Thanks to some bizarre complications between Soundcloud and Tumblr, I’ve had to post the two tracks that I reference below up top as Flash and not HTML5. They’re both from Titus Jones’ new (free) album, After Shock.
I think the reason I like mashup tracks as much as I do relates to my obsession with efficiency. It’s really hard to listen to multiple songs at the same time and enjoy it (…duh…) but that’s exactly what a great mashup does.
Good mashups will also mess with your head, especially with repeated listening, re-wiring your brain to reflect new associations formed by hearing Ludacris or Eminem rapping over the beat from the Power Rangers theme. Play the first track, Fuckin’ Power Rangers and give it 30 seconds to warm up and drop.
Of course, listening to this track will not make you think of Power Rangers every time you hear Eminem for all of eternity, but your brain is “dumb” in the sense that it will auto-associate that which is experienced simultaneously, which poses an interesting situation for those in the music business and interested in intellectual property.
I’ve been curious to know for a while now what the effects of a good mashup are on the perception of artists/bands/songs featured in it. Not sure if anyone’s ever published something about it. For example, Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac for one reason or another has managed to enjoy prominent placement in a bunch of remixes and mashup tracks over the past few years, but I have a strong hunch that you won’t find Don’t Stop in the Top 25 Most Played of those who listened.
Let’s fast-forward to some present day artists for a better example of what I mean. In the second track, Close to Blowin’ in the Deep, you’ll hear Ke$sha, Adele, Madonna, Rihanna, Alex Clare, and 3OH!3 all together in a way you probably never expected.
As far as I know, none of those artists were involved with the production of this track, but how, if at all, can listening to this track change the way listeners perceive those very artists? I don’t know if it’s a question best answered immediately after one listen. Whatever the answer may be, I’d like to believe that the better the final mashed up track is, the more everyone involved - DJs, original artists, and consumers consumers - wins.