There's been a remarkable batch of mashup/sound collage albums hitting the web recently, going way beyond the usual Top 40 acapella vs rock instrumental. These (mostly) free download albums sometimes feature live vocals, and original lyrics & music mixed with found-sound elements, and richly textured collage soundscapes. Was 2008 the best year yet for illegal music?
The Who Boys: "Now That's What I Call The Who Boys!" These British nutters claim that this is their last album; if so, then they're going out on top with a superior mixture of spoken-word absurdism, '60s kitsch, brutal electro beats, lovely harmony singing, and all the while sampling everything from country auctioneers & scratchy old 78s to headbangin' rock.
The Who Boys: Gotta Hava
Santastic Four: Boston's dj BC has been compiling various-artist Christmas comps for a few years now, and this is the best one yet (and I'm not just sayin' that cuz I'm on it!). New York's ATOM has created a tune so abstract it's almost unrecognizable as holiday music.
ATOM: You Should Be A Freaky Christmas, Baby
Mashed In Plastic: A David Lynch tribute, featuring music, dialogue & sound effects from his films; available as separate tracks or as two seamless, dreamy, disturbing mixes. The website is a feast for the eyes and ears. Best mashup comp ever?
Colatron: "I'll Be There In Twin Peaks"
People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz: "Rhapsody In Glue" This one, the second collaboration between two primo British eccentrics, does require a small donation, but it's well worth it for another delightful mix of Alice in Wonderland-esque songs and lyrics, cartoonish sound effects, and sampled coolness, like this version of the EZ '60s classic "Theme From A Summer Place":
People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz: "Carmic Waltz"
RickRawked: Doesn't get more mental then this - a various-artists collection that's basically just old-fashioned acapella + instro mashups...but they're all using Rick Astley's '80s cheeze-fest "Never Gonna Give You Up." Rick slowed down, Rick pitched-up, Rick swings, Rick rocks. Incredibly, it doesn't get dull, and most of it works.
Phil RetroSpector "Ricky" (Rick vs the "Rocky" theme)
This should keep y'all busy for a while - I'll be back in the new year. Thanks to the M4M crew for all your contributions: Chris Weirdo, solcofn, J-Unit 1, and all you lovely Maniacs out there for another year (our fourth!) of sonic sweetness. Keep them cards and letters coming - I may not have the time to post everything you write to me about, but I really appreciate it. As the Cramps advised, stay sick!