Was quite surprised to read the announcement earlier this week that GYBO is going off-line, after 10-and-a-half years of being the internet home of the mashup. When I joined GetYourBootlegOn in '03, I was just happy to have someplace to put my sound-collagey things that I'd been making for years to a tiny cassette audience - indeed, the first tune I posted was recorded back in 1992. The public awareness of "illegal music" was minimal, at least here in America. Negativland was well-known to the college-radio world, The Tape-Beatles and John Oswald had made some waves in avant circles, and hip-hop mix tapes were being sold under finer urban music counters. There were a few other, more obscure things, but that was about it. In the early days of GYBO, everyone was at least slightly familiar with everyone else. It was a small world.
I never expected much to come of this, but our small crew of 'net buddies soon found ourselves under the pop culture microscope, getting radio airplay, setting up club nights, being interviewed, getting pro deals. GoHomeProductions even quit his day job and went on to remix the likes of David Bowie and got his Blondie/Doors mashup on an actual Blondie hits album; Phil'n'Dog's "Doctor Pressure" boot (short for "bootleg" in mashup talk) also got an official release and went all the way to #3 on the UK charts; movie producers came a-callin' (I did stuff for an Antonio Banderos film called "Take The Lead" that, alas, went unused); Video game makers came for their "DJ Hero" game; San Fran's Bootie club opened "franchises" all over the world; hell, DJ Earworm even did mixes for the opening ceremonies for the recent London Olympics, even tho he's American. Yet GYBO never lost it's warm, clubhouse feel, and always welcomed newbies.
So why quit now, now that the word "mashup" is being entered into the dictionary (used in fiction and computers, as well as music), now that mashups have spread far beyond GYBO, to YouTube, to Bandcamp, to tv commercials, etc? Scottish producer/dj McSleazy, GYBO's founder/director, fears new UK laws that have thrown suckers in jail for illegally disseminating copywritten material. Granted, this was over copies of "Star Wars," for sale, which is not like freely distributing goofy little songs, but still, he doesn't want to take the chance. Like CBGBs, however, GYBO may be gone, but there are now zillions of cats 'n chicks out there doing what it's original denizens pioneered.
Here's a mix of some of the classics from the early years, roughly 2002-2005, massively popular tunes that most GYBO regulars would recognize - among other delights, you will hear Queen going ska, eminem go ragtime, Dubya rockin' the mic, Madonna vs Sex Pistols, Dolly Parton sing Led Zep, and every song in the world that features whistling. Almost every artist represented here was one of the "big names" of the scene. Most of these tracks still sound great, with all of the humor and inventiveness of avant-'tarde music at it's finest. I'll probably do 1 or 2 more volumes - it was way too difficult to narrow down the must-haves to just one disk's worth, and a lot of this stuff is no longer on-line - I had to pull out the old shoeboxes of CDs to rip these babies.
GYBO's Greatest Vol 1
(After clicking the above link, scroll down for a choice of downloading options.
You may have to wait a few secs.)
01 Gay Muppet Bar - Phil'n'Dog
02 Billie's Spirit - McSleazy
03 We Will Ska You - Bitter Sound Foundation
04 Dance To The Velvet Underground - Dunproofin'
05 Smokey and the Yeah - Pheugoo
06 Stripper Jackson - DJ NoNo
07 Socialist Catholic Mutilation - poj masta
08 Blowin' in my Mind - totom
09 Safari Love - Loo & Placido
10 "Music Mash-ups Make the Mainstream" - CBS news
11 Ray Of Gob - Go Home Productions
12 Whistler's Delight - DJ Riko
13 50 Bluebells - Faither of E-Jitz
14 Imagine a Walk on the Wild Side - rx
15 Dr. Who on Holiday - Dean Gray [aka Party Ben and Team 9]
16 Marshall's Been Snookered - Freelance Hairdresser [aka Soundhog]
17 Love will Freak Us - Dsico
18 A Hidden Forest - Gordyboy
19 Stairway to Bootleg Heaven - DJ Earworm
20 My People Feel That Way In The Morning - The Kleptones