Mash-Ups

August 21, 2012

This post is not a story. But that doesn’t mean it’s about something irrelevant. All these posts are about the Life of an Idiot. A very large part of this Idiot’s Life is Music. More specifically: Mash-Ups. Mash-Ups are the single greatest Musical creation since…the invention of the drum? Anyway, I love Mash-Ups. And I have a little bit to say about them.

First things first, an immediate question that one may have is: “What is a Mash-Up?” A Mash-Up is a combination of multiple songs into one. Skilled Mash-Up artists can sew songs together almost seamlessly, making a symphony of brilliant sound. The song selection in a Mash-Up can vary in genres, often making for very interesting combinations. An example might be White Panda’s “I Want Brooklyn Back” where a Rap song is combined with the R&B of the Jackson 5. Sometimes, songs in a Mash-Up are put together in a certain way that makes the random phrases from each song form a complete thought. My favorite Mash-Up artist does this all the time, he’s dubbed “Norwegian Recycling“. So, that’s basically what a Mash-Up is.

What makes Mash-Ups special, though, is another matter entirely. Mash-Ups are my personal favorite kind of Music because, when done well, they combine the best parts of all these great songs into a explosive Musical adventure of loveliness. Hearing the way that all of my favorite songs can fit together sometimes sends chills up my spine. Mash-Ups keep things fresh and exciting as the songs transition from one to another. Especially the first time you listen to a Mash-Up song, there’s a certain mystery about what song will start playing next and how it will fit together. As I write this, I’m listening to Norwegian Recycling’s latest song “Good Time” for the first time and I’m experiencing the phenomenon I just wrote about.

As far as Truths that can be found from Mash-Ups, I can think of only one: That Mash-Ups are a lot like people. A single song often expresses only one emotion or conveys a single message. You would be hard pressed to find a person who can be defined in their entirety by one song. However, the songs used in Mash-Ups express a variety of thoughts and opinions. Even though the song selections are never played in their entirety, simple snippets can remind the listener of all the emotions brought on by the song. In this way, Mash-Ups can remind us all that people are not all painted one color, they do not sing one song. We all sing Mash-Ups in Life. That’s me being deep right there. In the end, though, whether you want to bother with thinking about all this philosophical nonsense or whether you just want to hear good music: Mash-Ups are the way to go.

I don’t claim to be a “Master of Mash-Ups”, but I do have a few groups that I follow fairly religiously and if you’re at all interested in finding a new genre of Music, here are my top three favorite Mash-Up artists: Norwegian Recycling, Titus Jones, and The White Panda.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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