Mashup (music)

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Mashup (also known as Bastard Pop or Bootsy ) is a musical phenomenon that emerged in the mid-1990s, in which sampling a specific form of music collage is mixed together from sound recordings of pieces by various other performers .

to form

In the most widely used basic form of the mashup genre, also "A vs. Called B ”, the vocal tracks of one title and the instrumental tracks of another title are used. A classic example of this basic form is the mashup "A Stroke of Genie-us" by DJ Roy Kerr alias Freelance Hellraiser from 2001, a combination of Christina Aguilera and The Strokes , with which the mashup first became known to a wider audience. In most mashups of this basic form, however, vocal and instrumental parts of both templates are processed further - which means that not only music, but also song texts are regularly recontextualized in mashups.

The attraction of the mashup is that mostly titles are mixed into a new one that belong to different styles, genres, milieus, ensemble forms, images, etc., but despite this distance work surprisingly effectively with one another musically. In the mashup, you work with large-scale samples that take entire form parts such as stanzas and refrains from their templates and combine them with one another. Mashups are studies of genre boundaries and what constitutes them and what not. They live from a balance between the uncovering of musical congruence between the templates through their combination and the simultaneous contextual distance between these templates, due to which one does not expect that such an effective functioning is possible. In clear examples, the Australian mashup DJ Wax Audio combines z. B. Metallica and Stevie Wonder or Pink Floyd and Bee Gees . Preferred sources for the artists are glam rock of the 1970s, new wave of the 1980s and one-hit wonders of the 1990s. These catchy tunes are sometimes mixed with a current, danceable track from the charts .

The unauthorized use of third-party sound recordings, to the extent that occurs in the basic form of the mashup, according to the current legal situation, regularly violates the rights of the authors (composers and lyricists of the templates), the ancillary copyrights of the musicians to be heard on the sound recordings of the templates and the In contrast to cover versions , sampling also lacks a standardized, legally secure, economically balanced, i.e. realistic, way of acquiring sampling licenses that treats everyone equally and is economically balanced by collecting societies such as GEMA .

The use of the term is imprecise and unstable. The term mashup is used e.g. B. also used for Remix forms in which some micro-sampling is used, but two templates is held at the clash. The classic example of this is the Gray Album (2003) by DJ Danger Mouse , a fusion of the raps from the Black Album Jay-Z and complex rearranged material from the so-called White Album of the Beatles . And it is used for works that are no longer about the large-scale clash of two artists, but about a danceable collage art created by means of sampling. The internationally best known representative of this mashup direction is girl talk .

It is not uncommon for complex bastard pop videos to be created at the same time and published on various video portals, the basis of which is usually music video material for the templates processed in the mashup. Photo mashups accompany works of the genre as well as mashups from the titles of the templates as the title of the mashup. If vowel parts from several templates are processed, new textual interactions result, which often make little sense, but sometimes also create completely new meanings in the interplay.

The term mashup is also used in the area of ​​software and website programming as well as in areas such as photography or literature. You can find him even in fields as remote as business consulting and theology. The mashup in music is therefore conceptually part of a much larger culture of digitality (Felix Stalder), whose core components include referentiality, i.e. adaptive work with third-party material.

Beyond the highly politicized copyright discourse, the motivation for mashups is generally less political or socially critical. Exceptions are mestizo and bastard sound movements critical of globalization , to which artists such as Manu Chao , Los de Abajo , Ojos de brujos , Amparanoia or Célia Mara can be assigned.


Bastard Pop's father is believed to be Mark Gunderson and The Evolution Control Committee . He published in 1995 the first bastard-pop single entitled The Whipped Cream Mixes on which he Public Enemy with Herb Alpert together mixed. An example of a German-language bootleg is a piece by Bumtschak in which Blumfeld's 1000 Tears is mixed deeply with music by Madonna . At the same time the philosopher Stephan Günzel mixed on the night of September 30th to October 1st, 1995 before his move from the University of Bamberg to the University of Magdeburg on two Technics SL-1200s of his roommate "DJ Quäler", who together in the trash metal Band Mega Mosh played the A-side of a disco version of the title song from John Carpenter's "The End (Assault on Precinct 13)" produced by Ralf Hennings on a 45 rpm maxi from zyx records in 33 rpm with the 1967 LP "Halt mich fest "by Hildegard Knef , which was the favorite record of his mother from Berlin. The piece appeared for the first time as the last track on the self-published CD "Overhead Extension" by the band "Schutzgas" where Günzel played the electric guitar with the name "Das Ende / Die Knef".

Since the pieces newly emerged the copyright disregarded the starting pieces - not a remix was approved by the rights holders - Bastard Pop was first on illegal white label - Vinyls sold only under the counter. With the triumphant advance of Internet file sharing networks in the early 2000s, there was a wave of bastard pop. Some well-known DJs have now published their own bastard pop pieces - albeit always under a pseudonym. At the German branch of MTV , the program “Mash” was started, which only played mash-up mixes with matching music videos . Bastard Pop had thus become the marketing tool of the industry against which it was originally directed.

The Belgian brothers Stephen and David Dewaele from the indie pop group Soulwax released several licensed bastard pop CDs under the project name " Too Many DJs " from 2001 . At the end of 2004 the commercial mashup Numb / Encore by Jay-Z and Linkin Park came on the market and was able to stay at the top of the charts for several weeks. The abbreviation “vs.” ( versus ) between the artist names is typical for recognizing a mashup .

Brian Burton aka DJ Danger Mouse mixed tracks from Jay-Z's Black Album (including the aforementioned Encore track ) with pieces from the Beatles' White Album in early 2003 . The spread of the work, appropriately called The Gray Album - especially on the Internet - led to a broad discussion about copyright and remix culture in spring 2004.

In 2007 the punk / emo / hardcore punk mashup album Incorporated by the producer duo The Legion of Doom was released after it had already circulated in stock exchanges in 2006.

Commercial mashup mixes may be a. by the Cut-Up Boys under the title Mashup-Mix published annually for legal purchase via the label Ministry of Sound, as well as albums by the remix duo “DJs from Mars”, which also bring legal remixes and mashups in the electro style to the people.

Examples of legal commercial mashups

Literature (selection)

Related topics

  • In classical music there are also forms of mixing different works, e.g. B. the Quodlibet .
  • A series of different pieces of music (or parts of them) is called a medley or megamix .
  • The variable artistic re-interpretation of a song is called a cover .
  • The variable artistic re-interpretation of the sound recording of a song is called a remix .
  • Mashups are also often part of the so-called bootlegs , or “booties” for short, some of which were released on vinyl as white labels .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See [1]
  2. Cf. Frédéric Döhl: Mashup in der Musik. Third-party reference composition, sound sampling and copyright. transcript: Bielefeld 2016, pp. 79–130; Christine Boone: Mashing: Toward a Typology of Recycled Music. In: Music Theory Online 19/3 (2013), pp. 1–14; Ragnild Brøvig-Hansen / Paul Harkins: Contextual Incongruity and Musical Congruity: The Aesthetics and Humor of Mash-Ups. In: Popular Music 31/1 (2012), pp. 87-104.
  3. See Ragnild Brøvig-Hansen / Paul Harkins: Contextual Incongruity and Musical Congruity: The Aesthetics and Humor of Mash-Ups. In: Popular Music 31/1 (2012), pp. 87-104.
  4. See [2] ; [3]
  5. It remains to be seen how the legal situation will develop after the metal-on-metal ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court of May 31, 2016: [4] The further course of the proceedings may now also have consequences for the mashup, especially if the dispute hits the European Court of Justice achieved, even if the subject of the procedure there involves microsampling that is untypical for mashup, cf. Frédéric Döhl: Was Moses Pelham allowed to copy Kraftwerk for two seconds? In: Der Tagesspiegel , May 31, 2016.
  6. Frédéric Döhl: Was Moses Pelham allowed to copy Kraftwerk for two seconds? In: Der Tagesspiegel , May 31, 2016; Frédéric Döhl: Mashup in music. Third-party reference composition, sound sampling and copyright. transcript: Bielefeld 2016, pp. 175–244; Erik Gelke: Mashups in Copyright, Baden-Baden 2013, pp. 99–150; Frédéric Döhl: Aesthetic and legal gray area. On the mashup in music using the example of the Gray Album. In: Mashups. New Practices and Aesthetics in Popular Media Cultures , ed. by Florian Mundhenke / Fernando Ramos Arenas / Thomas Wilke, Springer VS: Wiesbaden 2014, pp. 131–149.
  7. ^ Frédéric Döhl: Mashup in music. Third-party reference composition, sound sampling and copyright. transcript: Bielefeld 2016, pp. 170–173.
  8. ^ Frédéric Döhl: Mashup in music. Third-party reference composition, sound sampling and copyright . transcript: Bielefeld 2016, p. 172. See introductory z. B. Florian Mundhenke / Fernando Ramos Arenas / Thomas Wilke (eds.): Mashups. New Practices and Aesthetics in Popular Media Cultures. Springer VS: Wiesbaden 2014; Aram Sinnreich: Mashed Up: Music, Technology, and the Rise of Configurable Culture , University of Massachusetts Press: Amherst / MA 2010; Stefan Sonvilla-Weiss (Ed.): Mashup Cultures. Springer VS: Vienna / New York 2010.
  9. ^ Felix Stalder: Culture of digitality. suhrkamp: Berlin 2016, pp. 96–128.
  10. ^ Janko Röttgers : Day of gray areas . In: Telepolis