Thursday, November 17, 2011

MIXTAPE: Global Mashups Galore with Glee, Masa & Belle Amie

I quite like mashups. The more good songs piled together the better, I say. But there is a trick to making it work. Not every sonic mixture of tunes works when spun together just because you want it to. There is technique and there is skill to creating an awesome mashup -- which is to say, it's not an easy feat. I've publicly stated my adoration for most things DJ Earworm, but he's hardly the only game in town. Below are some of my most recent favorites.

GLEE CAST/(ADELE) - "Rumour Has It/Someone Like You"
There is no denying Adele has had an amazing year, and if you don't own at least one copy of 21, then I have two things to say to you. One, what the hell is wrong with you; Two, tell someone in your immediate circle to nab you this for the holidays (or perhaps buy it for yourself). You will not regret. I may have fallen off the "Glee" bandwagon (and I know I'm not the only one), but they do occasionally have their moments of brilliance, and for me, that's when they put their sangers (why hello there, Amber Riley) up front in a creative mixture. This time round, it pairs my fave 21 non-single (and Ryan Tedder produced) in "Rumour Has It" (with Amber taking point) with the juggernaut that is "Someone Like You" (with Naya Rivera doing the vocal lifting). Just when you thought the Adele card was overplayed, her material comes back to you in a fresh way, and it makes you want to wear out 21 all over again.

DJ MASA - "Shin's Family 001"
DJ Masa is essentially the Korean Pop version of DJ Earworm. His year-end dedications to KPOP border on the insane, feauting upwards of 12+ of the year's biggest hits, usually set to Western hit's backdrop. He also comes really hard with original ideas in terms of mashups that often bridge the gap between Western and Eastern music (hence my utter adoration for him). Recent outputs include mixing 2NE1's "I Am The Best" with C&C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)", setting Super Junior's "Miinah (Bonamana)" and 2NE1's "Can't Nobody" to the tune of the Mortal Kombat theme (WHAT?), and taking a bunch of killer KPOP staples and setting them to the likes of Britney Spears "Till the World Ends" or Far East Movement's "Like A G6". Basically, I freak the eff out when he puts out a new remix. His most recent is a cut that features darker cuts by many different artists (songs old and new) to Backstreet Boys' "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" (alright!). But from the minute I heard one of his more recent mixes, it's been on constant replay...and it's not even necessarily because of the two KPOP jams it features. "Shin's Family 001" is a mix created specifically for a dance crew in South Korea headed up by Super Junior's Shindong. The mix features Kara's recent hit "Step" along with SuJu's trademark in "Sorry Sorry", set to the tune of a blending of Maroon 5/Christina Aguilera's "Moves Like Jagger" and LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem". Insaniety. Best part? The mashup was a direct collab with the SuJu member himself.

BELLE AMIE - "2011 Mashup"
The only thing that I can think of that would be more impressive than mixing together a bunch of hot songs effectively, is doing just that but singing them yourself. That is exactly what Belle Amie managed to pull off in this Untitled Ode to mostly UK Pop Hits of the past year -- thirty songs to be exact in less than three and a half minutes. Chief amongst them are The Saturdays "All Fired Up", Jessie J "Who's Laughing Now", Wynter Gordon "Dirty Talk", Pixie Lott "All About Tonight", Lady Gaga "Edge of Glory", Cher Lloyd "Swagger Jagger", Bruno Mars "Marry You" and Beyonce "Best Thing I Never Had" allong with about a zillion others. Not only are the transitions seamless and effective, this trio of up-and-comers sounds fantastic. They originally gained momentum as finalists on the British X Factor last year (as a four-piece, one member has since departed). Their debut single, the grrrrl power empowerment anthem that is "Girls Up", was released to radio this past June (with a video uploaded to YouTube on my birthday! -- kismet!). Basically, they have the vocal chops that made me see stars with The Saturdays and the sass of the Dolly Rockers. So in short, I have a new fave UK girl group to root for and a new 'Mel's 100% Supports' Artist. Get ittttttt.

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