vain” with the (quite frankly awful) Faster Pussycat cover of the same song from 1989 to create a disorienting, androgenic effect.

As always, any and all music-related topics are welcome. Have fun, and rock out with yr guac out!