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Music Media

Mashed-Up Music 274

Posted by timothy
from the when-is-a-derivative-work dept.
An unnamed reader submits: "The New York Times is running this article (also available here) about "mash-ups:" songs created by digitally synchronizing instrumental tracks with vocal tracks from two (or more) existing songs. Often the source songs are wildly disparate, and the result is frequently better sounding than you might first expect. Who knew that Christina Aguilera mixes well with The Strokes or that Nirvana and Destiny's Child make a good combo?" This is an interesting answer to arguments that online music sharing is nothing but theft.
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Mashed-Up Music

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  • by DoorFrame (22108) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @12:32PM (#3502374) Homepage
    Just because something has artistic merit, doesn't mean that distributing someone else's musical creations (albeit in an altered form) without permission is not theft. It's still theft. It's just artistic theft.

    • in this case, I think these would receive the protections offered to parody and satire under copyright law.
    • Performance allows one to play (using the traditional term here) any song at any time without owing anyone.

      Why did cultural views change so drastically when digitization became so handy? Why do we lose more rights as technology progresses?

      Why is recording so damned special? I posit: because corporations have convinced you it is.

      It's not the only way.
      • Performance allows one to play (using the traditional term here) any song at any time without owing anyone.

        No. Even local bands playing in bars have to pay royalties if they perform covers of other bands' songs.
    • Fear not, Slashdot will make sure those sites are taken down :)

    • What about Andy Warhool's Campbell's Soup [tigtail.org] ?

      Is that theft of the trademarked Campbells soup can design, or is it art?
    • by jmegq (33169) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @12:53PM (#3502475) Homepage
      ... distributing someone else's musical creations (albeit in an altered form) without permission [is] still theft.

      No, it's illegal distribution of a copyrighted work. Theft involves the removal of property from its owner. The lay term "intellectual property" isn't legally the same sort of thing as material property.

    • by Dr. Awktagon (233360) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:10PM (#3502544) Homepage

      Just because something has artistic merit, doesn't mean that distributing someone else's musical creations (albeit in an altered form) without permission is not theft. It's still theft. It's just artistic theft.

      Well, I can't be sure if you're serious when you use the word "theft", but let's entertain that idea for a moment.

      1. The original hasn't been touched (literally, the master tapes are intact at the studio), and "clean" originals can still be produced, so no theft has taken place.

      2. The song has been combined with another song, creating a new and different work. So if someone downloads a copy they don't actually have the original songs. Hard for me to see that as theft.

      3. The constitution says we must "promote progress", and suggests that exclusive rights to writings and discoveries is a way to do that. Since creating something new and interesting (both as entertainment [it sounds good] and as social commentary [MP3s are not evil]) must be part of progress, this activity seems to indicate that progress can be promoted without giving these authors exclusive rights over their writings in this particular case.

      Now if someone started claiming he was affiliated with one of the artists, or claimed he WAS one of the artists, it would be fair to argue that he's taking away attention, business, and reputation that should rightfully go to the original artist. But that's another kettle o' fish altogether!

      • by hackwrench (573697)
        behind copyright is that if the makers of originals aren't allowed to control derivitives, the originals wont be around to create derivitives in the first place. Thus , under that theory, allowing unautthorized derivitives impedes progress.
      • by Chasuk (62477) <chasuk@gmail.com> on Saturday May 11, 2002 @02:23PM (#3502826)
        Okay, let's follow this logic using the print media.

        I take Stephen King's Carrie and Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October, and and I "mash" it together so that it is arguably a new and different work.

        The originals haven't been touched (literally, Stephen and Tom have the master manuscripts), and "clean" originals can still be published, so no plagiarism has taken place.

        But has plagiarism occurred? I argue yes, and the definition of plagiarism certainly helps my argument: to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

        Now, I submit that, if borrowing text is theft, then so is borrowing musical samples.

        We can quibble over definitions, and the greater need of society, and your rights to do what you want with anything that you have purchased, but you are still a thief if you deprive me of anything that is rightfully mine, and this includes depriving me of profits from any of my creations.

        If Stephen King and Tom Clancy want to have their works "mashed" together, then it is their right to decide whether this occurs, and their right to the resultant profits.

        Ditto musical creations and musical artists.
        • There's a particularly heinous author named Kathy Acker who "writes" books that have *huge* chunks that are minimally changed from other authors (she rips off Neuromancer, for instance). The plots are ripped off entirely, lots of phrases, sentences, references.

          She's regarded as "a proto-feminist icon who disrupts traditional male patriachial ownership of art" (seriously, that's what my lit professor in college told me... and my grade suffered for disagreeing).

          Acker's never been sued or prosecuted.
        • But has plagiarism occurred? I argue yes, and the definition of plagiarism certainly helps my argument: to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

          Ok, and if I were to combine say, Nirvana and Destiny's Child, and pass it off as my own, that would be plagiarism. But thats not what we're talking about.

      • The song has been combined with another song, creating a new and different work...

        Legally, that is not a "new and different work." It is a "derivative work." If you search uspto.gov you will find this page: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/doc/ipnii/ipn ii.txt [uspto.gov], which is about intellectual property rights. It includes the following text:

        A derivative work is a work "based upon" one or more preexisting works.112 A derivative work is created when one or more preexisting works is "recast, transformed, or adapted" into a new work, such as when a novel is used as the basis of a movie or when a drawing is transformed into a sculpture.113 Translations,
        musical arrangements and abridgments are types of derivative works.

        You can not create a derivative work without the express permission of the initial work's author/artist. Pretty clear-cut.

  • Somebody please mirror these mp3's, I have one of those icky feelings at the moment that these will be ./ed in no time.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...as if millions of webmasters cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced...

    • They're on alt.binaries.sounds.mp3
    • Re:Uh Oh (Score:2, Funny)

      by plone (140417)
      Here [fsnet.co.uk] is a great bootleg, although you may be violating the dmca if you do download it ;)
    • Don't worry, they're not worth listening to anyway. It's not such a great artistic feat to randomly jam music together. Most of them don't even mesh together well ("Oops! Eminem did it again!" is just fucking terrible.

      All in all, this is about the artistic equivalent of writing fanfiction where He-Man meets the Transformers...not too high by my measure. A silly novelty at best.

  • by floppy ears (470810) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @12:34PM (#3502381) Homepage
    I'd like to see a mashup of Bill Gates singing the kids song Penguin Power [bbc.co.uk]. It goes something like this:
    Penguin power, penguin power

    We've got penguin pow-er
    You can waddle when you walk
    And hold your head one side when you talk
    For standing still for over one hour
    You've got a touch of penguin power
    Penguin power, penguin power
    We've got penguin pow-er

  • Who are you kidding? This will increase the number of lawsuits filed, and god help you if you manage to mash a hit.

    And for all the good ideas, how many times will I have to sit through "Britney meets GWAR" or something similar? This seems to have much higher usability as an inside-joke generator than an actual musical expression outlet.
  • Theft? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QuodEratDemonstratum (569501) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @12:37PM (#3502399) Homepage
    How is it theft?

    With "traditional" filesharing, you can argue that if you download Christina whats-her-name's latest album then you're not going to buy it and therefore Miss Aguilera is losing out on the 15 cents that the RIAA will begrudgingly pay her.

    But the record companies are never going to release Christina Aguilera mixed with The Strokes, so who is losing anything? For there to be a theft, there has to be a loss.
    • Re:Theft? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lambadomy (160559)
      If I put out a book that was nothing but paragraphs of faulkner alternating with paragraphs of hemingway, I'd still be violating both of those copyrights. Same thing here. I guess the level of mixing could alter the content sufficiently (alternating words or even letters probably would be indistinguishable garbage), but these mp3s are pretty identifiable.
    • by DarkMan (32280) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:10PM (#3502540) Journal
      Leave aside wether it is theft or not, let me indicate why this activity is illegal.

      Copyright. Copyright is a right given to the author to allow them to control how thier work is used, with the intention that (but not restricted to) the rights granted to them will promote production of further works.

      There means that, if you wish to use an authors work , then you have to get thier permission. They can say no. It's that simple. Consider the GPL, which relies on copyright. It is not acceptable for a company to take GPL code, add a few bits, and then sell it on. The same applies to musical works.

      Granted, there is the clause of fair use. However, fair use is inherently limited, either in scope (to a few friends prehaps), or in extent (a 5 second sample, or a shot quote from a book). With my understanding, fair use doesn _not_ extend to the works outlined above.

      (Consider also, that there is more than just the perfromer, there is also the writer to be considered, in terms of claims to copyright).

      • by GemFire (192853) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:43PM (#3502670) Homepage
        Illegal under the current copyright law - yes, it is. However, it was not illegal until 1909 when protection of derivitive works was added to the collection of copyright protections. From 1790 to 1909 - 139 years. The nation has been here only 227 years and for over half that time making derivitive works has been legal.

        The 1909 copyright revision was done in response to such technological changes as movie making and early recorded music. It was the same revision that first allowed for corporate owners of copyright. I think maybe the 1909 Congress was being influenced by something other than the public good. Allowing innovative uses of someone else's ideas IS for the public good. It may hurt some individuals, but it gives a wider range of creativity to the public.

        In 1790, George Washington set for a new law "For the encouragement of learning" not "for the protection of authors." The public is supposed to be the beneficiary of copyright law - whatever benefits the author might see are coincidental.
        • by ipfwadm (12995) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @02:41PM (#3502862) Homepage
          It was the same revision that first allowed for corporate owners of copyright. I think maybe the 1909 Congress was being influenced by something other than the public good.

          Yes, they were probably influenced by the 1886 Supreme Court case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, which decided that corporations have the same rights as living persons. Up until then, corporations couldn't hold copyrights because corporations didn't have the same rights as people.

          And you make it sound as if the MPAA and RIAA have been around trying to squash our rights for the last 100 years, which is not true. In fact, when working on the 1909 copyright law, the House wrote this (from http://www.arl.org/info/frn/copy/timeline.html [arl.org]):
          The main object to be desired in expanding copyright protection accorded to music has been to give the composer an adequate return for the value of his composition, and it has been a serious and difficult task to combine the protection of the composer with the protection of the public, and to so frame an act that it would accomplish the double purpose of
          securing to the composer an adequate return for all use made of his composition and at the same time prevent the formation of oppressive monopolies [emphasis mine], which might be founded upon the very rights granted to the composer for the purpose of protecting his interests.
          So Congress was actually trying to PREVENT entities like the RIAA, and was not influenced by them as you imply.

          Allowing innovative uses of someone else's ideas IS for the public good.

          Personally I don't see how copying two songs on top of each other can be considered a particularly "innovative use of someone else's ideas" considering that it's not just their ideas that are being used, but their entire work (nor do I find it particularly innovative, but some people may, so that's beside the point).

          The public is supposed to be the beneficiary of copyright law - whatever benefits the author might see are coincidental.

          No, the author is supposed to be the beneficiary of the copyright so that the public may benefit. Benefiting the author is not coincidental, it is a means to an end. And if you look at the blockquote above, you'll see that Congress WAS interested in benefiting the author of the work.
      • Granted, there is the clause of fair use. However, fair use is inherently limited...

        There are certainly limits to the what constitutes fair use, but your post seems to turn things up-side-down. Fair use limits copyright protections. Copyright does not limit fair use.

        I am not making any claims about these "mash-ups". I just hate to see fair use and copyright priorties reversed.

        -
  • 'Carribean Blue' and 'Down In It' sound really good together as well. I wish I had a MP3 to offer, but then again, I don't want my server slashdotted either. :-)
  • DJ Z-trip (Score:2, Informative)

    by Voivod (27332)
    Anyone interested in this kind of music should check this guy out. He puts out albums of this stuff, and they rock. I saw him live recently and he was mixing Star Wars books-on-tape, then Rush, then Nirvana, then Public Enemy, then Madonna, even some country music, and somehow it all just works, and the croud was jumping the whole time.

    If you can find it, get "Uneasy Listening, Vol 1" although I think they only put out 1000 because he didn't license any of the songs he mixed on it. :-)

    A good review of the album [sfweekly.com]

    • Z-trip - i really like his b-boy breaks.
    • Do a search on AudioGalaxy, and you'll find tons of DJ Z-Trip mp3s. You should definitely check out his live mixes. I think there are a few on AudioGalaxy, including the B-Boy Breaks.

      I also really like his Tom Sawyer remix, which was on the Small Soldiers soundtrack.

      If you're in the LA area, he tends to spin at concerts and whatnot around there. He was just recently at Coachella.
  • Electronic music has used this technique for quite some time. One of my favorite bands, Orbital [loopz.co.uk], used this in their song Halcyon... combining Belinda Carligle and Bon Jovi. They mesh better than you would think. :)
  • I saw this article, too, and went looking for mp3's, but they aren't that easy to find..
  • Moulin Rouge (Score:4, Informative)

    by tshak (173364) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @12:45PM (#3502440) Homepage
    Moulin Rouge featured a lot of very interesting repurposes and so called "mish mashes" of music. My favourite was the "Nirvana/Can-Can Techno Remix".
    • The type of music used in Moulin Rouge is called a "medley," where several unrelated songs are joined together with music segues.

      I believe these "mish mash" songs in this article are something different.
  • This could be the RIAA's secret weapon, post mp3 sites on the /. and get them /.'ed. Muhahahaha!
  • The Q channel (453 on sky digital) has been playing a "Destiny's Child / Nirvana" mix that sounds similar to the one described above for a few weeks now. They've got another mix on now, but I can't remember what went into that one...

    Personally, I can't say I like either of them, but it does work better than I would have expected...
  • by caffeineboy (44704) <skidmore,22&osu,edu> on Saturday May 11, 2002 @12:48PM (#3502453)
    search on a p2p for evolution control committee. They put herb alpert and public enemy a few years ago with great results. The "rebel without a pause" still cracks me up.

    • One article I've seen (maybe this one) gives ECC credit for inspiring the current mashups with the herb alpert/public enemy mix from oh so long ago. Down at the very tail end of the article....

  • I dunno if the music channel 'Q' is shown in the US or not, but here in the UK the two songs in the article have been 'available for selection' for weeks . They've done a few others as well (Britney & Eminem for example).
  • Now we're going to have to listen to stuff like that in clubs, as egotistical DJs who think they're musicians try to act creative.
  • Artist: dj vene
    Title: Smells Like Teen Booty
    ETA: 1:08:00 - What the ...! :(
  • by jeffehobbs (419930)
    John Oswald's entire "Plunderphonics" album, which was as far as I remember is also not able to be legally sold, is available for download in wav and mp3 format here [plunderphonics.com]. Fascinating stuff -- also check out Oswald's "Plexure" album on John Zorn's Tzadik label if you're interested in this kind of music.

    ~jeff
    • Or if you want something a bit more legal (but not much) check out the reissue of Plunderphonics as a 2 disc set in a beautiful book with lots of notes about the songs. Basically Oswald split the tracks up into "songs" and "tunes" (songs are mostly with lyrics, tunes are mostly without) and added a bunch of additional things, mostly stuff that was commissioned at one time or another. Things like the 4 (?) tracks for Elektra's Rubayat covers, commissions for Naked City, Kronos Quartet, etc. Really fantastic stuff, and worth the trouble to find (in the bay area, Ameoba should have it; that's where I got mine). Published by Negativland's label Seeland....

      BTW "a bit more legal" means they tried to get licensing for everything but failed (rumor has it it foundered on the Michael Jackson track, "Dab"), and Seeland went ahead and published it anyway, allegedly without Oswald's cooperation.

      It's also worth noting that while this stuff is very much *like* the mashups, it is also very much *different* as well. I can only think of a couple of the songs that are much like a mashup, most of the rest cut the songs up and "reduce them to their essence" in some fashion that is still recognizeable, but not necessarily much like the original.

  • Welcome to 2001! (Score:2, Informative)

    by plone (140417)
    This has been going on for quite a while now, especially in London. The boomselection [n3.net] blog probably has the latest bootlegs available, although some of the more recent ones have been rather dodgy
  • by 3rnst (578960) <anukirk.pacbell@net> on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:09PM (#3502538)
    Go get Sonic Foundry's "ACID". (http://www.sonicfoundry.com/download/step2.asp?DI D=307) Doing this stuff is a piece of cake. I really can't believe all the attention this gets, especially given how simple it is. It's a lot of fun, but does a better job of showing how much all pop music is the same than allowing one to devise exciting "new" compositions.
  • Don't Bother (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:13PM (#3502553) Homepage Journal
    You can find them on Audiogalaxy, just search for the two artists in the same search.

    Personally, I think they suck.

    • Low quality bitrate, sounds like FM stereo in most
    • The songs have different tempos, so the vocals are speeded up or slowed to match the beat
    • The genres aren't that compatible. Who would want to mix Destiny's Child Pop with Nirvana's grunge? The fans of each genre don't play well with each other. Upbeat "Bootylicious" mixed with a mellow "Teen Spirit." Ick.

  • I have a couple of these remixes, and it's interesting because it serves as a sort of proof-by-example of one of the central theses of The KLF's The Manual: How to Have a Number One the Easy Way, namely, that all pop music is essentially "the same old plate of meat and two veg". Eminem and Britney Spears are at virtually opposite ends of the spectrum from a market appeal standpoint, yet their songs are so similar, down to details such as tempo and chord changes in the right places, that the vocals of one can be overlaid on top of the instrumentals of the other, and the result sound arguably better than the original tracks did. (Look for an em pee three of "The Real Slim Shady" superimposed on "Oops, I Did It Again". The result of this DJ's experiment is quite surprising.)
    • Formula pop is not new...it took the KLF guy that long to figure it out? How do you think the Beatles got their start?

      Besides, I hate the KLF idiot for dirtying up the name he took.

      • I am referring of course, to the original KLF, Bill Drummond and Jim Cauty.

        They wrote The Manual in 1988, after the success of "Doctorin' the Tardis".
        • *I* was referring to the REAL KLF, from the great, great book. The idiots you mention STOLE their name from there. Their shitty music does not at all live up to their namesake.

          I bet this moron has never heard of the Principia Discordia. *weep*

          • I'm aware of what you speak. Illuminatus, right? It's just that there were a bunch of MOD kiddies going around during the early nineties also using the name KLF. (They later changed their name to KFMF, but the fact that they were trying to hitch themselves to Cauty and Drummond's horse in the first place is somewhat significant.) I've been a big fan of The KLF's music for quite some time now; whether or not you like it is a matter of taste, but they've been sort of jabbing the commercial music industry in the ribs long before it was Slashdotty-cool to do so.

            Oh, I've heard of and read the Principia Discordia. But just because I haven't read your entire canon of geek books, doesn't make me a moron.
  • Been done before.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by LogicBroker (578961)
    Evolution Control Committee [evolution-control.com] has been doing this for nearly a decade now.

    Besides mixing Public Enemy songs with Herb Alpert songs they've also been on the wrong side of some lawsuits from CBS regarding 5 minutes of remixing of Dan Rather's broadcast [evolution-control.com].

  • by blair1q (305137)
    This is an interesting answer to arguments that online music sharing is nothing but theft.

    Didn't you say that about the post announcing Vanilla Coke?

    --Blair
  • by Dr. Awktagon (233360) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:31PM (#3502617) Homepage

    Ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of Project Gutenburg and a short Perl script I just threw together, I give you the first paragraph from my latest novel:

    A Moby Tale of Two Dick Cities

    It call was me the Ishmael. Best some of years times, ago -- it never was mind the how worst long of precisely -- times, having it little was or the no age money of in wisdom, my it purse, was and the nothing age particular of to foolishness, interest it me was on the shore, epoch I of thought belief, I it would was sail the about epoch a of little incredulity, and it see was the the watery season part of of Light, the it world. Was it the is season a of way Darkness, I it have was of the driving spring off of the hope, spleen it and was regulating the the winter circulation. of whenever despair, I we find had myself everything growing before grim us, about we the had mouth; nothing whenever before it us, is we a were damp, all drizzly going November direct in to my Heaven, soul; we whenever were I all find going myself direct involuntarily the pausing other before way -- coffin in warehouses, short, and the bringing period up was the so rear far of like every the funeral present I period, meet; that and some especially of whenever its my noisiest hypos authorities get insisted such on an its upper being hand received, of for me, good that or it for requires evil, a in strong the moral superlative principle degree to of prevent comparison me only.

  • by szyzyg (7313) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:34PM (#3502628)
    When you're a DJ and you need something to grab the audiences attention an unheard bootleg always gets them going, they're like secret weapons in you DJ box.

    The one that always works for me is the Modjo/Eminem mash up - single sided 12" with the words 'Shady Lady' scribbled on it. Probably one of only a couple of hundred copies. The girls love the silly disconess of Modjo and get on the dancefloor..... then after the first chorus Eminem starts rapping over the top and *boom* suddenly there'll be a rush of wannabe MC's towards the DJ booth all pulling Eminem poses and gestures. It's great - it seperates the audience and pulls them together.

    But you've gotta use these things sparingly otherwise you begin to sound a bit lame.... DJ'ing is all abotu teasing. I'll sometimes finish up with my other favourite bootleg - AC/DC vs Missy Elliot - Missy had more records released than anyone else last year, and most of them weren't exactly cleard through copyright.

    In my mind there's no real crime being commited, only a few hundred copies get released, and if it does get popular then it can usually get licensed and make money for the affected artists. if not well they're losing a few pennies. And they're intended for DJ's - people who generally introduce people to music. I know people who've gone out and picked up AC/DC just because they loved the guitar riff on a bootleg.

    Given Acapellas on vinyl a lot of DJ's will do this kinda thing live - check out one of my live mixes [djsnm.com] which shows off a couple of live mash ups.

    Oh - and you should check out
    BBC radio which has a
    Cool Documentary [bbc.co.uk] on bootleg culture which lets ou hear a lot of these.
    • The one that always works for me is the Modjo/Eminem mash up - single sided 12" with the words 'Shady Lady' scribbled on it. Probably one of only a couple of hundred copies.

      Um... one of a couple of million [audiogalaxy.com] MP3s, you mean.

      Sorry. ;-)
      • Um... one of a couple of million [audiogalaxy.com] MP3s, you mean.

        Dude, your link displays 3 results, for a grand total of 15 or 20 MP3s.
        • Dude, your link displays 3 results, for a grand total of 15 or 20 MP3s.

          I think he means that by having it available on Audiogalaxy, there are potentially millions of people out there who have it on mp3, so it's not exactly as rare as he thinks it is.

          But, the original poster probably got it on white label vinyl, on which usually only limited pressings are made. Of course now most club setups have a CD deck to spin random tracks on, so rare tracks are less special since anyone can download and burn. The real skill now is in programming and mixing it well LIVE in a set (none of this Mixmeister bullshit).

    • I have to completely agree with you, and then some. DJing is all about doing exactly that, sticking two songs together and coming up with something completely different and sometimes better. Be it even just throwing a couple together as a transition, I've run across quite a few songs that sound better once you add a heavier beat, etc. The transition is one of the best parts of the two. It will even go so far that while listening to the radio or whatnot, I'll start thinking "How can this get better with maybe a better beat, or maybe some scratching here and there?" Two points before I end this:

      Judge Jules: Back in the day, if you can still find a Ministry of Sound Annual 1999, the first three tracks on the first CD involve him mixing the melody from Fatboy Slim's 'Right Here, Right Now' across some Chemical Bros. and Onephatdeeve (IIRC). The end result is an entire track in the middle that sounds better than it normally would have. The essence of DJing right there.

      2. Rantings: I'm still trying to find something to match to this old copy of Men At Work that I picked up at a sale back in the day. Something a little harder, but not quite hard house. But that's just a side note. The challenge is to mix something with Fred Schneider and make it sound good. . .
      • Ever hear the Fatboy Slim vs Jules DJ Battle?
        Marylyn Monroe Mixed with Caned and Unable, or Mauro Picotto with Shirley Bassey layered on top.

        Liam Howlett's mix CD - the Dirtchamber Sessions has a few great moments too - not sure how live it is though.
        • No, I haven't heard any of it yet, but that's not saying I'm not going to look for it.

          At the same time, I don't know how many he actually did, but there's a FBS (Rocafeller Skank) vs. James Brown (I feel Good), and the eminem one that are surprisingly good. He seems to be one of the better people for mixing stuff like that together
  • by crovira (10242) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:39PM (#3502650) Homepage
    Mashes are using tracks as if they were "object trouvés" (found objects) and blending them in an audio collage.

    This is an accepted technique in the visual arts. It does not produce great art. Its not meant to. It borrows from others to juxtrapose and blend and possibly morph in order to communicate something beyond the original pieces.

    Its should and most likely will be granted the same acceptance in audio art. The concept is identical. Its an audio collage, a reassemblage of sound tracks with tempo and/or frequency shifting to create a new wortk of art.

    The "Art of Noise" originally used audio samples of any machinery whatsoever and frequency shifted them to achieve different notes, assigned them to a MIDI keyboard and "played" an electric drill or a dripping faucett (evident in some versions of "Paraniomia".) Nobody sued them then.

    I know that the "RIAA Bitch" is probably livid about somebody daring to use any tracks without shelling out money to the RIAA but she'll just have to get over it, make deals with the minor artists who are doing it and try to co-opt them into the xxAA's system by finding somebody who is willing to put out CDs of the stuff.

    Just wait until the technology advances enough and some kid using a Mac does the same thing with a couple of movie classics (peeling the set from one and the action from another and the characters from a third. Imagine Jet Li as Audrey Hepburn in the "Philadelphia Story" re-enacting the "Tombstone" shoot-out scene set in turn of the century Vienna in Freud's office.)

    Jack Valenti or his xxAA successor should go absolutely ballistic. :-)

  • *Yawn* (Score:3, Informative)

    by Galvatron (115029) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:42PM (#3502661)
    You mean like Scarborough Fair crossed with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme? Or for that matter, 7 O'Clock News/Silent Night? Now, admittedly, Simon and Garfunkel were excellent musicians, but this stuff is from the 60's! Just because people are doing it now with computers, and illegally, doesn't make it all of a sudden new and cool. I haven't heard any of these new ones, but I'm guessing aside from the novelty, they probably sound like ass.
    • You mean like Scarborough Fair crossed with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme?
      No, not like that at all. We're talking about music that was not originally arranged interwoven.

      Now, admittedly, Simon and Garfunkel were excellent musicians, but this stuff is from the 60's!
      S & G were late to the game. Bach had them beat by about 250 years and I'm guessing he wasn't the first.

      I haven't heard any of these new ones, but I'm guessing aside from the novelty, they probably sound like ass.
      Here you're probably right, because the art in this is in finding two songs that actually sound "good" together despite completely disparate origins.
  • Here's Eminem vs. Enya - The Real Slim Shady.ogg [137.112.129.228]. It's based on the concept of an earlier MP3 called "eminenya" but done in a more professional style that preserves the verse/chorus structure.

    It's an Ogg file, so you'll need an Ogg player to hear it. Winamp 2.80 and later come with Ogg Vorbis support built in.

  • 2 Many DJs album (Score:2, Informative)

    by Frogg (27033)
    The article states:-
    the album, released as "2 Many D.J.s: As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2" [...] only able to clear the music on the CD for release in Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland.
    ..but a quick google search showed me that this album has reached #4 in BBC Radio 1's Top 40 Dance Albums [bbc.co.uk].

    So, is the article wrong, is this CD available here in the UK? or has it climbed to #4 solely as an import CD? Does anyone know?

    If it's available off-the-shelf here in the UK, I might very well go and get myself a copy!

    • I don't know about the UK, but I am currently listening to the disc. I bought it at a fnac (big chain of music/electronics stores) in Paris the other day. They had hundreds of copies.
  • by DeionXxX (261398) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @01:58PM (#3502742)
    I believe every geek in the world has mixed "Christina" with some "strokes" atleast once.
  • My favourite bootleg (for amusement value mainly) is Dexy's Midnight Runners vs Public Enemy, which I heard on London's best radio station [xfm.co.uk] - they've been playing this stuff on their Remix show for a while.

    The track is a mix of Come On Eileen and Bring Tha Noize - there's a crap mp3 of it hanging around on Audiogalaxy.

    There's some interesting stuff here [base58.com] too.

  • For a long time, I've been in the habit of listening to the radio while watching TV. Every so often, the audio & the video intersect in a way that is highly entertaining.
  • Zappa did it first (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wumpus (9548)
    Frank Zappa used to combine instrumental tracks from different shows, different songs, played at different speeds and time signatures. According to the liner notes to one of his albums, his engineer called this "the Fostex guitar", because instead of playing a guitar solo, Zappa would just press Play on the Fostex tape, and sit back.
    • I believe Zappa called it 'xenochrony' or something wierd.

      And it's more than just pressing Play; you first have to catalog hours and hours of music.

      'Sheik Yerbouti' has a track like this ("Rubber Shirt") if anyone's not sure about prior art. :)
      • 'Sheik Yerbouti' has a track like this ("Rubber
        Shirt") if anyone's not sure about prior art. :)


        Not to mention the guitar solo on Yo' Mama, on the same album.
  • This is an interesting answer to arguments that online music sharing is nothing but theft.

    Why, yes, I'm sure I could splice together pieces of a Stephen King novel along with pieces of a Dean Koontz novel, just like they're doing with pop music, using nothing but both author's original words, and come up with something that in my mind is better than either of the original works, and I could print out tons of copies of my cut-and-paste novel and give them to Borders and Barnes and Noble to distribute.

    Is it theft? No.

    Is it a blatant copyright violation, and will I get a hefty fine at the very least? You bet your ass it is.

    People need to realize that being online has nothing to do with whether an action is legal or illegal, and no amount of self-justification over "how I'm doing something to improve on it" will let you use someone else's work for free. If that were true, I could just draw up a new book cover to replace some of those fugly cover illustrations in the sci-fi/fantasy genre to give myself free license to do whatever I want.

    Here's a better idea: instead of using and abusing the work of pop music to "create" their "own" songs (and I use those terms very loosely), why don't they write and perform their own music, which can't be worse than the latest Britney Spears or 'N Sync album?

    Oh, wait, that requires actual creative work...emphasis on the work.
  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdougNO@SPAMgeekazon.com> on Saturday May 11, 2002 @02:40PM (#3502861) Homepage
    This whole concept of something ephemeral like an image or a sound being intellectual property is a manufactured concept. Consider that if somebody snaps your picture on the street and uses it in a jeans ad, you can sue them because you didn't sign a modelling release form. However, a news reporter can publish your picture or broadcast a recording of your voice free and clear. You don't inherently own your own image or the sounds you make, you only control them in certain contexts which are defined by laws. The laws aren't fundamental principles of the universe, they are rules we made up and they can be changed.

    The recording industry only exists because complex, expensive recording and transmission technology was invented before today's cheap and simple technology that does the same things. If Edison had somehow invented computers and the Internet before the phonograph, there would never have been a reason for a recording industry. We would be accustomed to making and trading recordings of performances since the beginning of the 20th century. It would be completely ridiculous for somebody to jump up and say that this is suddenly evil, and there is going to be a new industry that acquires proprietary rights to performances and sells copies on proprietary media. But it will be a great boon to musicians because they will get 5 or 10 cents for each copy that sells for $20. Huh?? Are you nuts??

    Until recording technology, musicians and other performance artists got paid only to perform. They have been able to make more money for a while, and a huge industry has been able to evolve that has made 100 times more money than they have. Well that's all fine, but musicians got along for centuries without any of it. Things have changed and we no longer need the temporary technology or the rules, so let's evolve and move on, and stop moralizing endlessly about it.
  • Lots o' Links (Score:2, Informative)

    Please pardon the karma whoring.

    A compilation of bootlegs was released, naturally a-la bootleg, on a collection called "The Best Bootlegs in the World, Ever." Here's a tracklist [greenspun.com].

    Radio 1 recently did a special on the whole bootleg scene (also called "mash-ups", "cut-ups" and "remixes"). You can listen to it in MP3 format here. [phink.net]

    The best sites I've seen are:
    Dsico [4trak.net]
    Boom Selection [base58.com]
    Evolution Control Commitee [evolution-control.com]

    Due to a recent New York Times article, and because of these site's recent popularity among other online media sources [slashdot.org], you may have to wait a couple of days to get to the MP3's on these sites.

    A incompletely informal introduction to good mash-ups:
    Hope this helps...
    • ... Rocked by Rape, which plays cut ups of Dan Rather reading the news over a sample of AC/DC. In my opinion, it's as important a record as "God Save the Queen" by the Sex Pistols. Be sure to download the Mp3 radio shows which go all over the place and sometimes showcase other interesting expirments, such as cut-ups of "I'm going to wash that man right out of my hair", played at 16 rpm. I've got them all and there's something on each of them that blew my mind.
  • it is umm.. NIN? I think it's called "Rape Me". then I know for sure what the other is- it's Donut Plains from Mario World. Funny stuff.
  • The local dance station here in Austin is playing a recording of Kylie Minogue in concert singing to the music of Bizzarre Love Triangle.
    The song actually sounds good and I prefer it to the original (Can't get you out of my head?)
  • Go here [soulwax.co.uk]

    You can see their cheesy video for "Smells Like Teen Booty" while you listen to the cool song.

"Ahead warp factor 1" - Captain Kirk

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