As Paul Simon nearly said “I’m the first to admit it – I’m the last one to know”.
The WD06 conference in September was the first time I’d come across mashups – the use of two or more web applications to create new blended content that is greater than its parts.
An (already) classic example is taking Google Maps and applying it to Overheard in New York to create overplot.
Now it turns out that people having been creating musical mashups for simply ages – and no-one told me!
Luckily, I’ve stumbled onto the site of one Arty Fufkin.
Arty is a Melbourne DJ who has earned a justifiable reputation as one of the world leaders in the field of musical mashups.
Like Ben Lee (on whose site I found the link), I have to point out that I no way endorse the use of copyrighted material without permission to create mashups. On the other hand – have you HEARD this stuff???
OK, it sounds simple to use some software to mix bits of different tracks. What someone like Arty does is use a briiliant ear for what will work together with a deft editing hand to make you laugh, dance, snort and sigh with admiration.
Part of the fun is in recognising the musical and lyrical themes that he combines. So he takes Harold Faltermeyer’s theme music for the Beverly Hills Cop movie, adds Weezer’s Beverly Hills (“my fashion sense is a little whack, and my friends are just as screwy as me”), mixes in Beck’s Loser and Radiohead’s Creep, and rounds it out with bits of Nik Kershaw’s Wouldn’t It Be Good (“you must be joking, you don’t know a thing about it”) to create an anthem to Californian self-loathing: Beverly Hills Creep.
Inevitably, others take up Arty’s ideas and mash up some videos to go with the tracks. YouTube is a godsend. It only took a couple of days before someone put together a video mashup to go with Ben Leaps (Ben Lee’s Catch My Disease, Paul Kelly’s Leaps and Bounds, plus bits of Chisel, Oils, AC/DC, INXS and the Voice – an all-Australian masterpiece).
As one happy visitor noted, Art can mix up songs you don’t even like into something that is irresisitible. Mariah Carey + Cyndi Lauper = fan-bloody-tastic. Who’d a thunk it?
Arty doesn’t give much info about himself on his site (on A Page, he says “No really its just a page – go away!”), but we can assume he’s named himself after Paul Shaffer’s marvellous loser record company rep Artie Fufkin in the movie This is Spinal Tap.
No way is this Arty a loser though – the guy is a genius.