Top Ten Mashups You Haven’t Heard YetPosted by Razen on December 18, 2006.
Laboring deep in the bowels of the Internet there exists a strange group of musical artists who labor to produce unholy offspring. Called into action by the similarity of a rhyme or chord structure, they struggle to merge 2 different songs into a single sound.
While most of these are doomed to failure from flawed ideas or gimmicky hooks, a few do become greater than the sum of their parts. Like the bastard son of 2 ugly drunks that hook up in a bar, these new songs turn out to be genius on a whole new level. Here’s what I think are 10 of the best efforts.
50 Cent and Willie Nelson? About the only thing these 2 artists have in common is their love for weed. Whitebread overlooks the differences and crafts a tune that takes you to another place entirely. It’s like some weird merging of Country music’s depression with a Moroccan beat. Close your eyes and you can imagine a broken down singer holed up in some smoky Mideastern dive bar, longing for a home he knows he’ll never see again.
9. Aggro1 - Behind These Immigrant Eyes
Mashup of Kelly Clarkson and Led Zeppelin
I never listened to Kelly Clarkson cause I knew I would hate the bubblegum pop sound that her music is meant to be. But Goddamn this song rocks. Aggro1 strips away all traces of saccharine and leaves a voice that could pound nails into concrete with its power. Backing her up is one of the strongest hooks in rock and roll history; Page’s guitar scrapes right along with the wounds that Kelly sings about. Zep purists will scoff at this union and call me an idiot but I dare anyone to say this isn’t a perfect musical marriage.
The Kleptones is just 1 guy from the UK named Eric who produces some of the most professional sounding mashups on the net. His latest release was the Internet only album “24” which has 33 songs linked together as a drama in 2 acts. Intermixing sound bites from films, TV and other recordings, Eric created what I consider the best bastard pop album yet. I picked this tune from the album as a great example of what this guy is capable of. You think the song would be a mess from reading the sample list but Eric turns it into a hook laden beat that will stay in your head for days. The rest of the album is just as good.
7. Audiodile – The Way To Dirty Fame
Mashup of David Bowie, Don Henley, Queen, Sky Fox
Audiodile injects some much-needed funk into white boy Henley and turns his classic “Dirty Laundry” into a dancefloor rumpshaker. While Audiodile may be the only human on the planet who remembers one hit wonder Sly Fox, he seems bound and determined to force them back into our collective consciousness again. There’s not a dull moment in the song since Audiodile is a genius at using hooks from each song at the perfect moment. Wouldn’t you love to hear a whole album of Henley/Bowie collaborations?
A Plus D are 2 DJ’s from San Fran who are well known in the mashup arena from running the highly successful Bootie Bar and creating the worlds only mashup band, “Smash Up Derby.” This tune showcases their genius of finding two songs that both perfectly match and still become greater than the sum of their parts. The synchronization is almost too perfect; anyone who hadn’t heard the songs separately would be convinced that it wasn’t a mashup at all. Gwen’s voice perfectly counterpoints the techno-mechanical sounds of the music while the beats of Front 242 are revived for a new generation who think the term “industrial” refers to those guys who make shitty effects for the Star Wars movies.
5. Arty Fufkin – Give Losers A Chance
Mashup of John Lennon, Beck, and Steve Busecemi
In the late 60s it seemed that John Lennon was perhaps the epitome of the lovable loser. From the love for a wife that the rest of the world hated to his efforts at war protest by staging bedins and putting up billboards; he looked like a leftover relic from the summer of love. Arty Fufkin captures that feeling to a T in his merging of “Loser” with “Give Peace A Chance.” Beck’s dirty guitar work slides perfectly around the sloppy vocals of the Plastic Ono Band while his nonsense lyrics match the fool’s hope expressed in Lennon’s words. A sample of Steve Busecemi from “Ghost World” drives home how the world really is. This is the perfect pessimist mashup.
Another white boy gets kicked in the head by funk for a wonderful result. Joel’s anger cools down under the ice of Jay Z’s sound structure and turns his rant into more of a drunk’s rampage that an actual ode to a asshole. On the upside Joel comes off sounding cooler than he ever was. If Jay Z and Billy Joel co-owned a nasty stripclub in Miami then this song could come out of the experience. Billy is just trying to pass on his life’s knowledge to the newcomer before he’s dragged under by the sleaze.
Here’s a great slowgroove with snazzy drumlicks that will keep you hitting repeat. Daft Punk songs always seem to be missing something and John solves that problem by throwing in the Eagles backed by perfect voice samples from countless different funk songs. There’s a metric ton of creative edits and production skills going on in here that a lot of other mashups lack. I’m duly impressed and you will be to.
2. DJ Mei-lwun – Sweet Home Country Grammar
Mashup of Nelly and Lynyrd Skynyrd
Here’s another example of 2 widely different genres coming together to create a great pop song. The perfect cadence of Nelly’s rap skills just wraps itself around the country picking styles of the perfect southern rock song. The results are toe-tapping genius…did you ever think you’d listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd and think it’s a great dance song? If record companies had their acts together they’d be encouraging artists from different backgrounds like this to get together and record. The results might have Ronnie Van Zant rolling over in his grave but there would definitely be a least a few gems like this one produced.
I’m ending the list with a song I’ve just recently been turned on to. DJ Moule is from France and many of his songs features samples that are unknown to me but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying them. This one features a French group called Mouloud (I can’t find a reference to them on the net) whose vocals fit perfectly over the funky sound from Bowie’s “Fame.” AC/DC fades in and out with a crunchy guitar lick to kick up the testosterone and take the whole thing up a notch at the end. Moule has excellent mixing skills and the other songs on his site are worth a listen.
If you enjoyed this story, read more like it in our Top Ten Lists section.
You spelled Lynyrd Skynyrd wrong.
Posted by juanvaldez.
I should be flogged for that...fixed now.
Posted by razen.
way to go to the writer...you put a picture of willie nelson and lloyd banks together instead of willie and 50 cent. Congratulations on not being able to identify an actor and 20x + platinum selling musician.
Posted by nick.
I knew who it was when I 'shopped the photo. It's meant to show the mixing of genre's for the article as a whole, not be an image for the number 10 pick on the list.
Btw, that second photo of the Nazi girl with the mustace?...I know that's not what Eric from the Kleptones looks like as well.
Posted by razen.
Where the hell can I find Aggro's LedZep Kelly mashup as an mp3!?!? My god is that awesome
Posted by Botunda.
The stupidity of the Nelson/Banks image stood out to me also. Doesn't make sense to use Banks, if he's not in any of the other mashups. I don't believe that Razen used his image intentionally.
Big shout out to all you GorillaMaskers out there!
Posted by Henry.
oh dear god, I'm gonna change it...
Posted by razen.
I didn't have a problem with the previous image but thanks for changing it because the new one is perfect and probably illustrates the standout mashup anyway. It's almost as if Kelly knew someone would have mashed her up with Led Zep back when she was posing for her album cover.
Posted by Evil Richard.
How can you not include anything from the crooklyn clan, or any artists on crooklynclan.net
You're a horrible source and have no idea what you're talking about.
Posted by Jon.
Zeppelin and Clarkson.....NEVER would have seen that one coming but I was rocking out.
Posted by C.C. Chapman.
Is he calling Willie Nelson an actor? I dunno but neither 50cent or Llyod banks has done anything approaching willie nelsons ginormous catalog of music. And 50cent is no where near 20xplat, maybe 10 if yer counting stolen downloads...
Posted by opie.
Oh, btw, good article, some nice tunes here.
Posted by opie.
This list is awesome. I'm going to make a version of it at Tenspotting and hopefully other people will add other mash-ups as well.
Posted by Gavin.
I am a zep purist, and that song rocked.
boom goes the dynamite
Posted by houndlax_99.
I wanna know where I can get that Zep/ Clarkston as an mp3. That was amazing.
Posted by RichRank.
sweet merciful crap, please tell me you guys were kidding about the Zep-clarkson mashup. Id have to clean my ears with Q-tips made out of barbed wire and aids blood before i could listen to that again.
Posted by horrified.
Well, that was enjoyable. Clarkson/Zep is a keeper!
Posted by Miss Cellania.
hey razen - thanks! nice selections and not the usual which is nice to see.
Posted by Arty Fufkin.
Can't believe people are trying to pick holes in this article. Seriously guys you must have something better to do. This stuff is awesome. Thank you!!!
Posted by Rich.
Have to echo Arty's comments - great selection, and proud to be part of it - thanks :)
Posted by Eric Kleptone.