The mashup — the digital fusion of two or more songs to create one new and different song — has lost its novelty. Like power chords, melisma and pointy hair, it's become just another trope in our post-post-modern musical lexicon. No longer bright and shiny, no longer "revolutionary" — as if it really were to begin with — the mashup has gone from the avant-garde expression of Web 2.0 sensibilities, the bleeding edge of Digital Native creativity, to just another tool in the binary-music toolbox. But, like the aforementioned power chords, just because the cut-and-paste aesthetic is common doesn't mean it can't rule — especially when Chicago duo The Hood Internet are holding the scalpel.
Now don't think for one second that them there interwebs created the whole "one song on top of the other to make a new song" thing. No, that credit goes to the hip-hop DJs who've been mashing disparate a cappella and instrumental tracks since the early days of rap, and the disco DJs who compiled their own extended edits of songs by hand, on tape. (You remember, tape right? The shiny stuff on spools? No? Ask your parents.) All the Interwebs did was make everybody and their uncle think they could get famous by splicing Barry Manilow with Aanal Beehemoth in GarageBand and posting it on Friendster.
The thing is, a good mashup is more than just a collision of two songs everybody knows with a clever pun for a title. You can't just slap a Nelly rap on a Ned's Atomic Dustbin riff and call it a day. (Ned's Atomic Dustbin are still popular, right? And the kids still like to put Band-Aids on their cheeks, too? ... Trends move so quickly these days.) No, a good mashup showcases the best qualities of the source material and seamlessly welds the musical inputs into a coherent whole, preferably incorporating influences that are a little more advanced than your typical Jack-FM playlist — cough [Girl Talk] cough.
It sounds simple enough, sure, but it's a rarity — if there were a pie chart demonstrating the bullshit-to-awesomeness ratio in the mashup scene, a slice that's roughly the width of a human hair represents the mashes worth a repeat listen. And if you'll allow us to extrapolate this hair metaphor to its most logical (and kind of disturbing) conclusion, The Hood Internet are basically the '70s porn stars of the international mashup scene.
In the three years since their first post on www.thehoodinternet.com — The Shins vs Crime Mob, "Rock Yo Sea Legs," natch — they have uploaded hundreds of tracks, raw-dogging their way through almost as many sounds and genres — hip-hop, electro, pop, indie, what-have-you — leaving their audience breathless, sweaty and begging for more. There's literally no such thing as a song or style they can't load into their digital supercollider and smash into something awesome: Usher (feat. Young Jeezy) vs. Los Campesinos!; R. Kelly vs. Casiotone For The Painfully Alone; Dead Prez vs. Grizzly Bear; and so on and so forth.
The ultimate mashup — well-crafted and well-played — is like Marvel Comics' Juggernaut, an unstoppable force pummeling audiences into puddles of cross-genre goo. And The Hood Internet hit all their marks, creating a sonic tapestry that will cover just about any audience you could throw at them. Heshers, punks, hip-hoppers, ravers, hippies, preppies and pop tarts — all of them will be on the dance floor when The Hood Internet hit the stage at The End. Which when you think about it isn't terribly novel, but it is pretty frickin' awesome.
http://www.reverbnation.com/guesthousestud… git some black rain y'all...very nice piece Mr. Anderson
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