It does, you know. You just have to get it hot enough.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Finding Inspiration in other Media

My current distraction is mashups and remixes. I have no desire to make these, but seeing other people be creative often gets me out of whatever stuck state I happen to be in.

The problem is that most (ok, almost all) mashups suck or are at best novelties. You might listen to them once and think, ‘how clever, they made something using “16 Tons” and “Material Girl”’, but you’ll never voluntarily listen to it again or wander around singing it in your head. Simply finding two songs in a similar key/tempo and blending them does not guarantee it’s actually good music.

However, there are a few artists that take songs that sound good, mash them all together, and make a better song than any of the originals. “Gosh, if only this song had a better bridge and this one had a better drumline, hey, I know…” Better still are the artists that don’t stop at two songs, the ones that take three songs, mash them up, and filter/mix them so it sounds like it’s one big band. And then there are the really good ones that make videos to go along with their remix/mashups.

I recently discovered this collective in Japan that works under the name “Orcrec” that does almost everything perfectly. They have a blog filled with work , but it’s on the other side of the pond and the connection is iffy. Lucky for us there’s the Youtube.

First, there’s their Starry Sky YEAH! Remix, which is based on three other songs:

But you put them together properly and “holy fuck this is a great song!” Note that they also mixed three videos together as well and also filtered the audio tracks for better transitions.

The second amazing Orcrec track, Gamegirl Master, is based on Underworld’s “Rez/Cowgirl”, Fatboy Slim’s “Renegade Master (Wildchild)”, and Perfume’s “Game”.

I happen to like two of these songs to begin with, and while Orcrec didn’t put as much effort into the mixing as they did with “Starry Sky YEAH!”, they made an all new video for the mix using footage from TRON. Even without the snazzy new video, the mashup they made is still better than the sum of the parts and arguably better than two of the three songs. (Rez/Cowgirl is arguably one of the best 10 electro songs of all time.)

The thing is, you can waste all day on youtube looking at stuff like this. At least %90 of it is crap made by kids who didn’t change the music, they just made a new video (aka AMV) for one of their favorite songs using stuff from anime and movies or video of themselves dancing and lipsyncing. But if you’re lucky, you’ll stumble along someone with the skills of Orcrec and rethink what the limits of your medium are.

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posted by jet at 08:36  

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