In 2006, everyone’s a DJ — even you! — thanks to MP3s and the iTunes playlist function. But nobody celebrates sonic egalitarianism, or takes it to such frantic extremes, as does DJ Girl Talk (a.k.a. Pittsburgh DJ Greg Gillis), whose highly actionable new mashup CD Night Ripper (Illegal Art) is all the rage on the underground.
Bordering on a new-school Paul’s Boutique for the pop-culture-obsessed ADHD set, Night Ripper salutes as much of the past 30 years of contemporary music as possible in as short a time span as possible. Where most mashups simply juxtapose a few tracks with similar BPMs or chord progressions, Girl Talk piles a decadent number of songs on top of each other to create a manic variation on Name That Tune — or a digital twist on ’80s mixmasters Stars On 45.
A routine like “Bounce That” finds the Purple Ribbon All-Stars rapping over a perpetually morphing series of beats from the Emotions, LCD Soundsystem, the Breeders, Laura Branigan and Britney Spears (just to name a few) in just two minutes. “Hold Up” features James Taylor crooning over a Mariah Carey loop before the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” sets the stage for Nas to rock the mic before pitting Weezer against a Chicago ghetto-tech rhythm. In all, there are more than 150 samples (each credited in the liner notes) that fuel the party-hearty dance mix.
Incredibly, this potential litigation orgy is not something you have to hunt down, but can be easily purchased at regular retailers like Amazon. Of course, the blogoheads are hot and bothered over Girl Talk: Some hail him as the new DJ messiah, while others consider him no better than musical fast food. With a live show notorious for “seminudity” and audience participation, the buzz should be deafening by the time he sets a date here in Los Angeles. But now that everyone from MTV to The New Yorker is onto him, he knows the clock is ticking. As he put it on his MySpace page recently, “I’m now a hyped band — get ready to hate me in approximately one year.” In his case, make that six months.
GIRL TALK | Night Ripper | Illegal Art