“I quote from others to better express myself.” – Michel de Montaigne
With the emergence of digital sound technology, increasing connectivity and availability, sampling has become a constant in modern musical genres. The digital synthesizer and the internet have made conversations over music intellectual property a never-ending debate.
I can certainly sympathize with the artist who wants to protect the originality of their work and ensure payment of royalties. However, there is a popular argument that rises every time some mainstream male hiphop artist swipes a riff from the 80s that there is a creative void in modern music. And as much as I thought Chris Brown’s ‘Doublemint’ song was shameless (like seriously, what the frak was up with that?) I would argue that the practice of music borrowing, quoting and sampling is not theft, or lack of creative ambition, but rather a part of the continuation of the instinct that is musical evolution. Music has forever borrowed from its predecessors- we’ve just gotten better at it since the 80s and its digital synthesizer. Musicians don’t reinvent the wheel with every new track: musical ideas are borrowed and quoted from other pieces to simply continue the evolutionary process.
Alright, alright, I’ll step off my soapbox now, but it is with this attitude that I share with you some really great masters of the mashup. People will obviously disagree over what makes a great mix, but for me, my favourites tend to:
- a) literally make me laugh with some completely unexpected, stellar track folded in- musical origami genius business.
- b) don’t bore me in the meantime.
Check out some of these artist that are rocking it on the synth:
“Firefly” by The White Panda
“Lily Allen – Not Fair/Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks” – (Fred Falke Remix)
I’ve highlighted Kids & Explosions before, but it was in my first few months of blogging and he still blows my mind.
“There is a Burning Ball of Fire in Outer Space” by Kids & Explosions
“Everything” by Kids & Explosions
Brings me back to nights in the sound booth of the radio station… every time.