August 31, 2006

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Girl Talk, Night Ripper
Illegal Art, 2006

In the beginning of Mash-up history, it was hard not to slap your forehead in frustration as you listened to wanna-be DJs, mix and mash your favorite tunes into a pile of diluted crap. Whether it’s a fluke of mashing genius or the art has come further along,Girl Talk’s Night Ripper stands to be one of the very few gems in the genre (the first obviously being DJ Dangermouse’s The Grey Album).

Usually when I hear the word “mash-up,” I shudder in reminiscence of several Green Day cuts transitioned into a Coldplay chorus using only a single 4/4 dance beat. Thirty seconds of such dysfunction could cost you your lunch. But Girl Talk has transcended the next plateau using singular elements from literally hundreds of pop/rock songs to develop rhythms, build beats and write choruses. Night Ripper will be the only place for years to come where you can hear Biggie Smalls rapping over Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and have it actually sound good. As a bonus, it takes the best hooks and beats from some of most annoying pop songs imaginable (i.e. “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas) and turns them into tolerable, and at times irresistable, dance tracks.

The end result is continuous A.D.D., dance mix that will make it easier for you to fake having a DJ at parties. Although Night Ripper, teeming with so much compacted pop culture, may stop you in your tracks as you try to figure out where each poppy component came from, slowing your groove. Also, with so much copyrighted material, lawsuits are no doubt in the works so get it while it’s hot! (literally) at illegalart.com. B+

— Dan Brian


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