Saturday, January 15, 2005

# Posted 11:22 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THE BLOGOSPHERE'S DISTANT COUSINS: If you are as hip as OxBlog (which isn't saying much), then you probably know that "mashups" are the latest trend in popular music. A "mashup" is the result of a DJ using software to mix together two entirely different songs, for example Madonna's "Ray of Light" and the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen".

What I find so interesting about mash ups is how they represent the triumph of individual pajama-clad keyboard cowboys over the corporate titans supposedly in charge of their industry. The New Yorker observes that
Mashups find new uses for current digital technology, a new iteration of the cause-and-effect relationship behind almost every change in pop-music aesthetics: the gear changes, and then the music does. If there is an electric guitar of mashup, it is a software package called Acid Pro, which enables one to put loops of different songs both in time and in tune with each other. Mark Vidler, known professionally as Go Home Productions, explained some other benefits of digital technology to me in London not long ago: “You don’t need a distributor, because your distribution is the Internet. You don’t need a record label, because it’s your bedroom, and you don’t need a recording studio, because that’s your computer. You do it all yourself."
Yet as in the blogosphere, the work of outsiders is often integrated -- rapidly -- into the mainstream hierarchy. According, the New Yorker a mashup entitled "A Stroke of Genius"
Is so good that it eventually led [DJ] Freelance Hellraiser to do official remixes for [Christina] Aguilera and others, and he has just completed, at Paul McCartney’s invitation, an entire album of McCartney remixes. “Stroke” also inspired a fourteen-year-old named Daniel Sheldon to start a Web site called boomselection.info. “The Remix” remains England’s main hub for mashups, but the rest of the world is being served through Sheldon’s site and getyourbootlegon.com, a message board started by Grant McSleazy, who recently graduated to doing legitimate remixes of Britney Spears.
Although I am concerned about the use of the words "legitimate" and "Britney" in the same sentence, I won't dwell on that subject. Instead, I'd like to note that trends driven by pajama-clad inviduals working out of their own homes on their own computers often produce results very quickly:
Once a graphic designer working for a company that made travel pillows, and long before that a guitarist in a rock band called Chicane, [Mark] Vidler, too, was converted in October of 2001. “I heard ‘A Stroke of Genius’ on the radio and I thought, That’s clever. I could do that,” he said. By April of 2002, Vidler was making his own mashups. His first was called “Slim McShady,” a combination of Eminem and Wings. “I created it on a Saturday, posted it on the Tuesday, and got played on the radio that Friday, on ‘The Remix.’”
Not bad!
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This post was very awesome. I'd love to see more like it.
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