Kaskade & mash-ups
One of the most successful DJs of the present time - Kaskade - is known for publicly expressing his opinions and thoughts on matters which many have chosen to address more diplomatically. For example, last month Raddon told what he thinks of the DJ Mag's yearly poll: "I really need everyone to understand this: I do not care. While the integrity of the voting process has never actually been solid, the bigger and somewhat embarrassing question is, does EDM actually need a Prom King or Homecoming Queen?" However, right now, we're no looking to discuss his views on EDM or polls. We're looking into his arguments about mash-ups.
Kaskade has loved putting out mash-ups for quite some time. He's repeatedly mashed up Steve Aoki, Avicii and many other artists. One has to realize, the man's really good at it. So as it's a more personal problem, Raddon adresses the issue in his blog. Firstly, he quite poetically explains the concept of a mash-up:"For the uninitiated, a mash up is essentially a remix of a song. But not exactly. Maybe it’s more like a marriage of elements. For instance, I can pluck a vocal track that I’ve used previously, throw it over a tune which is sick and twisted and lovely that someone else has put together, re-arrange the order of things, put a cherry on top, tie a bow around it and release it into the world as its own special snowflake for everyone to enjoy."
Mash-ups are really important because they embody the essence of DJing. Raddon clarifies:"As producers become DJ’s and DJ’s become producers, much of the work of live shows is now taking place before the show. These mash ups are the aural equivalent of a collage, a juxtaposition of song fragments put together to create a new piece of art." This new creation can be played in a set in various creative ways. It can actually be something that derives from the set in the first place. When a DJ sees that two tracks played together really work for a smashing party, he could go home thinking he should properly put this collage together and, of course - let fans listen to it.
However, there are certain restrictions when it comes to publishing a mash-up online. Raddon elaborates:"The politicking of a mash up is nothing new. Hip Hop has been having this conversation since its inception. Sampling other people’s work comes with a price. And it makes sense on one hand - why wouldn’t you compensate someone who created something you’re using? A writer can’t just plagiarize another writer and call it inspiration. An artist can’t cut and paste other artwork and claim it as their own. Why would the rules in music be any different? Calling it a mash up, a tribute, a homage or a remix: does it even matter?"
It does, according to Kaskade. It's all dependant on the intentions of the artist who publishes the mash-up. He may have many motives that are basically violations of the law. For example, adding something insignificant to a track and calling it your own without crediting the actual producer. In the words of Raddon:"It’s different for everyone. I speak for only myself when I say the mash ups I put up are strictly for pleasure. I’m not looking for likes or dollars with these pieces. Usually they are a combination of songs that have been washed, rinsed and repeated enough that they’d be in the DNR pile for most DJ’s. When I bring them out, I’m certainly not claiming that they are my brainchild alone and in fact always always give credit to every artist involved."
Releasing a song online, free of charges, is something that's becoming more and more practiced. Although none of the parties get paid, everyone wins in terms of enjoyment and popularity. There could be bad sides to the mash-ups, discussed earlier - releasing creative works to the world is a complicated matter. Kaskade concludes on the subject by saying: "It’s at that point that we stop controlling how it’s heard, and put our faith in the DJ’s. They may abuse it, train-wreck it, loop it, or pair it up with exactly the wrong crowd at exactly the wrong time. We can’t help that. Like I said, the landscape has changed, and so we’ve got to move along. It used to be unlicensed mix tapes, now it’s unlicensed mash ups. You know who loves both? The audience."
We appreciate Ryan Raddon's open-mindedness thowards these kind of issues. We're hoping more and more producers and DJs come to the same conclusions. That would help create many more of the great stuff you'll find below! So we present you the latest mash-ups from the EDM superstar Kaskade.
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