The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Monday, May 05, 2003
THE LOST ANTHOLOGY: Mash-ups are homemade remixes, typically welding the music from one pop song to the lyrics of another. They are usually made without the original artists' permission, and the chief place to find them is that grand resting place of semi-legitimate amateur projects, the Internet.

It is also possible -- sometimes -- to buy mash-ups on CD. Several dubiously legal compilations exist, of which the most extensive is the mammoth Boom Selection_Issue 01 (2002), between 34 and 42 hours (account vary) of MP3 files stored on three compact discs. Like the music it collects, Boom Selection begs to be unpacked: It is not an album so much as an album-making kit. Daniel Sheldon, the British boy who assembled the package, urges his customers to select their favorite files and burn their own CDs.

If you have the right software, of course, you can also reassemble those tracks into mixes of your own.

I wanted to review the anthology for Reason. Unfortunately, it seems to have disappeared: My order went unfulfilled, my payment uncollected. Sheldon himself is unreachable, leaving one to speculate as to why a 15-year-old in another country might stop mailing out copies of what is -- as Michaelangelo Matos
put it in the Baltimore City Paper -- "minute for minute...the most illegal album in history." (One or two theories jump to mind.) A substitute writer on Sheldon's weblog declares that the anthologist "is still Missing In Action. I think he went into hiding after receiving dogdirt and razor blades dipped in the trailer trash blood of Mr Marshall Mathers through the postbox of his home." I don't advise taking that literally, but hey, a story's a story.

I ended up doing a piece on mash-ups anyway, without Sheldon's compilation to assist me. It appeared in the May Reason, and was posted to the magazine's website today.


posted by Jesse 11:03 AM
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