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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Mashups keep music alive as originality fades

I miss ’90s alternative rock. I miss it like Jennifer Aniston misses Brad Pitt. Like how one yearns for water after a heavy night of drinking, or how a “Lost” fan pleads for just one more season.

Instead I have to settle for current music, which mostly consists of DJs, pop music galore and, more specifically, mashups.

I grew up in a time when rock music was putting 1980s hair bands to rest and reminded the world that the late ’60s and early ’70s weren’t the only times great music could be made, so excuse me if my standards for amazing music are disgustingly high.

There’s a new trend of music that’s becoming the norm: mashups. I’ve avoided them as much as I could but have inevitably failed, just like one tries to go more than one day without hearing about what happened on “The Walking Dead” before they have a chance to watch the episode themselves.

There are comedy mashups, lip-sync battles and even movie clip mashups. The whole point is that nobody likes to make anything new anymore. When it comes to music though, this is a great thing, and mashups couldn’t have come any sooner.

“I believe that they have a place in the music industry and they help keep the dynamic to specifically Electronic music—EDM as the kids call it these days,” DJ Dust said.

DJ Dust has been in the DJ biz for 15 years and he knows a thing or two about the evolution of electronic music. “I do believe that their place is at a club or a large festival and not on a CD. They keep the vibe alive at an event, and that’s a good thing,” DJ Dust said.

With constant distractions, constant notifications from our phones and the short attention spans we’ve grown accustomed to, mashups are just what the doctor ordered. When it comes to DJ-esque music, mashups deliver on a high beat.

The energy level is high. It brings people together in clubs and can be extremely loud without people having to worry about what the song consists of, just as long as it has a good beat.

DJ Dust was right in that mashups don’t belong on a CD at all. In fact, if that becomes the new norm or seeps into the radio airwaves, and we’re just robbed of any new music of any kind ever again, as a society, we’re doomed.

Yes, mashups are lazy, but they bring back old songs people might not have heard. They take the best elements of a song from Macklemore and combine them with an up-and-coming DJ we might not have heard of, but most importantly, they keep the vibe alive and fresh.

This music is important. For example, you can’t really play rock music at clubs unless you combine it with a DJ beat of some sort.

The world will keep spinning, or as Journey would say, the “wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’,” which I’m sure will be mixed into something soon for any kids out there that might not have heard that tune.

We might not ever get back to music that has extreme depth and thought, but music is what you make it. It’s the most difficult art form there is and we should just be thankful that it even exists, on any level.

It’s easy to view mashups as sad form of recycling better music, but in reality, they’re saving us from a lot of mediocre new material.

Follow Daniel Geffre on Twitter.

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