musique Mashups What is a mashup, really?

perkoch posted on Sep 09, 2007 at 02:21PM
LisaS and I have had an email discussion on what a mashup is. Her question was whether she should keep the Crazy Frog videos at this spot, even if these tracks are not mixes of existing tracks, but rerecordings of existing songs.

I think we should keep the tracks, and use them as a starting point for a discussion on what a mashup is.

It seems to me that the mashup concept originally was used for DJ mixes, where the DJ took the instrumental part of one song (normally fetched from a dub mix or 12 inch mix) and put the vocal track from another, adjusting the pitch and tempo accordingly.

Lately the mixers have become more sophisticated, as modern software makes it possible to seamlessly blend a large number of songs.

However, what they all have in common is that they are based on *existing* recordings (although I do suspect that some DJs add some extra percussion using drum machines).

If this is the case, the Crazy Frog tracks are not mashups.

There are other related phenomena, as well.

Many artist now use samples in their original recordings, borrowing bass lines, rhythm tracks or passages from other songs.

Pussycat Dolls makes use of a passage from Evil Woman by the Electric Light Orchestra in Beep (see link). LisaS mentions the use of ABBA in Madonna's Hung Up (see link)

These are not mashups as such, as part of the composition is original, but they serve as example of the same trend, i.e. the wish to turn existing art into something new by combining elements from different songs.

By the way, the Wikipedia defines the word as follows:

Mashup, bootleg or Bastard Pop, is a musical genre which, in its purest form, consists of the combination of the music from one song with the a cappella from another. Ideally, the music and vocals belong to completely different styles/genres generally considered to be incompatible, yet skillfully and artfully combined into a pleasurably euphonic hybrid.

What do you think?

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