Saturday, 1 May 2010

2004 LMC v U2: Take Me To The Clouds Above

I've written previously about how I have a lot of time for 'mash-ups' when they're done well and where an unpredictable mix of ingredients produces a most delightful and unexpected cocktail. But on the other hand, when they're done badly, the results can be undrinkable. It's not all black and white though, there's a middle ground too where the mix is akin to adding water to water to create...well, more water really. Take this LMC v U2 effort, a song built by combining a backing track sampled from U2's 'With Or Without You' and a vocal line from Whitney Houston's 'How Will I Know' (except it's Brit Rachel McFarlane's vocal and not a direct Houston sample). While some kudos can be awarded for LMC picking out a hook line from the Houston song other than the chorus, in truth both of the sources never gave off too many sparks in their original format and the combination of the two only serves to cancel out U2's would be majesty and Whitney's would be dance/pop vibe to produce a bastard offspring more keen to celebrate its own 'clever' existence than do anything as mundane as reward repeated listening. Which this doesn't. It's just more water. But then 'mash-ups' were terribly old hat by 2004 anyway.*


* Apparently, all four of U2 had to clear the sample before it could be used, but for a release that had them in a less conciliatory mode and instead saw them running for their lawyers, check out Negativland's 1991 '"The Letter U And The Numeral 2' which mixes extensive samples of U2's 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' (including a version played on a kazoo) over a looped sample from an off-guard Casey Kasem pondering on just who gives a 'diddly shit' about U2. I often wonder that myself Casey......


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