Easter Egg: Wiggers and Hipsters Vol 1
A free mixtape (free! more on this later) drops into my lap – or the digital equivalent of my lap – with the tagline, "hey, you might like this. It's pretty much Girl Talk 2." This is how we're required to brand Easter Egg. Given how completely Girl Talk obliterated our expectations with Night Ripper – the undisputed heavyweight champion of the genre – it's impossible to review a mashup album without comparison to the girly genius. Is it unfair? Probably: "Girl Talk 2" registers like the title of a Hollywood sequel, cashing in on the tail end of a successful thing. Which is to say it was my derisive phrase of choice around the betterPropaganda office, back when I was busy Not Liking This Album (and, subsequently, Only Marginally Liking This Album).
In short, I really like this album. It's messy (my favorite blog / Mobius Strip of self-qualifying irony, Hipster Runoff, knew I was going to say that), like when M.I.A. drops that gunshot / reload / cash register chorus all over the furiously sequenced lead of Copy's "You Can Not Believe It." It's indicative of his tendency, I think, to get really stoked on how fresh his samples are, and let the climaxes trip all over each other in a clusterfuck of indie glory. The result? The first couple of plays through, you go, "oh, that's kind of a cool idea." This happens on Wednesday. Thursday is the day it grows on you, and by Friday you're in a crowded living room at a party, ripping your friends away from the stereo for the right to makeshift DJ from your ipod. And when they ask, "whoa – who's this guy mashing, like, twelve of my favorite bands at once?" you can pat yourself on the back for starting the ensuing dance party / round robin game of "spot-the-sample."
Of course, your friends are different from my friends, so your mileage may vary. It's worth pointing out Wiggers and Hipsters has a very specific target audience, and that audience is: people who think they have better taste in music than you. As is pretty obviously alluded to in the title, this is a perfect blend of artists you're allowed to like (Yacht, Simian Mobile Disco, Ratatat, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Copy, Spank Rock, Daft Punk, Justice) against artists you only ironically like (E40, Mac Dre, Mike Jones, Stunna Man, Mistah Fab). Of course, let's not fool ourselves: it's all pretty catchy, and we really do like the latter group, no matter how much we try laugh it off. It comes together brilliantly here, in a 23-song, hour-long mix that will leave your skip button thirsting for attention.
There are only a few hiccups, and they're all minor. The first time a sample drowns out under a wall of sound – the result of crapshoot mixing and (I'm guessing) not having access to clean vocal tracks – you might think, "hey, I could probably do this just as well as he does." Indeed, he makes no effort to hide that fact that he's just a dude dicking around in Ableton Live, learning the ropes as he goes. But his follow-up to W&Hv1 – an offering called Lemonade 07 that leans more toward the DJ mix aesthetic – is much cleaner, proof that the dude knows how to handle his craft. And check his remix of Ratatat's "Cherry," which flaunts whatever the laptop equivalent of musicianship is. From his blog:
"As far as playing with music goes, I've been working on another mixtape. It's got a MUCH MUCH more clean sound than the W&Hv1 I released. I honestly didn't know shit about music when I made that, and now, I'm learning a lot. I'm not trying to rush it, so it'll be months before it's out."
Uhh, yeah. If W&Hv1 is the product of someone who doesn't know what they're doing, I'll be looking toward his next mixtape for a breakthrough offering. Look for this guy to blow up.
Oh yeah, you remember how we said it was free? His output is steady, and he's put zip files of everything he's ever done up for free download. Cop your next obsession:Wiggers & Hipsters Vol.1
Lemonade 07 Mixtape