Mash It Up

Maybe you already know what a mashup is and even if you don't know the proper terminology, you've definitely heard one. A mashup is one or more songs mixed together to create an entirely new song. Technically, these new tracks are bootlegs, as they are not authorized remixes by the artist or sanctioned by the record labels. That said there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these unique hybrid tunes out there.

Some mashups are quite imaginative and well executed, while some are pretty terrible. Often, the DJ takes an older song and combines it with a newer, more popular track. One such mashup I recently heard was Smokey Robinson's Tears of a Clown combined with Amy Winehouse's Rehab. Not all mashups are this diverse though the craziest one I heard that actually worked was Peggy Lee's Fever over an Iggy Pop track. In most cases, both songs are highly recognizable. Some mashups will even combine several songs very effectively.

I recently heard the term mashup but was unsure what it meant until my recent visit to Brazil. My friend was having a party and some of the tunes he was playing really intrigued me such as Pet Shop Boys combined with Madonna. He explained to me the term mashup and then I knew I'd been hearing these types of mixes for some time, unaware there was a name for them. There are also mashup videos, which you can find in abundance on YouTube, that re-edit one or more music videos together, in combination with the new mashup audio mix.

Other than the fact these are not legal recordings, the quality can really vary especially for the video mashups. Since this blog is dedicated to high-end A/V, I wasn't sure this subject really fit the profile. However, you can find some decent quality MP3's of these mashups on the Internet and I found some of the mixes incredible compelling and wanted to share this recent find with my readers.

From what I've found, mashups are only provided as MP3's but they are usually offered at bit rates of 256Mbps. The iffy aspect of these files is what was the bit rate of the original track and whether it was ripped at a high bit rate for the mix. Some sites only stream the file into iTunes or Windows Media Player, while others offer complete downloads.

If you run a Google search for mashups and downloads, the results include a lot of personal sites for DJs. These DJ's specialize in mashups, and some provide whole albums of their mixes. Sites specializing in mashup downloads might ask for donations but the music files are not for sale. Once you start searching for mashups, you'll uncover a whole new world out there full of fascinating and creative mixes.

There are just too many sites for me to give you links to all of them. Another Google search tip is to type in mashup and best of. Several sites with compilations will pop up.

Here are three good sites to get you started with some of the best mashups of 2007.

BootieUSA

Mashuptown At this site click on the video explaining what is a mashup (top left). It's pretty funny. Here you will be able to download all the songs listed as a single album. On that album is Thunder Busters, a mashup mix of AC DC's Thunder Struck and Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghost Busters. It's a must listen, just for the novelty of it. It's also a great example of how inspired and unusual these mashups can be. And what can I say about Whole Lotta Sabbath, its just kinda cool for this old 70's rocker.

Best Mashups of 2007 At this site click the album art to download the files.

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