I think of music like most people think of food. I know things that work and I know things that don’t work. And when you take multiple amazing things and try to combine them together, it can be heaven on earth. In this respect, I’ve fallen in love with the mashup.
I was in college when the CD “Collision Course” came out, a joint collaboration between Linkin Park and Jay Z. After this, it prompted me to create my own mashups (using an old program that was free). I can’t rip the song apart, so I was pretty much confined to going back and forth. Nothing extravagent, but the mashup I did of Strong Bad vs. Fall Out Boy still makes me smile.
While I’m writing, I want you to open up this YouTube playlist and listen while we talk.
Collision Course was interesting because the two artists collaborated and even recorded vocals to time up with the music. Most DJs don’t get that luxury.
I included my favorite track from Collision Course, “Dirt Off Your Shoulders/Lying From You.”
After this, I started spending more time looking across the web for mashups and remixes. One of the first that caught my attention was also catching attention across the entire web. His name was Party Ben and he created a track that is still wowing people with both its simplicity and effectiveness. It was called “Boulevard of Broken Songs” and mashed up the tracks Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day and Wonderwall by Oasis. They blended naturally together and inspired young DJs from across the world.
One of these young DJs was a man from Norway who coined the name Norwegian Recycling. His track “How Six Songs Collide” crashed together Jason Mraz, Howie Day, 3 Doors Down, and more. He’s released a boatload of songs after this. One of his recent tracks that I love is called “Lights” mixing Kanye, Gaga, Britney, Blink182, Foo Fighters, Muse, Chris Brown… And more. It’s crazy. I love it. Find Norwegian Recycling on YouTube to see his videos as he releases them.
Around this time, the clock was about to shift from 2008 to 2009. At the end of 2008, DJ Earworm released a mashup of the top 25 songs from that year, based on the top Billboard hits. 2008 was a solid mashup but 2009’s “United State of Pop 2009 (Blame It On The Pop)” was genius. To take 25 songs and make them a harmonious mashup is quite a feat. Taylor Swift, Jay Sean, Katy Perry, Gaga… all cohabitating in one incredibly infectious track. It’s like a whole new song. DJ Earworm also created a mashup for a concert in which 15 artists were playing, so he mashed them all together. “Like OMG Baby” is a masterpiece. I don’t hate Justin Bieber but I wouldn’t call myself a fan. But I fell in love with this track. The way DJ Earworm manages to weave the lyrics together in a way that pays homage to the original but also creates a new story and a new meaning is… beyond words.
At this point, I knew some of the big players. But I started looking for smaller mashup artists and I found a local SoCal DJ that was doing some incredible work. Mochi Beats played at some clubs in Santa Ana and I wish I had gone when I had the chance. My favorites of his are actually full-length EPs and CDs that are created as a seamless track. If you’re looking for background music for a party or just while you kick it, check out his 22 minute “Goodnight EP” or his incredible 45 minute self-titled “Mochi Beats”. I’ve included two of his stellar single tracks on the YouTube playlist I created, one mixing Britney and Usher which gives me goosebumps and then one mashing Iyaz’s “Replay” with some Backstreet Boys and B.O.B. (Edit: Mochi Beats has stopped creating music and deleted his accounts. Some of his stuff is still up on YouTube, but that’s probably it.)
I also found a college student from the midwest that does some killer tracks called DJ Jewboy and I included his track “Just Let It Tok” on my playlist, mashing Kesha and Lady Gaga into a song that I’m actually not embarrassed to listen to.
So, I’ve managed to find young and old, new and established… But I need some international flair, so I found a DJ out of Germany that is doing some incredible stuff. He’s come up with the super creative name of Mashup-Germany. He has a lot of tracks and he often mixes German and American hits together, which is really cool. A prime example of this the song “Who Dat Joli Garcon,” mixing Flo Rida and Akon with German/French(?) artist Lolita. He also created probably one of my favorite glowstringing tunes mashing up the recent remake of the classic “Tu vuò fà l’americano” with some Backstreet Boys, C&C Music Factory, and a few other tracks. His track “Everybody Speaks No Americano” is a brilliant work and gets me pumped up everytime. If you’re interested in another background track or something for road trips, check out his two-hour track “Mash Mob.” Amazing work.
So, I leave you to continue jamming and definitely follow these artists on their various Soundcloud/YouTube/Facebook accounts and keep up with what they’re working on. Hopefully at least a few of these tracks caught your attention and made you smile.