Girl Talk – Feed the Animals

part of the cover art for feed the animals

This whole “give music away for free” distribution method is really catching on! Next up: Girl Talk’s Feed the Animals. After mentioning the album multiple times in recent interviews, Gregg Gillis has finally released the latest Girl Talk album, and it definitely carries on right where Night Rippers left off.

For those who are new to Girl Talk, the music is best described as a mashup of many other songs that combine to create entirely new songs. Essentially Gillis takes 10-20 samples from old and new songs, arranges and layers them ontop of one another, and spits out some genius concoction that is Girl Talk. His ability to take music from nearly every genre and weave them together so flawlessly is amazing.

Getting back to Feed the Animals, please take a look at the album’s Wikipedia page. Scroll down to the tracklist and be blown away at how many songs were sampled from to make this record. In a single song, Gillis takes from Kraftwerk, Genesis, Michael Jackson, The Velvet Underground, and Justin Timberlake.

One thing that I’ve noticed from Night Rippers and Feed the Animals (not so much with Secret Diary or Unstoppable) is that the songs blend into each other, and each song isn’t extremely separate from the songs adjacent to it. I think this is due to the massive number of samples used and the quick twists and turns taken in each song. Don’t get me wrong, I still love both of the two latest albums, but they play as an hour long mashup instead of individual song arranged to fit together.

Many of the songs are constructed through trios of samples layering one songs beats, another’s instruments, and yet another’s vocals. Here are a few of my favorite trios from the album:

  • BLACKstreet, Kanye West, and Radiohead
  • Busta Rhymes, The Police, The Cure
  • Timbaland, Stardust, Yo Majesty
  • Salt ‘n Pepa, Deelite, Nirvana
  • Fergie, Kraftwerk, Earth Wind & Fire

So all-in-all, I love this album. It’s a great piece to put on with headphones and just test your music knowledge skills to see exactly how many songs you can recognize (more points for beats than vocals). While I know that most music that is good takes some time to create, I really am blown away at how well all of these samples mix together.

Gorillaz are no more


Everyone’s favorite virtual cartoon band will release no more studio albums. NME reported that lead singer Damon Albarn has confirmed that a film score will be all that is left of Gorillaz. Why do the good bands have to go so soon? Two studio albums and two remix albums are not enough. All of the four Gorillaz albums have a sound of their own; eclectic to the end. Continue reading “Gorillaz are no more”

Coachella 2007: Björk

Bjork HeadshotMany people have called David Bowie a chameleon, but he is nothing compared to Björk. She has gone through many transformations both physically (how she looks) and sonically (how her music sounds) since her solo debut in 1993 with Debut. Being from Reykjavík, Iceland, her accent and tonal voice goes against nearly all of western culture’s pop sounds. Here is the progression of her sound though each successive album:

  • Debut: A very expansive album, probably more-so than any of her following albums. It contains a mix of dance, earthy, new age, beat-centered songs. The beat-driven aspect is a vein or theme that does run through all of her music.
  • Post: More abstract. Just listening to the opening tracks “Army of Me” makes it obvious where she wanted to go with this new album (following the platinum Debut.) Possibly a bit darker… just a progression. Björk describes it as being more “extreme”.
  • Homogenic: My favorite album. This album is definitely in my top 10 of all time. The beats are much more pronounced, scattered, and massive. Homogenic just has an epic sound to it. The song Pluto (2nd to last track) has become the song for her to perform and/or close with. Its griding and distorted synths, vocals, and beats make it raw and brutal. “Emotionally, this album is about hitting rock bottom and earning your way up. So it’s the darkest album I’ve done emotionally, but it’s got a lot of hope.”
  • Vespertine: Much softer. The sound that characterizes Vespertine is very angelic. “Vespertine is sort of a winter album for me. I think Homogenic was very summer, very hot, burning desert.” It has a light sound that seems to float away.
  • Medúlla: When it was released, Medúlla received quite a bit of backlash. It was Bjork going against what her fans had grown to know and love: beats and synths. It didn’t matter whether hard or soft, but beats and synths combined with her other-worldly vocals are Björk. Medúlla has nothing other than human voices on it. Being fairly new to Björk when Medúlla came out, I enjoyed the sound. It is her most different album so far. It pushes our voices as instruments to their limits.
  • Volta: Yet to be released, the sound of Volta has been revealed only through interviews with Björk and a leaked track titled “Earth Intruders”. Volta is said to be very brass centered. Björk collaborated with quite a few artists for Volta, including Timbaland. We’ll see how it turns out, but “Earth Intruders” is amazing to say the least.

So that basically wraps up Björk as an ever changing artist. Just go look at some pictures of her, and you will realize what I mean when I say that she is a chameleon. She is truely a musical genius who has remained relevant through the fickle tastes of pop culture that are constantly changing.