Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Goddamn that DJ saved my day

It's that time of the year- motivation is flagging, the weather is nice. It must be time to make a mixtape. This time, I'm not fucking around with my old headphone music steez. I'm aimin' for the streets, shootin for the jeeps. Pure electro and old-school bangalangs. I'm talkin' Cybotron, NWA and Giorgio. Uptempo gangster shit for when you need to get a mountain of snow from NYC to Philly in an hour. And all of it mashed the fuck up.

Now that I have you fantasizing about high stakes yay-yo slingin', I have to ask myself the question: Is the mashup played out? I've been mashin up styles for a couple of years now and I've never put out a mashup mixtape, with one exception (note that the "WuTang Clan Ain't Nothin to Fuck With" instro comes in under the Milkshake later than the snippet allows. Cop It!). We all know that Philly is a mash-town (tip of the cap to Hollertronix crew here). So the style has been running solid for a few years now- enough so that mashups are an expected move at Making Time, the infamous Philadelphyinz (plug plug) and other DJ-centric events.

So now that mashups are standard fare, are they slip-sliding into wackscurity, or are they just not so novel anymore? Did scratching ever become wack, or did it just become unnecessary to always show your chops? I suppose the difference between scratching and mashing is that with the exception of your Avalanches and Birdy Nam Nams, nobody ever really makes music by scratching, they just try to insinuate their claim to phallic immortality. Mashing is making a new song in and of itself.

Not to harp on an old theme, but I guess mashups may end up the victim of a backlash against hipster culture. For example, on my current tape, I throw some late Elvis over some early De La. Upon listening, you could process this in one of several ways. You could dig the musical meshing and badass styleee, you could find it quaint and ironic or you could find it wack because irony reminds you of your 25 year old neighbor with the beard who is trying to fix a zither he found in the trash.

Furthermore, there has been a rash of mediocre mash-tapes recently. After the Grey Album, everybody else thinks they are entitled to sire some sort of palsy-ridden beast begat from stoned pontification like "Dude, what if RAPPER spit over DEAD SINGER??" Among these are the G-Unit/Queen jawn and the Biggie/Sinatra escapade. I have to admire the effort and dedication, but the final products are pretty uninspiring. There are hot tracks without a doubt, but a whole album is a fucking stretch.

While you're puzzling over all this, peep the best mashup tape I've ever heard- Z-Trip and DJ P's "Uneasy Listening."