Here’s the Banker getting on board the train to mashville with- ‘Gash Up’, an extraodinary mash/edit/arrangement of - M.I.A. – Galang Acapella, Aphex Twin – Jynweythek Ylow, Shackleton – Tin Foil Sky, The Banker and Beethoven – Adagio Sostenuto. Check the way he uses the piano from Beethoven’s Adagio against M.I.A’s voice then segues into the Aphex twin piano…gosh.
Speaking of mashes here’s a great, interesting and thought provoking piece by Nick Sylvester and W. David Marx on Girl Talk. For those who don’t know, Girl Talk does fairly dense mashup albums.(He’s playing Dublin in March, I think I may even be supporting him)
…the extent to which the music he’s working with is so portable, so building-block ready, makes it seem like he’s not making art so much as merely following industry directions: Step by step, like he’s putting together a Lego spaceship. There is no violence in this process, in other words; he’s hardly repurposing much of anything. Instead it’s like a video game in which Gillis has found the warp level — yet keep in mind, somebody somewhere had to program that warp level precisely so that it would be discovered.
On a boat on the Shannon last summer listening to the Girl Talk album with my friend the film maker, Eamonn, I got him excited by suggesting that a program could be easily written to mix and mash tunes by their key and Bpm. I’ve since came across Mixmeister which pretty much does this and it’s a matter of months before it or something similar is used as a plug in for media players.
The piece makes some interesting points and is a good read, though quoting Adorno to the effect that pop isn’t art muddies the waters. The pop he was talking about was Jazz and tin pan alley etc. It’s also a bit unclear what their problem with Girl Talk is – that he claims to be an artist? That he’s ‘only’ a technician?
The problem here is the usual one that the word art doesn’t actually mean anything.
From the hitch hikers guide to the galaxy
Generally, art is a human activity, made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions. Beyond this description, there is no general agreed-upon definition of art.
-So every thing apart from work then.
Art used to glorify God, now it glorifies the market. Either everything is art or nothing is. I’d go with nothing. Good stuff, bad stuff, stuff I like, stuff that suits my agenda, but don’t go putting wings or halos on any of it.
It’s important to bear in mind the contexts of mashes and the processes that produce them and with that the fact that they create their own contexts. I remember in the days of Boomselection thinking mashes were done, but they keep going, to the point they are now a model for new technologies. Saying they are soulless is a bit of a so what?- That isn’t nescessariliy a bad thing. We’ve just had over twenty years of dancing to a drum machine and searching for the smallest atom of funk…which has been good fun.
To what extent is Coltrane’s ‘Favourite things’ a mash? Anyway read the piece, it’ll get you thinking. More mash theory here.
In other news here’s a link to the front page on Indymedia about a mash(projecting images on a building) I took part in on Monday. Organised by the above mentioned Eamonn, It took place outside the Israeli embassy.