Girl Talk Night Ripper

Mash-ups are so 2002 — that is in the sense of taking two or three songs and splicing them together to make a unified (and often illegal) pop smash or bastardisation, depending on how well it turns out. For a good four years, everyone from Erol Alkan and 2 Many DJs (the instigators) to any teenager with the right computer software has made an ironic "hit” with their laptop, but really, what’s left to do? Well, for three albums now, Greg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) has discovered a way to keep the trend alive and surprisingly fresh. Essentially what he does with "his” music isn’t so much of a mash-up but a complete deconstruction/reconstruction of past and present pop/rock, hip-hop and dance with an upwards of 20 well- and lesser-known favourites crammed into one new composition. The idea of it sounds like a blueprint for a disastrous headache, but Night Ripper’s cohesion is extraordinary. Gillis is a rigorous craftsman, and his assembling skill is near perfect down to the second, introducing the next song at the most opportune moment. Of course, the most fun of this concept comes in trying to recognise his 150 or so sources, or in this case "victims.” Using the likes of forgotten favourites (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Candyman) unlikely candidates (Boredoms, Better Than Ezra), usual suspects (Missy Elliott, Madonna) and some big contemporary names (Pharrell, Fall Out Boy), Gillis has devised a tasteful thread that is as repeatedly rousing as it is incredibly illegal. Who knows how long he can keep this up, considering the laws of copyright and fashion will be looking to change his M.O. But for the time being, Night Ripper is a dangerous delight. (Illegal Art)