I spent a part of last spring interviewing participants in and observers of mash-up culture for an overview piece that appears in Now Playing’s current issue, which went into distribution about a month and a half ago. I structured the piece as a history, beginning with Mark Gunderson’s recollections of developing the Whipped Cream Mixes with the ECC in the 90s. The issue includes at least a glancing look at the new Gorillaz release as well.

So you might say I found the new cover of Wired unusually compelling.

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Neil Gaiman interviews Gorillaz, for Pete’s sake.

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This bit of creative copy – “The History of Mash-Ups, by William Gibson” – was especially entertaining. Gibson’s piece relates the avant-garde creative method that William S. Burroughs dubbed the ‘cut-up,’ to the current fooraw over sampling and borrowing to deep Western historical roots. It’s a cogent observation.

Understandably, that’s not what I thought I was about to read when I flipped to the piece. Still, I laughed heartily upon seeing the cover. It’s just not credible that Now Playing is prompting competitive moves from Wired. At best, I think maybe I channelled some aspect of Wired’s editorial decision-making when I pitched this story – and others – to Now Playing.

Now, if I can do it again next issue – well, that would be success of a sort, I think.

One thought on “Mash

  1. You did a good job with that Now Playing article – Wired are jumping on the bandwagon as they did

    The interesting thing about the beats is that they never got co-opted or sold out – how many other artistic movements since then can claim likewise?

    Not even mashups can (with some notable yet poor and legally hassled few like Negativland and ECC), because like iTunes and podcasting they scramble for media recognition rather than create their own media.

    As Burroughs said as you cut-up the present the future seems to leak out – what leaks out of most mashup and podcasting media is the desire to be famous, sadly.

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