Thu, 10 March 2011
So what's do you think was the first mashup? It's a simple question with a not so simple answer, as with the television or photography or even the humble light bulb it's an evolution (control committee?) starting with the earliest turntablism of Shaeffer and radiotronics of Cage, and ending with Christina getting Stroked - but the bit in the middle is the most interesting part, and closest to what mashups are today. Talking of parts this is the long awaited sequel to Part One back in August 2009! For the 200th Radio Clash I invited Ian Fondue of mashup pioneers Fondue Meltdown back to discuss the early mashups from the 1970's to the 2000s - for our journey we decided that mashups have to be 2 or more sources, and preferably not (re)created by the artists, actual recorded sources - which leads us back to Bambaata and Grandmaster Flash.
The restrictions may seem arbitrary but a) you have to start somewhere and b) re-recording is kind of cheating and gets into Stars on 45 territory and c) nowadays you forget the conceptual and naughty pop thrill of hearing only two or more tracks mixed together as complete songs (or later albums) - and the leaps in technology that afforded that - hard to do on tape like Steinski or record as Coldcut attest on the show, difficult to do on an AKAI sampler, easy to do with software such as Acid - the rise of the mashup was as much a technological evolution as a musical one - as was the internet and p2p to form a scene and find the source material. Ian and I discuss that and more and even sneeze our headphones off, which is not something you hear everyday...it's a long one due to the massive amount of music and long period we were covering (we dumped quite a few songs we really wanted to play as it was - such as Shut Up and Dance and PWEI!) but very worth it, a musical mashup history trip without the annoying bus ride nor crappy film. Bonus! Also the graphic above has all the artists in it in Where's Mashy? style - can you spot them all (only one did I have to take artistic license for).