Sunday, 22 December 2013
CLT's Best of 2013
So, here we are folks - the biggie, the culmination of all things good in 2013, and my word there was a BIG bag of good going on.
And what a year it was - from the legendary Jimmy Page showcasing my beloved Fissunix on the front page of his official website (and indeed, Fred was later chosen as the provider of the soundtrack to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame's promo video clip), to Pom Deter getting in to a dust up with the NIN boys over THAT viral mashup, to me being followed on Twitter by Right Said Fred.
And it was a strange old year for me personally; living with a lovely Cola-fan from foreign climes for the first half of the year (waves to the west and shouts "yoo-hoo"), ghost-hunting in the footsteps of my beloved Ghost Adventures Crew (and thus failing to sleep properly ever since - Zak Bagans never had these issues), having a brand new PC named Mechatron built for me which has increased my processing power on my tracks (whilst oddly my tracks have become less powerful), inadvertently becoming a Meme for a week through my innocent enjoyment of a day on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare (Memetron was proto-Doge), and growing a big-assed beard that finally helps me to look my age instead of my normal Cliff Richard-esque stylings. This was my Anno Insaniam.
The world of Mashup went from stength to strength in 2013, with exciting producers new and old coming to the fore, improving upon their art and really upping their game. More and more legit tracks appeared, with even that bastion of bad karaoke, The X Factor, picking up on the trend, thanks to a magnificent promo track from Robin Skouteris. Being privileged enough to be a Moderator over at Mashstix, I've seen an exponential growth in the quality of production and variety of styles coming through, even though the dreaded 'mega'mix and blend (coffee??) continue to delude people in the masses.
...insert cryptic rant...
But I've seen the future and it's safe - one day a small brotherhood of the originators and innovators will rise to retake the name Bastardpop and return it to it's rightful place as the head of the table in the Mashup arena - it crumples... it bangs... we shall be avenged ;(
...end cryptic rant...
So, without much further ado and in no particular order (save alphabetically by producer) - here are the tracks that rocked my stereo this year. From cinematic scores, to lush acoustica, via big electro and dubstep, with a crunch of rock pomp, to straight out pop fun - there's something for everyone here. These are my friends and peers, and these are the Best of 2013.
Remember the legendary scamp from many moons ago that once upon a time was possibly the most famous of all mashup producers out there, and in one way or another is responsible for what we all do now (he's our daddy!) - the man they called Go Home Productions? Well, he's still at it, and he's still nailing it, as one half of legendary and pioneering audio-visual heroes Addictive TV. We salute you Mr. Vidler sir (as we do indeed Mr. Daniels too)
Red Hot Wonder (Red Hot Chili Peppers vs. Stevie Wonder)
Arnaud had a wonderful year again, displaying great production skills with a distinctly french flavour. This was for me, the pick of the bunch, that just oozes "smooooooooth"
Tennessee Fire (Johnny Hallyday vs. Adele)
My mate Dan was on fire again in 2013. For me, the undisputed king of the multi-mash and the champ of hard rock mashups, Dan showed a more melancholic side this year that showed great versatility and understanding of how to create an emotionally moving piece (check Life!). But he still pulled out the big guns when required and singed our eyebrows off with some insanely intense rock anthems too (Manson vs. Dion?? Insane!!). Give these a listen to understand why I call him The Mei-stro.
Enjoy The Hall Of Fame (The Script vs. Morcheeba vs. Eminem ft. Rihanna)
Life (Eythor Ingi Gunnlaugsson vs. Within Temptation vs. Katy Perry vs. t.A.T.u)
Putting Holes Back To Life (Marilyn Manson vs. Celine Dion)
Davbear took on a whole new sound this year; in addition to his incredible pop dance tracks, he gave us a more personal, emotional sound which at times verged on the epic. It's nigh on impossible not to be moved by his Nothing Compares To A Clown; it's damned-near impossible not to gasp at the majestic epic pop with a cinematic flourish of his Halo Around the Tombstone. And then he went and used DAT Zimmer track too.... will I ever manage to get that track out of my head (it's my singing in the shower track)??
Halo Around The Tomb (Tomb Raider vs. Justin Timberlake vs. Beyonce)
Nothing Compares To A Clown (Sinead O'Connor vs. Emeli Sande)
Slow Time (Hans Zimmer vs. Kylie Minogue)
My mate Dim had another fantastic year with his trademark sound of downtempo, trip-hoppy mashups, but the one that stood out for me was this - the perfect example of why sometimes just a simple A+B can be the most wonderful of understated tracks. Bravo mon ami.
Halo Diamonds (Beyonce vs. Rihanna)
DJ Rick Lee
Aside from providing the lulz this year amongst the boys and our little online community (mainly at my expense, for my love of makeup and red high heels), Uncle Rick took it upon himself to investigate the claims from various parties (including The Law!) that a certain #THICKE had plagiarised a certain Motown legend on his runaway smash of the Summer. Uncle Rick needs to have his own crime-solving TV drama show, a la Ironside or Columbo... he gets the bad guy in the end...
Give Up The Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke vs. Marvin Gaye)
2013 was undoubtedly the year of the Schmollster (much like every year is!). I'm fast coming to the conclusion that Thomas has an army of clones pumping these hits out one after the other - it's the only way I can explain how he manages to release so much, apparently never sleeping and even finding time to fit in DJ-ing at packed clubs around the world. He's so versatile too - hence I believe he has a department of Schmollis for each genre of track he wants made. Even more bizarre, he somehow manages to mash new tracks before the originals are released - he's the Necromancer of Mash.
It would be nigh on impossible to narrow down his best tracks, so instead, here's a small selection that were absolute killers.
Look out in 2014, for Schmolli going legit, making a million, and forgetting us all - his friends - whilst he lives in a castle made from Unicorn's Tears.
This Is How We Push And Shove One More Night (No Doubt vs. Montell Jordan vs. Maroon 5)
Mary, Proud Mary (Run DMC vs. Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Never Hold Back Hooligans In Heaven From Goin' In (Major Look vs. The Cure vs. Don Diablo ft. Example vs. Birdy Nam Nam vs. Wax)
Tommy's Royal Christmas (The Who vs. Lorde)
Another legend on the scene (the King of Bootie a few years back), Tripp is now turning out unbelievable remixes, that surpass anything out there from the highly paid professionals, and in many ways, actually improve upon the originals. Fantastic skills and I'd love to see him be picked up by some big labels next year off the back of these.
Duran Duran - Rio (DJ Tripp's Nite Drive version)
The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter (DJ Tripp remix)
DJ Y Alias JY
Jive was my go-to guy in 2013 for consistently high, beautifully produced and varied tracks. In fact, over the course of the last few years, I don't recall ever hearing a single track from him that I didn't love.
And that he could take the viral hit from the start of the year and make it listenable (without having to do silly dances all over Dude Tube) just shows how good he is.
The Harlem Voodoo People Shake (Baauer vs. The Prodigy)
Need Wines + Chocolates Tonight (Theophilus London vs. INXS)
So Good To Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel vs. Chris Malinschak)
Alexandre was on fire again (pun to follow, intended), this year branching out his sound from the incredible soul and funk tracks we all know and love him for, in to pretty much any genre he turned his hand to.
Simple, yet great eclectic choices in the instrumentals used ensured his place in the list this year, along with his superb excellent as always production skills.
Fire Again (Steely Dan vs. Chase + Status)
Whole Lotta Boots (Billy Strange vs. Led Zeppelin)
Starry Holydays (Michael Polnareff vs. Ellie Goulding)
Another hero of the oldskool (you don't know Dunproofin', you don't know mashup/bootleg/bastardpop period) who's doing new things at present - this incredible cover of a classic could easily be given a bona fide release - John Lewis advert makers, take note.
Talk Talk - Life's What You Make It (Dunproofin' cover version)
Ah, the enigmatic and mysterious Mr. Vasey - just who is he? We may never know. However I like to think he's actually the head of a major record label, or indeed even one of the pop music superstars themselves. We know this much - Carly Rae Jepsen may or may not have seen his face.
Anyway, Dylan caught my eye and ear with two tracks this year, both quite different in style, but both HUGE singalong tracks - brilliant stuff.
Imagine Being Next To Me (John Lennon vs. Emeli Sande)
Your Thriftshop Body (Macklemore + Ryan Lewis vs. Rihanna vs. Christina Aguilera)
Pedalo Power. Rave Nutter. GYBO legend. Spirit of '03. Crumple Banger. ;(
Momma Said You've Got A Brand New Combine Harvester (LL Cool J vs. The Wurzels)
The man with the unspellable name and the choice of Bootie for all things bangin' had another huge year with a barrage of big beats and electro goodness (as well as some more tender, beautiful remix moments via his I'm From Finland persona), The pick of the bunch for me was this gentle little ode to all things sadomasochism.
Shut The Fuck Up, I've Got A Crush On Your Genitals (I.Y.F.F.E. + ClarK vs. Korn vs. Nero vs. Jon La Joie)
Mon frère d'un autre pays and sometime collaborator needs no introduction here. It's no secret how much I love Fred and everything he comes up with. This year he just went from strength to strength with a raft of cinematic mashups, blistering rock tracks and just all round genius. What I like to call "Widescreen Mashup".
As with Schmolli, it would be impossible for me to narrow down my favourite tracks of the year from Fred, so I'll just list the ones which completely blew me away.
And I'll make no apologies here for including some of the collaborations I had the privilege of being asked to contribute to - making these with Fred was some of the most fun I've ever had when being creative (even if it did near kill me trying to find some of the samples out).
Roll on 2014, I can't wait to see what Lord Fissu has in store for us next!
Youth Gone Old (Skidrow vs. Brother Dege (aka Dege Legg))
The Laws Must Give It Away (John Mayall vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers (The Empire Fantastic remix))
Sky Of Steel (Hans Zimmer vs. Adele)
Holocene For A Night (Florence + The Machine vs. Bon Iver)
Honky Tonk Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel vs. Bill Dogget)
Mercy Sky (Peter Gabriel vs. God Is An Astronaut)
Kara Wants To Know What Love Is (feat. Colatron) (Foreigner vs. Nalepa vs. Kara vs. Kraddy)
Walking On A Season (feat. Romain Franti + Colatron) (Empire Of The Sun vs. Vivaldi (Romain Franti arrangement))
Shining Talk (feat. Colatron) (Peter Gabriel vs. God Is An Astronaut vs. The Ghost Orchid vs. Pink Floyd)
Frail Limb Purity
Ty is a genius. Simple as. The Mozart of Mash. It's almost embarrasing how easy he finds it coming up with unique, fresh and original mashes such as these (DAT glitch!!). And whilst I shouldn't have faves.. the Mirror's Edge/Lovato track may be one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard, mashup or not.
Untitled (Justin Timberlake vs. The Bloody Beetroots + Wolf Saga)
Untitled (Demi Lovato vs. Solar Fields)
Sadly for us (though extremely happily for him), the G Man is a busy guy these days with his wonderful family and so we don't get too many pearls out of the Netherlands nowadays. But when G does grab time for a track or two, my word does he remind us of why we all fell in love with his 'crazy choice of source material' tracks all those years ago.
Completely unrestricted by genre, this is mashing for the love of the mash, pure and simple.
California Rave Gurls (Katy Perry vs. Dune)
Moves Like Twenty Five Ruffnecks (Maroon 5 vs. Freestylers vs. Edwin Starr)
Elastic Bitch (Elastica vs. The Prodigy (Noisia remix))
Erik's had a top quality year that just keeps getting better and better.
From mashing arguably the best track from the most anticipated album of the year, to producing a soundscape of such beauty it left me speechless, via an otherworldly and if I'm honest, downright creepy beauty of a remix, GenErik showed how to think outside of the box and produce things that I would have been proud to call my own.
Georgio Is Missing (Daft Punk vs. Everything But The Girl)
Dolly Parton - Jolene (GenErik's Folktron remix)
Múkki Hunch (Sigur Ròs v Xploding Plastix)
The man I like to call The Baron.
It's no surprise to find out that Groovefunkel is a good friend of Rhythm Scholar (see later) and judging by the quality of the remixes he's put out this year, the two are clearly influenced by each other, and running some friendly oneupmanship which is good news for us music lovers.
This grandoise space epic of a remix took me to the edge of the Galaxy and back, on a wave of comfort and beauty. Stunning.
Elton John - Rocket Man (Groovefunkel New Fuse remix)
My mate P - without a doubt, the breakout star of 2013 and one to watch in 2014.
Everything he touched was brilliant, from balls-out indie anthems to dark, emotional landscapes that punch you in the gut and leave you crying.
And all the more remarkable, knowing that he does this oldskool style, by ear - not a sign of the Masher's Dirty Little Secret known as MIK. Just superb.
Time For Our Little Talks (Of Monster And Men vs. Imagine Dragons)
Every Love You Let Go (Passenger vs. Peer Kusiv vs. Ed Alleyne-Johnson)
Gone With The Wind (Eminem vs. Bob Dylan)
After The Storm (Elias Vafiades vs. Jim Morrison)
Another great year from Lee - one of an imaginary brotherhood of mashers that in my head I like to call "The Beautiful People".
Who else could have me fall in love with a house track (haven't touched that stuff in over 13 years now), and reduce me to a lump of weeping goo by layering my beloved Ellie Goulding over my beloved Apparat in what may be the most emotionally affecting mashup of the year?
Solace In The Devil's Elbow (Solace vs. Nick Warren)
Goodbye In The Water (Ellie Goulding vs. Apparat)
The funniest guy (and most artistically talented) on Facebook - Lizzy knocked it out the park this year, with a couple of tracks, notably his Wave 3 mash, which gave Britney the balls she wished she had.
Another guy to keep an eye out for in 2014, Lizzart is going to be huge.
Wave 3 (Xilent vs. Britney Spears)
Blob It Out (Beyonce vs. John Guscott)
The Man they (I?) call Boss over at 'Stix - Lloyd is well known for producing excellent full length mixes of the boys and girls we moderate over on the boards (keep 'em peeled for his Mashstix 2013 mix out on the 23rd Dec).
But when he dusts off his production hat, he can mix it up with the best of them. As shown here - is it even possible to make a mash with On A Ragga Tip that isn't good? Well, by all rights, using sonic abomination Cotton Eyed Joe should prove it is possible, but my god - he's produced one of the biggest smile inducing, crumpleybanging tracks of the year! ;(
On A Cotton Tip (The Fiddle remix) (SL2 vs. Rednex)
Michel continued to show this year why he's the king of the funk rock and soul mashup, with this selection of earworms. Absolutely perfect pairings, coupled with superb production (seriously - check the quality of the Hendrix track) - do yourselves a favour if you like guitar music and grab the whole download pack from his site here
I Feel So Free (James Taylor Quartet vs. Muzikk ft. John Rock)
Gonna Give You My Love (Led Zeppelin vs. Lil' Wayne)
Experience Behind The Door (Lee Fields + The Expressions vs. Jimi Hendrix)
More evidence that for me, France is kicking out the best mashups at the moment; my mate Mike was on top form as always this year, especially with his fantastic usage of C2C and Stromae.
Big sounds and big smiles from me. Pun intended - just sheer Fun.
Iron Jerk (Woodkid vs. Caesars)
Papa Fuya (C2C vs. The Temptations)
Some Happy Nights (C2C vs. Fun)
The man I call Maestro, and as you all know by now, the man who inspired me to become what I am today (along with a few choice others, who know who they are).
Phil shows no signs of letting up on the emotional, heart-breaking, thought-provoking epic sweeps of lush music he's so well known for. It's no coincidence he inspired at least 2 tracks out of me this year.
I'll forever be in your debt mate. <3
Time Out From Teardrops (Massive Attack vs. Goldfrapp)
LingeRev (The Cranberries vs. Mercury Rev)
Jim Morricone (The Doors vs. Ennio Morricone)
Aberdeen's finest, and possibly most insane DJ - the guy who broke the Interweb, and given half a chance, probably would have broken the jaws of NIN too, whilst picking up his second gold plated helicopter.
Deservedly one of the biggest tracks of the year, we all sat in secret envy of him as we watched the fun unfold, courting that elusive millionth play for ourselves.
Possibly the most important track of the year.
Call Me A Hole (Carly Rae Jepsen vs. Nine Inch Nails)
Rémi is yet another fantastic producer from France (what DO they put in the water out there!) that has come up with some real beauties this year, notably this one which was pure Colatron in style and thus won my heart over in a fraction of a second. Bravo mon ami!
Shadow Of The Gravity (Linkin Park vs. Steven Price)
The mighty RS once again whipped out the best remixes of the year, but this one in particular had us all falling over ourselves with platitudes - from start to finish, just a beautiful psychadelic ride through nostalgia, with a hint of Easy Star All*Stars thrown in for good measure.
May I say as well, behind the scenes, RS is one of the most generous, giving guys out there - so a huge thank you from me for all you did this year. Hero.
The Beatles - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Rhythm Scholar remix)
He may destroy me weekly on Angry Birds Friends, but Rod's had another brilliant year, and it's a pleasure to have watched him progress from his first post on 'Stix to where he is now, producing absolute gems like these.
His jazzy funk take on Bob Marley is easily one of the best things I've ever heard and I was of course, humbled and honoured by his tribute, the deeply personal and haunting Chasing Cars (Red Ashes). Well done my mate and keep it up in 2014!
Gettin' Up Into Darkness (Marcus Miller vs. Bob Marley + The Wailers)
Chasing Cars (Red Ashes) (Deadmau5 (Astrio remix) vs. Snow Patrol vs. Usher vs. Benni Benassi ft. Gary Go)
Rui's another guy who's completely blown me away this year with his innovative and imaginative mashing - the Adele reggae track just encapsulated the summer for me (it's a perfect slab of singalong fun for driving around the hot sticky city to), and of course, his many jazz tracks made for family, are off the charts - Grapevine Equinox is as close to perfection as one can get when defining what a mashup should be.
Keep an eye out for his remixes and full mixes too - brilliant.
Las Plantas In The Deep (Sessiones Reggae Instrumental vs. Adele)
Grapevine Equinox (John Coltrane + Ivan Renta vs. Marvin Gaye)
What Is Romance (Lady Gaga vs. Haddaway)
And the award for Best Newcomer of the Year 2013 goes to.... the same guy who won Best Producer Name 2013.
Sherlock has exploded on to the scene lately, with a unique eye for the most seemingly bizarre yet flawlessly executed of ideas. As I said at the time, he reminds me of a G3RSt type figure, which is big praise in my eyes.
A perfectionist, he'll work and work to get the final track flawless, and is ever gracious in accepting feedback and assistance - his own feedback over on 'Stix is always well thought out and helpful in it's own right. Mark my words though - if he carries on at this pace, he'll be the man to beat in 2014.
Excellent addition to the Mashup family and proud to have him onboard Team Stix. Well done mate.
In The View Carre (Linkin Park vs. Trombone Shorty)
When I'm Hurt (Anna Kendrick vs. Johnny Cash)
It's a welcome addition from Stefan this year - the king of the 80s mashup branched out a little this year and when he did, boy did he prove he can handle just about any style.
This one particularly caught my ear, again as a great example of a simple A+B where the result of how the addition of two tracks together are far better than either original on their own. Perfect pop mash.
Moves Like An Owl (Owl City vs. Maroon 5)
My mate SES - for me, the MVP of 2013 and having gotten to know him, I can tell you he's a musical genius - true musical genius, as well as being a gent to boot.
Everything SES touched this year was pure gold. The precision with which he makes mashup, as well as adding his own musical flourishes to tracks is astounding - his vision and thought-process for each track is nothing short of brilliant, and on more than one occasion, I've literally been gob-smacked with the beauty of what he's produced. It's no coincidence I hope to be having an album out with him next year.
And in addition to all that, he went and produced the track of the year for sh1ts and giggles without even trying - Blurred Bartman captured everything a mashup should be, from the spirit of '02 and Boomselection/GYBO through to commenting on the inanity of today's disposable pop. Just brilliant.
Towers Down Under (Bon Iver vs. Men At Work)
Fixing Perth (Bon Iver vs. Coldplay)
One Worry About Love (Ivy vs. Bob Marley)
L.A. Spirit (Munk vs. Nirvana vs. SpareElbowSkin)
Blurred Bartman (Robin Thicke vs. Bart Simpson)
Psycho Killer On The News (George Fenton vs. Talking Heads)
The Early Mourning
The ELP-esque supergroup of mash, the combination of Frail Limb Purity and Ricky Cervantes is an inspired one and everything the boys do is just magical.
Dark, brooding electronic audioporn. I could have gone with any of the tracks but for me, this one just about edged it. Here's hoping the boys collaborate more often in 2014 though (hint hint).
Until The End (Rihanna vs. Kill The Noise vs. Dillon Francis)
The Reborn Identity
Output-wise, it was a quiet year from Gav on the music front, but knowing the reasons why, I can forgive him and wish him all the happiness he deserves ;)
But even with just a couple of tracks out in 2013, Gav still managed to remind us why he's simply one of the best and he continues to inspire and drive me on to melancholic beauty in each and every track I make (I only make this stuff in the vain hope that one day I can out-beauty, the King of Beauty!).
He may be distant from the Mashup landscape, but he's never forgotten.
The Sun Shines On Absent Friends (A-Ha vs. The Divine Comedy)
Orbiting Mars (Bruno Mars vs. The Lights Galaxia)
And so there you go folks - if you're still here, you must really love your mashup! But thank you for reading.
I should of course give honourable mention to those guys I wanted to include in the list here but sadly couldn't, as I couldn't locate individual flash players for the tracks (damn you Stephanie Yamaguchi). But if you have the time, please seek out
Madmix Mustang - Get Up! Stand Up! Wake Up! (Avicci vs. Bob Marley)
The cleverest use of an over-mashed track from MMM - this was easily the best of the bunch and in fact, the only one I could stand to listen to. MMM turned something so banal in to something anthemic and a dancefloor killer.
GaraGara - Run.Walk.Cruise (Kool G Rap + DJ Polo vs. Dire Straits vs. Smokey Robinson)
A briliant mash that had a common theme, and a wonderful juxtaposition of 3 genres in one convenient package. Chris played a blinder and the structure/arrangement was spot on
Voicedude - Black Or White Prison (Michael Jackson vs. Johnny Cash)
One of the catchiest tracks of the year, with that classic "wow" factor of surprise when the Cash vocal comes in, The 'Dude played a blinder and it deserves to be a Bootie classic.
And of course 2013 saw the return of my hero and all-time great - the magical Flying White Dots with his new album, Barracuda. A monument of AOR genius, please do yourselves a favour and grab it from here
So, that was the year that was. Thank you one and all for your continued support - I might have a few things lined up for you in 2014 to keep you all happy, but in the meantime, everybody have a wonderful Christmas and a top notch New Year!