Arcade Fire Are Kung Fu Fighting in New Mash Up from Go Home Productions

It only takes a few seconds of “Kung-Fu Reflektor” to demonstrate just how much fun Mash ups can be, when they are done well. Arcade Fire and Carl Douglas might not be the most obvious bedfellows, but this is as much fun in three minutes as you will ever find on YouTube, with the possible exception of seeing John Prescott being egged and then punching his assailant.

From the moment Freelance Hellraiser released a song where Cristina Aguilera sang over The Strokes’ guitars and word spread about an hour-long 2 Many DJs set, the Mash-Up moved inexorably mainstream. Sampling was one thing, but to combine an entire song’s vocal with a completely different tune? This was witchcraft.

It isn’t always successful. Although Disney’s “Let It Go” is clearly made to be spliced with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, I have yet to find a well-made, credible version, although there have been several attempts. A successful mash-up, it would appear, is not quite as simple as picking the right tunes…

My favourite mash-up maestro by some distance for the last decade has been Mark Vidler, who works under the name Go Home Productions. It’s easy to see these mash-ups as novelties, but Vidler has a craft and ability to somehow create something very interesting with his versions. He also does a mean video for each one. What’s more, Go Home Productions has just released a new album called “Spliced Krispies Vol. 2” that you can download – for free – from his website.

And what an album this is…

Vidler shows The Bee Gees that they missed a trick by not combining with Killing Joke earlier in their career….

…and when Billy Joel sings against the backdrop of Amy Winehouse’s backing band on “Love Is A Piano Man”, he’s never sounded more hurt and sincere, and the song is lifted from a humdrum MOR staple to a raggedy torch-ballad of desolation.

Then Queens of the Stone Age combine with Imagination’s “Body Talk” for the funkiest version of No-One Knows you could ever believe and you realise, as Homme unwittingly gives his best Nile Rogers impression, that it takes a real leap of imagination to even dream that two songs so different could ever sound so good together.

There’s more… The Beatles and The Knack combine with “My Paperback Sharona”…

…Rihanna links up with The Stranglers with “Rude Peaches”…

…whilst Madonna finally finds her perfect guitarist as “Into The Groove” mixes superbly with Jimi Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic” in “Crosstown Groove”

……and Oasis’ “Whatever” is done no harm whatsoever by having Smokey Robinson and The Miracles sing “Tracks of my Tears” over it.

And here’s the interesting thing. Whilst mash ups take two old songs to create something new, perhaps they could also show us a future hitherto unimagined?

In other words, never mind that Oasis reunion, Noel; here’s proof that with the right singer you could be the next McAlmont and Butler…



Categories: Music

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7 replies

  1. the body talk/queens one is the most bizarre one to me…a great selection there…the oddly tragic thing with mash ups is they can blow you away,but only once…like a joke that can’t really be ran up the flag pole twice.

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    • Hmmm. Maybe, on some (the Springsteen one above is a good example where it is clever but not as good as just listening to Born To Run) but then again there’s a Velvet Underground / Cristina Aguilera mash up that I think I might actually prefer to the original of “Rock n Roll” that it is based upon… I probably shouldn’t admit that of course…

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  2. I’m a huge fan of a man called Ben Liebrand. He’s Dutch and makes mixes, including mash-ups of songs. This mash-up is one of my favourites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4nMcsdPPdQ . Check out his work: it’s great!

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