Mashups

Tangled Web: A weekly column featuring intriguing online music-related issues & destinations. This Week: Mashups.

The combination of CD-ripping and home recording software with blog Internet publishing technology has led to an explosion of online mashup destinations featuring the best, and more often worst, of the latest digital music craze.

One such blog site, mashups.blogspot.com, is run by a mashup aficionado known as CCC, who posts various mashup files and access to mashup-themed radio streams. The apparently fearless sampler currently is featuring his attempt to mashup The Beatles' "Revolver" album called "Revolved."

Experimentations include a rather annoying mix of "Eleanor Rigby" with Madonna's "Ray of Light" and an at-once disturbing and hilarious mix of "Here, There & Everywhere" with the cover of the same song by the former Mrs. Spider Savage: Claudine Longet (gunshots not included). One of the few songs that actually work is a great mix of "For No One" with the Cure's "Close To Me."

How long the mashup album will remain available for download is questionable, given the digitally ultra-shyness of the Beatles. The phenomenally popular mashup of the band's "The White Album" with Jay Z's "The Black Album" by DJ Danger Mouse was one of the most critically acclaimed musical works of last year, but resulted in such a legal dust up that the album remains available only on underground Web sites.

BeatlesWhile most possess nowhere near the inventiveness of "The Grey Album," many mashup artists now see Beatles songs as prime fodder for practicing their art.

CCC is a member of a mashup collective known as Hearing Double. The various artists that make up the site post their various production samples in separate links, all covered by a generic disclaimer that offers to remove any tracks found objectionable to publishers or artists. Examples include a mashup of Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot" with Huey Lewis' "Power of Love" by a poster known as Compact Risk, NWA's "Straight Outta' Compton" with Olivia Newton John's "Magic" by Dsico and the Prodigy's "Firestarter" with Justin Timerlake's "Like I Love You" by Downlowtooslow.

All feature links to their creators' respective Web sites that have other mashups dating back to 2001, as well as other interesting links from both European and U.S. mashup fanatics.

The Boston Mashup Project is another site dedicated to the new art form, featuring streams from both local radio stations as well as from the popular mashup mixer DJ Zebra out of Paris. Keeping with the tempting-fate-with-the-Beatles motif, there is a link to DJ BC's album of Beatles mashups with the Beastie Boys called "The Beastles" and a separate set of tracks mashing the Liverpool quartet with The Rolling Stones.

The site also features freshly mashed tracks pitting Roots Manuva against Marvin Gaye, the Roots against Radiohead, and D12 and Eminem against the Cars. Additionally, there is an extensive number of links to other mashup sites, Internet radio streams and live events all dedicated to mashup remixes.