Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mashup Mania

In a world where anything from screaming to synthesizers has become anticipated or even expected in new music, it is not a shock that a new trend for music lovers and creators, called mash-ups, have been making its way to mainstream audiences.

From the Beastie Boys in the 1980s sampling audio tracks from Led Zeppelin to Vanilla Ice sampling audio tracks from David Bowie and Queen, the art of blending two or more songs together, or mash-ups, have been becoming increasingly popular in a society who is starving for something new.

But today’s mash-ups artists have taken their creativity even further by mashing ten or so songs together into a single track.

“Right now I actually think it's expected. It's a huge trend now, even in mainstream music,” Nathan Pham said, a mash-up artist who goes by the stage name Easter Egg. “Listen to modern day hip-pop and wait to hear some obvious 90s sample.”

Pham, along with other mash-up artists, are seemingly always being criticized on the originality of their music creation.

“There is a fine line between making a mash up and making your own music. I do not believe that throwing down two obvious tracks and barely touching them is creating your own music,” said Pham. ”It’s just playing with other people’s music.”

Technology seems to be the spark for the popularity of this new production of sounds.

“There are now programs like Ableton and Acid Pro that make it so anyone with half a creative mind can throw together a mash up,” Pham said.

And with the help of software, mash-up artists have been successfully creating tracks with all kinds of different music genres, constructing them into something most would not expect.

One Easter Egg song in particular, “Saturday Night,” begins with a Bay City Rollers Track, a Guns and Roses track, and an experimental, electronic, post rock track from a band called M83, followed by vocals from various rap artists.

With all the music in the world waiting to be sampled, it seems there will always be something new for these samplers to work with.

“I get the chance to listen to music for 12 hours a day at work, so I hear a lot of things that stick with me, and I'll take the mental note to try it out,” Pham said.

Posted by Drew Wilson


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