Soundtrack: Must-hear mix and mashups

Daft Punk rules nation, MSTRKRFT does Justice

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Daft Punk

ROBOCOP'S STYLE WAS (DAFT) PUNKED. Daft Punk is still harder, better, faster and stronger after its Alive 2007 hometown show in Paris. The band members' parents still don't know what they look like, however.

Mashups have been in the club scene for ages, but this past year new blends from electro to hip-hop to classic rock have been cropping up on the mainstream music scene.

DJs are being labeled “musicians” as they mash and mix for our aural pleasure. More creative mashups are even beginning to take over the local bar scene with electro-heavy events like Real Real Hard bringing in popular DJs from bigger cities.

Despite the large number of mashup tracks, we’ve attempted to limit our list of favourites. Try to resist dancing:

“Encore” " DJ Danger Mouse
Released in 2004, Gnarls Barkley’s Danger Mouse mixed Jay-Z’s The Black Album and the Beatles’ The White Album to produce The Grey Album. Despite controversy over copyrights and distribution, The Grey Album gained huge Internet success and was hailed by many critics.

Danger Mouse’s mashup of the hip-hop king’s original track, “Encore,” with the Beatles’ songs, “Glass Onion” and “Savoy Truffle” was a risky endeavor, but resulted in a psychedelic/gangster rap track never heard before. Beatlemaniacs and Jay-Z fans have had mixed reactions about Danger Mouse’s supposed butchering of the songs, but all they need is love.

“Around the World” / “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” " Daft Punk
Daft Punk is still stronger than Kanye. Recorded at a live show in Paris with over 12,000 concertgoers dancing their faces off, Daft Punk’s Alive 2007 is a mashup fest from the electronica god itself. One can only imagine how “Around the World” mixed with “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and “Touch It” sound live. The bass-booming beats and epic robo-disco jams stream into each other while the crowd’s cheers and “woos” in the background only add to our jealousy.

“Knife” " Girl Talk
Girl Talk is one of the more popular mashup DJs around. He samples hundreds of artists across the musical spectrum from Dr. Dre and LL Cool J to Mariah Carey and NSYNC. That said, Girl Talk’s mashups are hit or miss, but when it’s a hit, songs like “Knife” become better than the original.

Girl Talk mashes Grizzly Bear’s “Knife” with Clipse’s “Wamp Wamp (What It Do)” and lines from Ying Yang Twins’ “Jigglin’.” Throw in some ‘whoops’ from Armand Van Helden’s “Witch Doctor” and you’ll keep the track on repeat.

What do you get when you mix one electro powerhouse with another? You get “D.A.N.C.E,” the ‘80s punk-infused disco jam, originally by Justice, made harsher and faster by MSTRKRFT. MSTRKRFT’s Jesse F. Keeler, formerly from Death from Above 1979, mixes some of the hard synth rock the duo was known for with the childlike vocals of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” The result is mind-blowing.

“Overnight Star” - Flosstradamus
The Chicago boys take Twista’s “Overnight Celebrity” and inject it into a female version of Sigur Ros’ beautiful “Staralfur,” making an addictive, fast-paced mashup. By mixing Twista’s tongue-twisting raps with the violins and female vocals of “Staralfur,” DJs J2K and Autobot of Flosstradamus are stepping up in the mainstream electro scene.

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