Monday, June 23, 2008

Girl Talkin'

New Hampshire Public Radio interviewed DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller) and Girl Talk (Greg Gillis) recently, about Spooky's Antarctic recording project and Girltalk's new album, Feed the Animals. Spooky's project sounds interesting--though his aim to "create the sound of ice" is a little dubious--and you can hear an extended interview on American Public media here. He'll actually be playing a preview version of this multimedia work at the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this summer.

Girltalk continues to put out polished, wildly popular, fast-paced mashups. This time, in his fourth album, he's appropriately made it available for free download. I'm surprised, because he uses exclusively others' hit songs as source material, that he hasn't done this in the past. Particularly effective is the track "What's It All About," which combines Busta Rhymes and the Police at one point. GT, as the world's premier mashup artist, has developed an extremely successful genre; the legal system has a lot of catching up to do so musicians like him don't have to publish their work on

He does compose these tracks, with nice transitions and various dynamic and energy levels. My main criticisms have to do first with timing and second with flexibility. He's so good at mixing that I'd actually rather hear some of his superimpositions last a little longer; he tends to get bored quickly, and may underestimate his audience's attention span.
His numerous combinations of tracks are virtuosic, but maybe not as virtuosic as they seem, because he rarely superimposes singing from one song over harmony or basslines from others. Usually, he opts for rap, which, largely unpitched, can sound good on top of anything in the same tempo. I'd like to hear him use more vocal tunes over other tracks that go well with them. Still, this shit is tight. I'm diggin' it. And plus, the cover art is perfect: a giant tag on a suburban lawn.

No comments: