Best Mashups of 2008
Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: Lists, Mashups, Music.
#15) DJ Geometrix “What You Know About a White Wedding?” [MP3]
(T.I. “What You Know” vs. Billy Idol “White Wedding”)
Northern Virginia’s DJ Geometrix makes his first appearance on Culture Bully’s annual lists with this, his Billy Idol/T.I. mashup entitled “What You Know About a White Wedding.” While “White Wedding” mashups are fairly ubiquitous (example: this list) there aren’t too many T.I. boots in circulation, let alone of any quality. While the lack of quantity doesn’t immediately equate quality, Geo’s smooth combination of fist pumping cockiness and Tip’s swagger does.
#14) BRAT Productions “Easy Heaven” [MP3]
(The Cure “Just Like Heaven [Tweaked A Capella]“ vs. The Commodores “Easy”)
Daniel Barassi, aka BRAT Productions, has released a number of fantastic mashes this year, but none more special and none more acclaimed then “Easy Heaven.” Wired‘s Eliot Van Buskirk profiled the song, noting “Some mash-ups just work well, and this is one of those.” For the lack of a better description I’ll agree – blending Robert Smith’s ageless vocals with the timeless Commodores track works too well.
#13) DJ Schmolli “Wicked Wedding” [MP3]
(Billy Idol “White Wedding” vs. Chris Isaak “Wicked Game” vs. H.I.M. “Wicked Game”)
In addition to co-hosting this year’s Bootie Munich with BootOx (Schmolli’s Bootie Munich training video is rather amusing), Mashup Industries member DJ Schmolli has had a fantastic 2008 with a number great bootlegs seeing release. Aside from a brilliant breakdown between Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” aptly titled “Justice For Billie Jean,” Schmolli released this – a ridiculously effective mashup between “White Wedding” (I told you it was everywhere) and “Wicked Games.” Emphasizing the ease of which the songs work together, Schmolli took things one step further and recorded a live version of the track, playing guitar and singing while his friend Franz Loechinger laid the beat.
#12) Mighty Mike “Beggin’ For Glory” [MP3]
(Madcon “Beggin’ [Instrumental]“ vs. Portishead “Glory Box”)
It’s possibly that because Madcon’s “Beggin’” has me enjoying A.D.I.D.A.S. ads more than ever that I find myself in love with “Beggin’ For Glory,” but the mashup deserves more a lot more credit than that. In theory, when introducing Portishead’s trip-hop standard into such an uptempo song, the end result should result in a disaster. But in practice, the combination yields a song just as ready for the dancefloor as it is the laptop.
#11) Katie Enlow “1 Up” [MP3]
(Katie Enlow “One [Harry Nilsson cover]” vs. M.O.P. “Ante Up” vs. Chicago “25 or 6 to 4″ vs. Funkadelic “I’ll Stay”)
Vocalist Katie Enlow has more than a vibrant, powerful voice going for her – her brother is Luke Enlow, best known as Boston mashup producer extraordinaire Lenlow. In a collaborated effort, Lenlow producer Katie’s entire Rockin’ The BootsEP, with the resulting mashups including samples from the likes of the Smashing Pumpkins, The Roots and Portishead. Here is one of the best from the release, primarily combining Katie’s take on Harry Nilsson’s “One” with M.O.P.’s “Ante Up.”
#10) DJ Earworm “Free Fallin’ Boy” [MP3]
(Beyonce “If I Were a Boy” vs. Tom Petty “Free Fallin’”)
DJ Earworm received a ton of press this year for his “Reckoner Lockdown” mashup, combining Kanye West and Radiohead, but it was this release later in the year that really showed the producer’s sensibilities when combining tracks. A variety of boots have used Tom Petty samples, many with mixed results, but the odd pairing between Petty’s “Free Fallin’” and Beyonce’s ballad “If I Were a Boy” trumps them all. On a similar note is Party Ben‘s mash between Beyonce and the theme from The Andy Griffith Show can’t be missed. No explanation can define how insane that track is.
#9) ABX “Anthemillas” [MP3]
(El Guincho “Palmitos Park” vs. Pitbull feat. Lil Jon “The Anthem”)
As 2008 comes to a conclusion, so too does the most successful 12-month period of time ABX and DJ STV SLV have had together as The Hood Internet. In addition to the duo’s incredible pace of single-track releases the duo put out a number of acclaimed albums in 2008: the 24-track The Hood Internet vs. Chicago, The Hood Internet vs. Lykke Li and The Hood Internet vs. Tobacco & Aesop Rock. There’s overwhelming justification for more than one song on this list by the duo, but in the name of fairness I’ve only listed my favorite of the year.
#8) Go Home Productions “Finally, Did You No Wrong” [MP3]
(Sex Pistols “Did You No Wrong” vs. Ce Ce Peniston “Finally”)
Despite rumblings of how Go Home Productions’ Mark Vidler had retired from the mashup-game, 2008 saw a number of great Vidler releases including the 11-track Spliced Krispies album. “After ‘laying off’ the bootlegs several months ago, I felt that the time was right to dabble again for a bit of fun and see what would materialize from a few weeks playing around. Spliced Krispies is the result.” Accompanying each track is a video produced by Vidler, most are a little rough, but damned if the mashes aren’t solid gold!
#7) Dj Doc Rok “Roc Boys (And The Winner Is) – All My Love” [MP3]
(Jay-Z “Roc Boys [And The Winner Is]“ vs. Led Zeppelin “All My Love”)
When Jay-Z released a capella versions of his American Gangster album he laid the groundwork for a number of great mashup releases. And like clockwork they began popping up – though unfortunately most were ultimately forgettable. There were two that stood above the pack however, Dj Doc Rok’s American Zeppelin and Irn Mnky’s A Very British American Gangster. Doc Rok’s wasn’t just the best of the bunch, but it is the first mashup album in memory (at least my memory) to utilize Led Zeppelin samples and actually pop. The entire album is genius.
#6) The Illuminoids “Son of The Phantom Ain’t Easy” [MP3]
(David Bowie “It Ain’t Easy” vs. Justice “Phantom Part II [Soulwax Remix]“)
After the success of last year’s Cross, Justice fans have had an ear-full of music to digest with no shortage of remixes and mashups hitting the web in 2008. One of the best comes from California’s Illuminoids, combining the sassy whales of David Bowie’s “It Ain’t Easy” with one of the heaviest Justice tracks on record, “Phantom (Part II).”
#5) Metermaids “No Matter What You Will Feel The Illinoise Or We Will Punch You In The Mouth” [MP3]
(Metermaids “No Matter What” vs. Sufjan Stevens “Come On! Feel The Illinoise!”)
This year’s release from New York’s Metermaids received a varied reception upon release this year – some calling emcees Swell and Sentence’s backpack-rap weak, some praising the vibrant positivity of the duo’s lyrics. Either way, when the duo released a mashup album to correspond with Nightlife it was most unexpected – even more because it chopped and spliced their rhymes with Sufjan Stevens’ modern classic Illinois. Weak comparisons parallel the album with Danger Mouse’s landmark The Black & White Album, but tinkering with your own master tapes is a different game than breaking down two (relatively) alien pieces of music. All the same, the entire album beautifully reflects of the duo’s lyrics.
#4) Copycat “A Smalltown Monday Solution (A Copycat Mash)” [MP3]
(New Order “Blue Monday” vs. Nouvelle Vague “Blue Monday” vs. Bronski Beat “Smalltown Boy” vs. Superbass feat. Relation “Solution [Jörgensen remix]“)
I dropped the ball when I forgot to include Copycat’s “Fade To Pretty Vacant” in last year’s year end list, but it’s an easy thing to do considering how consistent the producer is with his releases. This year Copycat branched out a bit, adding to his catalog a number of quality remixes, including the highly praised mix of Radiohead’s “Creep,” but in terms of mashes – “A Smalltown Monday Solution” was his best.
#3) A plus D “$20 Monday” [MP3]
(M.I.A. “20 Dollar” vs. New Order “Blue Monday”)
In between a world tour that literally ate up the majority of the year it’s hard to believe that the duo of Adrian & the Mysterious D released any new mashups in 2008. But they did. And it’s not hard to figure out why they’ve become the faces for mashups around the world – with consistent efforts blending styles and eras, they are two of the best in the world – and “$20 Monday” was one of the best of 2008.
#2) ddpesh “Nasty Feel” [MP3]
(MGMT “Electric Feel [Justice remix]“ vs. Notorious B.I.G. “Nasty Boy”)
When Spin compiled their list of the best MGMT remixes this year, atop of that list was this track from New York’s DJ duo ddpesh. Biggie mashups are interesting in that his rhymes seem to go with everything – from Hendrix to the Jackson 5 to Daft Punk. But this is the best of the bunch combining the power of B.I.G.’s bounce with a backing track of equal energy.
#1) Girl Talk “What’s It All About” [MP3]
There’s a reason that Gregg Gillis completely destroys audiences at his live shows, his songs are completely out of this world. While “What It’s All About” is one of my favorite tracks from Feed The Animals, this #1 selection reflects the entire album… and while it’s not entirely fair to put this up against the rest of the bunch, as it’s not a traditional mash, the offering of Girl Talk’s Feed The Animals is more than just another mashup album, it’s a mainstream depiction of the shifting values of pop culture. When reviewing the album earlier this year, I wrote “Falsely judging our society’s shift towards a clip-heavy viral video addiction and suggesting that we’re collectively on a path to that depicted in Mike Judge’s Idiocracy might be a bit much, but the essence for the debate remains – we are slowly shifting towards becoming a nation demanding instant gratification, no matter the vehicle.” And in this particular vehicle, Gillis uses 274 samples in creating what is more than one of the best albums of the year, more than one of the best songs or mashups of the year, but one of the best pieces of music of our generation.
(Beyonce “Ring the Alarm” vs. DJ Funk “Here We Go” vs. Queen “We Will Rock You” vs. Beastie Boys “So What’cha Want” vs. Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” vs. Busta Rhymes “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check” vs. The Police “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” vs. The Cure “Close To Me” vs. Ini Kamoze “Here Comes The Hotstepper” vs. Wilson Pickett “Land of a Thousand Dances” vs. Rotary Connection “Memory Band” vs. Faith No More “Epic” vs. Mike Jones feat. Hurricane Chris “Drop and Gimme 50″ vs. Kidz in the Hall “Drivin’ Down The Block” vs. DJ Assault “Ass ‘N’ Titties” vs. The Band “The Weight” vs. Junior Reid “One Blood” vs. Boogie Down Productions “Criminal Minded” vs. Yung Joc “I Know You See It” vs. Paula Cole “I Don’t Want to Wait” vs. Tones on Tail “Go!” vs. Beanie Sigel “Roc The Mic” vs. Argent “Hold Your Head Up” vs. Wu-Tang Clan – “C.R.E.A.M.” vs. Terence Trent D’Arby “Wishing Well” vs. N.W.A. “Dopeman” vs. 50 Cent “What Up Gangsta” vs. Genesis “Mama” vs. Bow Wow Wow “I Want Candy” vs. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Gold Lion” vs. T.I. “You Know What It Is” vs. Outkast “Ms. Jackson” vs. Vanilla Ice “Havin’ a Roni” vs. The Jackson 5 “ABC” vs. Rihanna “Umbrella” vs. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody”)