I’m not the biggest fan of mashups. Most of the time, they’re shallow gimmicks, the kind of party trick that’s more fun to make than to experience. Sure, it’s impressive when someone links two disparate artists in a catchy dance, but there’s usually nothing profound in the experience, no new light cast on the original pieces.
But sometimes, a mashup just lands in the fertile ground between illusion and revelation. Sometimes the sense of surprise gives way to genuine appreciation.
Here’s a random tune I felt like sharing. It’s one of the sparkling gems unearthed in Flying Lotus‘ completely free collection of odd tracks from 2013, Ideas + Drafts + Loops.
Over a minimalist drum beat sprinkled with glistening harp runs, Flylo (as his rapping alter ego Captain Murphy) trades verses with an up and coming Earl Sweatshirt and the inimitable, eternal MF Doom (as Viktor Vaughn, of course). All the while, Thundercat floats an atmosphere of wordless coos spiked with live wire bass scatting.
It’s a simple, tossed-off creation that feels no less gripping for being a free bonus cut. If you are a Flylo or hiphop fan in general, you owe it to yourself to download the massive and surprisingly cohesive collection of free tunes. Get it here (Mediafire and Sendspace links included). If you’re more into streaming, the whole thing is up on Soundcloud too. Tracks include Shabazz Palaces, The Underachievers, Baths, Niki Randa, and several pieces that will be familiar to players of Grand Theft Auto V.
There’s even a fantastic remix of Kanye West’s Black Skinhead, incorporating a buoyant Thundercat riff and delicate Radiohead sample. It’s definitely better than the original.