Release Date: Nov 15, 2010
Record label: Illegal Art
Genre(s): Electronic, Rap, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Club/Dance, Indie Electronic, Experimental Techno, Left-Field Hip-Hop
Mixology master Gregg Gillis is like a DJ guardian angel of the pop spheres, beaming his remixes from some cloud where Fat Joe and Spacehog are partying down together for all eternity. In his latest album-length sound clash (released via free download on his Illegal Art website), he serves up Foxy Brown over Peter Gabriel, M.O.P. over Miley Cyrus, Big Boi over Portishead, even Ke$ha chanting "Police shut us down!" over a Grand Funk Railroad drum solo.
The simplest way to a successful and rewarding career: Find something you love doing, then get paid to do it. This is why people talk about Gregg Gillis with a tinge of envy; as Pitchfork's Ryan Dombal has said, Gillis has figured out exactly what he was put on this earth to do--transforming five decades of pop music into seamless, well-paced mixes, and then, live, turning those mixes into a sweaty, tribal celebration of pop music itself. But while 2008's Feed the Animals proved his staying power and solidified his aesthetic, there was a creeping worry that as long as Gillis stuck with this maximalist mashup thing, we'd be stuck having the same arguments for and against him over and over again.
In honor of Greg Gillis’ mix-and-match skills, we had three interns review the new Girl Talk album. The reviews are mashed up below: The beauty of Girl Talk’s All Day is its perfect blend of post-modern absurdity and pure entertainment. Mixing and morphing among a deep vein of ‘80s pop classics, ‘90s alternative, and ‘00s hip-hop tracks, Gregg Gillis immediately makes me nostalgic for my junior prom, the time outs at high school basketball games and 2008 when Feed the Animals dropped.
There are a multitude of artists better than Girl Talk. Others are more original, more musically proficient or more thoughtful. But no one is more fun, and no one delivers pure, unfiltered musical joy better than Greg Gillis. He creates seventy minute long parties, picking out the best thirty seconds of everything under the sun.
Pop enthusiast/mash-up master Gregg Gillis fine-tunes his approach for All Day, a mix that took over two and a half years to craft. Each outing in Girl Talk's discography has followed a steady succession, starting with Secret Diary's microscopic, glitch-based work and becoming progressively less fractured with every release. Following suit, All Day is Gillis' straightest work to date.
Despite his insistence that Girl Talk shouldn't be judged against other mash-up artists, it's difficult to consider Greg Gillis's feverish assault on the ears as anything other than a mash-up. His 2008 effort, Night Ripper, is revered as somewhat of a benchmark for the genre, an eclectic party-spinner that married classic rock, indie rock, and mainstream pop samples with a host of memorable hip-hop verses and hollers. All Day doesn't stray too far from that formula, and not even half as far as Gillis promised it would.
With 373 uncleared samples, Girl Talk's fifth album (available for free on his label's website, illegalart.net) lives up to its press release: "His most epic, densely layered and meticulously composed musical statement to date." The album also reaches the limit of mashup culture. After taking the all-encompassing genre to a hyperbolic extreme, Girl Talk has nowhere further to go. That said, the novelty of hearing two songs' disparate worlds collide is still exciting, and All Day is full of genius combinations.
The most impressive thing about the latest Girl Talk album is the vast arsenal of “UNH!”s and “OH!”s and “AY!”s that Gregg Gillis has amassed and put on display. On his new record, All Day, the mash-up hero may have collected every single utterance of those syllables committed to tape by a hip-hop artist in the last, say, 30 years. It certainly feels that way.
For years now, Gregg Gillis has been trying to tell us something. In interviews, he’s repeatedly claimed that he’s not a mashup artist, and he continues to peddle t-shirts that contend, in bold-studded caps, that he’s not even a DJ. Instead, the laptop master of rock/pop/hip-hop sample alchemy has often tried to place himself in the tradition of Plunderphonics: a micro-movement that started in the 80s, when composer John Oswald published an essay advocating the unabashed theft of copyrighted sounds to make ostensibly new compositions.
While it probably takes a mashup lifer (or at least someone with more than a passing knowledge of AdobeMulch and/or Adobe Audition) to fully understand all of the subtle nuances of All Day, most people who have a passing knowledge of Girl Talk will appreciate that it seems like a step forward. Last we heard from DJ Gregg Gillis was 2008’s Feed The Animals—his fourth full-length since gradually becoming among the world’s preeminent mashup DJs. That album again demonstrated Gillis’ next level ability to combine Radiohead with Blackstreet and Kelly Clarkson with Nine Inch Nails.
When Pittsburgh DJ and erstwhile biomedical research engineer Gregg Gillis – a. k. a.