Monday, June 23, 2008

Girl Talk's ADD Jams

Ok, so maybe it's a little unfair to compose a song entirely from the hooks of other songs, but life isn't really fair, now, is it? Pittsburgh DJ, Gregg Gillis aka Girl Talk makes music for the modern age. He is a laptop DJ that makes ingenious mash-ups taking recognizable bits from songs of any genre and making them into dance floor jams. Girl Talk is at his best when he makes you say, "Oh I love this song! What is it though?".

Nothing is off-limits, one of the most bizarre moments on his latest disc, Feed the Animals, is when Nirvana's Lithium, is mixed with Deee-Lite's Groove is in the Heart, with Salt-N-Peppa's Push It over the top. You can also hear Metallica's One mixed with Lil' Mama's Lip Gloss, which is apparently cool and poppin'. These are the sorts of crazy cross-genre, pop-culture references I've grown to love and expect from Girl Talk. But be warned, Girl Talk loves to use the raunchiest rap samples he can find. So you can expect to hear lots of sexually-explicit verses, as well as some violent ones, since he also loves to sample N.W.A.

Girl Talk - Shut the Club Down

Above link courtesy of Test Pilots Music Blog.

Feed the Animals was released In Rainbows-style, pay anything you wish. Personally I bought Radiohead's CD but not Girl Talk's, not because I don't love Girl Talk but when In Rainbows came out I wasn't "the Press". Also, I paid to see Girl Talk live last October, yeah I'm one of those people. Technically what Girl Talk is doing is illegal, making money from other people's music without having your samples cleared. It's for that reason that you're not going to find any of his music in a record store. However, you can purchase physical CD's and LP's of his mixes from Illegal Art records. A label that specializes in subverting Intellectual Property Rights Laws. It should also be noted that Girl Talks live performances, which are pretty much the same as the CDs, aren't illegal. The live performance is considered "fair use" but by releasing these performances on disc it starts to blur that intellectual-property barrier. Isn't borrowing and referencing pop-culture in a way that skirts the law the epitome of this digital life?

In person Girl Talk shows are a big party filled with energy, dancing and many moments of, "Oh my God I can't believe he is playing this". On CD I think that energy is captured quite nicely. Sure it can get a bit monotonous, listening to a four minute song that has 2 dozen samples to pick through. But that's also the fun of it, it's like trivial pursuit for music junkies. Sure you recognize that bass-line, but is it L7 or the Breeders?

Anyway, if you wish to pay whatever you want for a high-quality download you may do so here. Be forewarned if you choose to pay nothing you will be forced to explain why, but don't worry you just have to make a selection that accurately describes why you want it for free. If you do end up paying actual money for Feed the Animals then you can get a physical copy as well as a digital one. "I can touch it AND hear it!!"

This guy on YouTube has made mash-up videos to a bunch of the tracks from Girl Talk's previous album, Night Ripper. They are helpful if you get stumped about what songs are being sampled.

Here's one from Night Ripper:

Girl Talk - Once Again via YouTube

Or bask in the dorkiness that is Gregg Gillis creating one of his masterworks:

Girl Talk Creates a mash-up via YouTube