February 5, 2009

Music Time: Another weapon for mashdom

Geeks haven't had it so good since John Oswald's Plunderphonic experiments or his earlier Mystery Tape series. Just when you think you've heard every mashup method, leave it to the people who forced their Windows® on most of us to give us a new weapon in the culture jamming wars.

Behold Microsoft Corporation's Songsmith®, if you haven't already heard (and if you can bear with the cheesy promo below):


©2009 Microsoft Corporation.

Got it? You just launch the app, start singing into a plugged–in microphone, and the app takes your signing and builds a synthesizer track behind it.

It turns out, though, that merely feeding any vocal track can create some interesting results. The Evolution Control Committee have done a handful of mashups this way, which you're welcome to download as MP3 files. (Warning: You'll never quite hear the likes of, say, the Fat Boys(!), Nico, or Destiny's Child the same way again.)

Then they turned to (read: against) Microsoft's original ad itself:


2009 The Evolution Control Committee.

Hmm…could we top that? Well…



Rapper Rick Ross goes to Moscow with a small bluegrass combo on this one:



Meanwhile, YouTube user azz100c contributes his (her?) fair share of remixes like these:



And, of course, what selection would be complete without letting one Rick Astley (remember him?) have it:



Me, I just have to be different. Here's German composer Johannes Kreidler (watch out for popunders) going to the top (and the bottom) of some very different charts indeed (H/T to WFMU's BOT for this one):


2009 Johannes Kreidler.

One correction: Did he mean "U.S. Debt" and not "U.S. Dept" midway?

Mr. Kreidler's got an interesting battle going on with GEMA (which is to Germany what ASCAP and BMI are to the States and JASRAC is to Japan — a performing rights agency with far more power than it deserves), and I'll report on that another day.

Meanwhile, Mr. Oswald: What have you done?

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