Hailing from Pittsburgh, Girl Talk (nee Gregg Gillis) is a man on a mission to make you shake your ass on the dance floor like it ain’t no thang. This former biomedical engineer quit his day job last year to pursue his real art and craft: mash-up style DJ-ing. Specializing in the creation of incredibly catchy “song blends,” he incorporates the best highlights from popular Top 40, 80’s, hip hop and alternative rock songs we all know and love, to make brand new tracks for us to continue loving. P Diddy might claim to have invented the remix, but Girl Talk took the remix, shook it up, and served it on the rocks with a twist.
In fact, his mission statement sums it up best: “The whole basis of the music is that people have these emotional attachments to these songs… being able to manipulate that is a really easy way to connect with people.” Ahh, the genius of conceptual simplicity that makes you wish you’d come up with it first. Girl Talk carries this mission through 14 stylized and ultra danceable tracks on his newest album Feed The Animals.
He boasts an infectious mix of hip hop songs we all recognize, laced with famous guitar riffs of well-known rock songs, that are backed with dance beats that will bring us back to the days of embarrassing dance moves we pretend like we’ve forgotten (i.e. – “the running man” and/or “the Roger Rabbit”).
Plus, his mix selections are creative as hell. Dizzying yet intoxicating, Girl Talk samples upwards of 300 stems of songs from artists ranging from the likes of hip hop heroes Jay Z and Ludacris to famed electronic acts Aphex Twin and Kraftwerk and mainstream acts Rihanna and Britney Spears to classic rock acts like Pete Townsend and Steve Miller Band.
It’s functional music schizophrenia that works surprisingly well, where half the fun of it all is in trying to identify which songs/artists are being used in each track. Who else would think to mix Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It Is” with that awesomely 80’s Big Country guitar riff in “Big Country?” Or mesh the romantic lyrics of The Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” with Busta Rhymes’ interjection of his thoughts about making “booty clap?” File all this mad genius under Girl Talk, whose style will soon render traditional DJ’s obsolete.
And who doesn’t love moxie? According to The New York Times Magazine, Girl Talk is a “lawsuit waiting to happen” and these are just as enjoyable to watch as tabloid fodder of good old fashioned “train-wrecks” are to read (see: Amy Winehouse). Remixing the hell out of other artists’ songs makes one wonder if he has the rights to sell his CD’s, let alone play for crowded concert halls (his two upcoming NYC area shows are already sold out). Unauthorized usage or not, Girl Talk’s got major balls. He’s even gained notoriety for off-the-wall stage antics, all of which occasionally include the removal of most, if not all, of his clothing during his sets behind his mess of laptops. Apparently, nudity of the spontaneous persuasion never gets old.
With all that said, looking for good party music but can’t afford a DJ? No problem. Just turn on Feed The Animals and the party will come to you. With each track flowing seamlessly into the next with no dead air space between, you are guaranteed approximately 54 minutes of non-stop, high energy sound bytes. This music is great for dance-a-thon contestants who need ever-changing tempos for more energy or perfect work-out music to keep you going on that elliptical machine. But for whatever reason, one thing is for certain: Girl Talk will make you want to dance. And if the aforementioned does not happen, get thy ass to a doctor immediately to check for vital signs, if any.
The physical release of Girl Talk’s Feed The Animals will be available October 21, 2008 through Illegal Art, but fans have been able to download the album at a ‘name your price’ for quite some time.
01. Play Your Part (Pt. 1)
02. Shut the Club Down
03. Still Here
04. What It’s All About
05. Set It Off
06. No Pause
07. Like This
08. Give Me a Beat
09. Hands in the Air
10. In Step
11. Let Me See You
12. Here’s the Thing
13. Don’t Stop
14. Play Your Part (Pt. 2)
Written by: Mona Sheikh