Do You Want Mash With That?
One of the most intriguing musical art-forms to emerge through online creativity has been the mashup – it’s been with us for the best part of a decade and yet it still manages to surprise me when it works well. I’ve long been a fan of DJs like Zebra, Pogo and Armin Van Buuren (who scored a massive hit this summer with his trance version of Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’).
Finding two songs that will fit inside each other takes a special kind of genius, but it’s not a new skill – composers have been doing this for centuries, and it’s one of the fundamental parts of musical creation. It can work in the highbrow symphony and in low-born musical because it breaks down harmonics into separate parts and then reassembles them. In the ‘Sweeney Todd’ song ‘Ladies In Their Sensitivities’ three sections are overlaid on each other to produce something sublime.
But finding songs that come from entirely different sources and doing the same thing is a skill that belongs to the DJ with electronics at his fingertips. the subtle slowing and changing of pace can make you feel that certain tracks always belonged together – like this one. As for that still at the top, I always felt sorry for Carol Lynn Gorney, who got to stand on the sidelines while Tony Manero strutted his stuff.