Five years ago when Girl Talk broke into mainstream success, critics labeled his music a novelty act. Detractors said with certainty that Greg Gillis’s mashup was a gimmick and his popularity would fade like the endings of his songs. Half a decade later, Girl Talk’s All Day was one of the best received albums of 2010 and his subsequent tour consistently sold out.
As a result of Girl Talk’s success, an entire community of mashup artists has sprung up, including Milkman and White Panda; now internet superstars. Fulfilling the musical motif laced throughout the city, Austin boasts its own mashup talent in Beat Logic, comprised of chemical engineering senior Shadid Askar and electrical engineering senior Nick Carneiro.
Beat Logic’s sophomore album, Two Deep, is one of the more courageous efforts in the mashup sector. While the record features a tremendous amount of mainstay practices within the poppy, ADD-riddled genre, it deviates somewhat from the normative expectations of the music.
The two most prominent of these variations are Beat Logic’s use of dubstep and more chopped up songs. The latter technique is reminiscent of Xaphoon Jones’s style of beat-making. Instead of playing and mashing normal samples of portions of songs, certain parts of the songs are chopped and mixed into a completely different manner than the originals. The variance over more hackneyed mixing styles comes as a nice, refreshing feature on the album.
The album’s other unique characteristic, dubstep sampling, plays a heavy role in the earlier portions of Two Deep. The dubstep beats of Flux Pavillion and Bassnectar playing beneath aggressive rap verses makes perfect sense.
While enjoyable as a whole, Two Deep has its share of flaws. The crossfade use at the end of “ice queen” to transition into “modern life” and other songs comes off as awkward.
At various points on the record, the initial song combinations seem contrived and ill fitting. However, Beat Logic does a fantastic job of correcting this as the combinations go on. “Droiid” features a strange but coherent beat combination with “Teach Me How To Dougie.” The vocals aren’t turned up, which is evidence of poor production or poor decision-making. Whatever the reason, it detracts from the mashup. “Droiid” quickly recovers from the mishap with a meshing of Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman” and Kanye West’s legendary “Gold Digger,” which becomes a defining moment of the record.
Opening with a near seamless transition from “droiid,” “mr. fusion” moves into an AC/DC-meets-50 Cent segment, that flows into a string-heavy Rihanna bit, and then runs away to a pop-rock, hip-hop odyssey of party bliss.
The courageous risks that Beat Logic take ultimately pay off. In “78705,” the sampling of “The Office” theme song, as well as the dubstep inclusions, and sample editing all give Two Deep a unique vibe in a genre of increasingly trite productions.
Check out a free download to their new album here.
Genre: Mashup / Dance
Number of tracks: 16
For those who like: Girl Talk, Milkman, DJ Car Stereo (Wars)