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Monday, 26 December 2011

CLT's top 24 tracks of 2011

Yep, after years of reading everyone else's top 5/10/25 etc. lists of mashes for the year, I thought I'd give it a go myself.

Choosing any track for a list is always a tough call - this year there has been so many great tracks, it's nigh on impossible to remember them all, but those who know me know that I have my favourite producers, and my favourite styles of mashup.

However, I've tried to vary it up here and include some tracks that really were notable for their genius, production values, and outright sheer entertainment. As well as including my fave guys too (seriously, I could have just made this the Best of Reborn Identity/Fissunix/Mighty Mike/G3RSt post and pointed you to their websites - none of them made one bad track this year).

So sit back, turn up the speakers, and enjoy this - in no particular order, what I considered to be the best of a very good year. Cheers!

LeeDM101

Killing Days - Florence & The Machine vs. Echo & The Bunnymen
Mr Rennell turned out what is quite possibly the most whistled in the office/car/shower mash of the year, taking two personal faves and making something so beautiful, it still shimmers all these months on.





G3RSt - Bootlegs and Mashups

We No Speak No Cantina - Meco (+ John Williams) vs. Yolanda Be Cool
Not only is the G-Man reknowned for his polished production and never-ending refreshingly unusual sources, he's also the king of bringing a smile to the face with a hint of cheeky comedy, and no more so than in this Dark Side banger





Groove Is Down the Road - Dee-Lite vs. Consumer Rapport
Ever the master of versatility, here's a huge slab of funk c/o cult fave movie The Wiz, given a full on party make-over with Dee-Lite on the vox

G3rst - groove is down the road by G3RSt



MadMixMustang

Super Jumper - ABBA vs. Van Halen
The first and the best of the many ABBA mashes that appeared this year, this is so simply yet beautifully done, it's going to be on many a playlist for parties for years to come, guaranteeing a damned fine sing song and air guitar performance.



Wax Audio

I'm In Love With Judas Priest - Lady Gaga vs. Judas Priest
The Greatest Living Mash-up producer returned this year with a track so polished (and clever!), it made both original tracks sound like 4-track demos. Tom Wax may not have released many tracks this year, but each and every track he does release continues to contain a level of professionalism we bedroom mashers can only dream of. And envy.

Lady Judas



Dylan Vasey Mashups

Enjoy the Smoothness - Sub Focus vs. Morcheeba (ft. Judy Tzuke) vs. Imogen Heap
One of the premier Mods over at Mashstix gave a few n00bs a lesson or 3 this year a year on how to make a track. 2 of my fave bands/artists meet the mighty liquid funk of Sub Focus, and the result is smooth chilled bliss n' bass.



Phil Retrospector

Warwick Ghetto - Elvis Presley vs. Duffy
The self-confessed melancholic and CLT hero returned this year with perhaps the most stunning use of Elvis Presley heard in a mash yet. Sublimely simple, but as with his amazingly simple yet beautiful hit last year, Chasing the Broken Hearted, sometimes, simplicity is the most complexly affecting.

Warwick Ghetto



Frail Limb Purity

Centrefold Rocketeer - J Geils Band vs. Far East Movement
Here's something so unexpected; where FLP got the acapella from, I'll never know, but the result is a pounding dancefloor singalong classic destined to go down as a memorable "Where the hell did that come from" moment in mashup lore.



Mashed and Confused

Only Your Heart - Elvis Presley vs. Blondie
MAC has been turning out many many spectacular pieces of pop mashing this year, but none got me quite like this one! It's the attention to detail on the placing of the Blondie vocals to give it that Social Club Lounge Band vibe that elevates this above many other Blondie mashes. Great mastery of the DAW, and yep - it's another stirling Elvis mash.



Bynar

Cracked Obstacle - Interpol vs. The XX (Deep Focus Remix) vs. Freestylers (Flux Pavilion remix) vs. Artic Monkeys (Aems Dubstep Remix)
No one makes 'multi-mashes' quite like Bynar - eschewing the trend of bundling a bunch of acapellas that are in key together over a beat, Bynar composes a new arrangement out of loops, snippets of instrumental, ghostly vocals subtley hidden in the mix, etc. to create something quite extraordinary and dark. And here, he creates a virtual new track in my beloved luvstep genre. Spine-tingling.





CjR Mix

My Life Would Suck Without Someone Like You - Adele vs. Kelly Clarkson
Here in the list, because he paid me ;o)
After a year spent moaning about Adele mashes (I really cannot stand her) around the boards, and after having my ears syringed after hearing a million Rolling In the Deep mashes (seriously- the Rick Astley of 2011), only CjR could actually change my mind and make Adele an enjoyable listening experience. Pure pop gold





The Reborn Identity

Slick Empire - Chew Lips vs. Empire of the Sun
Seriously, where do you even begin with The Reborn Identity? It's no secret that he's my favourite producer EVER on the scene, and to boot, I'm glad to call him my friend. But he's made so many beautiful tracks this year, to choose just a couple almost feels like I'm doing him a disservice.
But I'll start with this beauty from the amazing Lectroset 2 mix album. Taking two of my favourite source files to work with, I'm gutted that I didn't do this one myself; it was one of those epiphanical moments where it was all so obvious to me upon hearing.
But to hear my beloved Chew Lips come in to the mix midway through the set was one of those once-heard never-forgotten standout moments for me in 2011. Simply brilliant.





Fearless - Bryan Ferry (w/Groove Armada) vs. Frankmusik vs. Fenech Soler
To choose one of the RI's electro bangers is nigh on impossible, especially when considering how many he made for Lectroset 2 (and of course, vol. 1 last year). I can't put my finger on why they are quite so irresistable - it's not my usual choice of genre for listening too, it's not quite bass heavy for me and a lot of the sources are unknown to me, but in his hands, they take on a new life that simply makes sense in the context of a mix. As a result, I've grown to fall in love with bands like Hurts, Yeasayer and Fenech Soler. That's why I love mashup - it expands your CD collection.
And Bryan Ferry never sounded so crucial.





Battlefield Damaris - Pat Benatar vs. Patrick Wolf vs. Fall Out Boy
Well, I had to include at least one of the RI's "verging on the orchestral symphonies of sound". And to hear the 80s classic brought up to date in this setting, making it still sound like it belongs on the soundtrack to a Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster, is a treat for all lovers of music.



Cosmic Lifeforms - Florence & the Machine vs. Carbon Based Lifeforms
The one that did it for me; simply the most beautiful track I heard all year, and made even sweeter by the fact that RI made the acapella himself. Complex synths mixed with haunting vocals, what's not to love? So good, I had to re-make it and re-mash it myself in a dubstep stylee for The Last Dance. When you inspire me like that, you know you're one of the best musicians, let alone a mashup producer.





Mighty Mike

Eden Snow - Ludovico Einaudi vs. Snow Patrol vs. 30 Seconds to Mars
Ah, moving on to one of the most consistently brilliant producers of the last several years, Mighty Mike makes mashes of all genres perfectly, but this year he really pushed my ears (and mind, heart, body and soul) to their limit with his melancholic excursions in to the most beautiful of downtemp music.
Having used Ludovico Einaudi myself a couple of times, I truly appreciate the modern classicist's haunting compositions (anyone who's seen a Shane Meadows movie or TV show knows exactly how Ludovico can make you cry within 4 bars of his scores), and to layer his beautiful music here with the love songs of Snow Patrol is a masterstroke of genius. Brilliant from start to finish.



Sexy People - John Legend vs. Rod Stewart
It's no secret that I adore Rod Stewart. So to hear the legend here ironically with another Legend, in full on midnight crooning mode in a smoky bar in downtown Reno is a memorable moment in mash, and one that if I could sing, would be singing to my beloved Katie.



Colorblind's Worth It - Counting Crows vs. Buffalo Springfield
Sometimes in life, you hear a track that hits you firmly between the eyes and makes you cry/fall in love/question your place in the Universe. This is such a track. This is on the playlist for my funeral.



Fissunix

Heart Shaped Tron - Daft Punk vs. Nirvana
It's been the year of my friends in France for the most consistently perfect mashups in 2011, and none produced so many brilliant tracks as my friend Fissunix. Again, someone who dabbles in every conceivable genre from metal to electro, to acid to chillout, and again, he's someone that makes you question whether he has someone on the inside supplying him with these incredible source files to play with. Fissunix is simply put, incroyable!
This track is the first in a long, LONG time that actually made me enjoy Nirvana again. Welcome to the grid - welcome to the future of mash.



End of the Walrus - Daft Punk (Boy Genius remix) vs. The Beatles
Ah, the track that nearly began an internet war. This track will forever hold a special place in my heart as being the track that stirred mash producers everywhere in to standing up to the talentless purloining idiots everywhere that steal our hard work and post them as their own elsewhere on the Net. If you knew the full story of DJ Dark Temptation and the Occupy: the Dark Socks movement, then you'll know this was the soundtrack to the Revolution. And what a mighty fine soundtrack it was too.



Foxy Funky Lady - Jimi Hendrix vs. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings hold a special place in my heart. They were on the CLT/LAS make out playlist on Spotify many moons ago when Andy have love and fire in his belly. So it was a treat to hear them again here, with the legendary Hendrix tearing up a funky storm.
Prime objective for 2012:- to make out to a Fissunix track



Smoke On Babylon - Deep Purple vs. The Black Keys
Fissunix makes music to receive lap-dances to.
Real dirty rock n' roll with attitude - perfect music for a Friday night in the Mash Cave



Between Breath - The Police vs. Imogen Heap
Should any other proof be needed of why Fissunix was 2011's MVP when it came to turning his hand to any genre, here it is. The most compellingly lush version of Sting's ode to stalking that you will ever hear. All set against a beautiful Summer's day backdrop. Akin to drinking a drop of sunshine whilst floating upon a darkened cloud.
And the Justin Timberlake of mash, Colatron turns up for the party on here somewhere ;o)



Moonlight Sonata Mashed - Beethoven (Stirling Barnes remix) vs. Phoenix vs. Radiohead
This may be a little ego-centric of me, but this has to be posted in my run down. When Fissunix sent me a preview of a classical music based mash, asking me to loan my ears, and to add anything where fit, I knew I had to be involved in this incredible mashup.
Somehow, Fissunix's tracks invoke all kinds of imagery in my mind, love lost, dark emotions, serial killer tendancies, etc. etc. and so strong is the imagery, that it's rarely a struggle to seek out the perfect sample to accompany his compositions. This was such a track. The loneliness within the lyrics seemed to just scream washed up beaten down father begging for one last chance (cue The Wrestler), and with the morbid of howl of Thom Yorke buried deep down in the mix to add the final moribund touch, I knew we had something special here. And it seemed the people agreed!
An absolute honour and a pleasure to be involved in this, and so many of Fissunix's tracks in 2011. I look forward to seeing what he produces in 2012. Bonne santé mon ami!






So, that was the story of my 2011 musical journey. I hope you enjoyed the ride. If you liked what you heard and saw, please do support the guys by visiting their web pages and be sure to support the wealth of incredible original artists used in the tracks here.

Stick around, I may have a track or three for 2012. Thanks again to all the readers of this site, and my friends/fans on Facebook/Twitter for the continued support.

Have a great New Year everyone and see you real soon,

Peace
Andy 2011
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