Here's an interesting duo of DJs I'd like to share with you on this fine Friday morning. The act is called the Hood Internet. For those that are not already familiar with them, they have been making a variety of mashups and remixes for the past few years. And they're quite talented at it.
I know in some circles mashups are passé, but I have always found them very fascinating and often enjoyable, especially when done as well as the Hood Internet does them. I think it takes a lot of creativity and imagination, as well as a deft musical ear, to conceive of these mashups. Yes, a good part of the enjoyment often comes from the cleverness of the pairing. The duo does things like before-and-after/mashed titles ("Back Dat Sleepyhead Up" for Juvenille + Passion Pit), or two artists that seemingly make no sense together (Radiohead + Black Eyed Peas), or frame their pieces with a unified theme (A Chicago themed mixtape that only uses Chicago acts, or even more ambitious, distilling the 2000s into a 6 and a half minute journey through mashups of each year's big songs). All of these things really capture my interest.
Of course, the listening is what really makes the experience. I like the recontextualization of a song or songs because it allows us to hear things in a new way that we may never have noticed about the originals. Putting things in a new light often allows us to gain a new perspective. On the other hand, it is strangely true that the opposite happens too: a listener can get an even stronger sense of the inherent qualities of a song. For example, a great melody often shines through whether accompanied by the intended guitar chords or a chopped up hip-hop beat. Also, many of these mixes are genre-spanning (typically a rock/pop song with a rap or electronica song), so it can provide exposure to something new through a familiar entry point. Yes, there's a lot to like about reimagining ways music can be put together.
Before I turn you loose to the nearly 400 tracks of the Hood Internet's soundcloud page, here's just one of their mashups I enjoyed. It's combines 7/4 (Shoreline) by Broken Social Scene, one of my favorites, with R. Kelly's I'm a Flirt.
The Hood Internet – "I'm a Flirt (Shoreline) [R. Kelly & Broken Social Scene]
Any strong feelings on mashups? Any favorites? Any you'd like to make – whether for the clever name or for the anticipated musical synergy? Let me know in the comments. This last question could lead to a future post of your ideas.