When Paul meets Page: The methods behind mashup madness

WASHINGTON – The melding of two popular songs by rock icons The Beatles and Led Zeppelin is appearing on Facebook status updates and in email inboxes.

The combination of Led Zep’s “Whole Lotta Love” with The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” wasn’t created in a secret, long-ago dual recording session, but in a mashup.

“I define a ‘mashup’ as a song that’s created by mixing two or more songs together,” says DJ Flounder, who creates mashups in his Washington-area studio.

The Beatles-Zeppelin mashup was created by British DJ Soundhog.

DJ Flounder says mashups can be created in two ways: by playing two records simultaneously or by using the current, more popular method of digital editing.

“You can take an instrumental part, like in the Led Zeppelin, and you start layering it with the a capella of ‘Helter Skelter,’ he says.

Still, DJ Flounder says it’s difficult to predict which songs will sound good together in a mashup.

“Sometimes songs just come to you out of inspiration, sometimes there’s a song you want to work with. It’s all about being creative, and what you find works – there’s a lot of trial and error, too,” he says.

The mashup phenomenon gained traction in the early 2000s.

“Mashups have been floating around for years on the Internet, and clubs and bars, but (the TV show) ‘Glee’ really propelled mashups to the forefront of mainstream,” DJ Flounder says.

He says the possibilities of blending more than one song into a cohesive recording are endless.

“It’s whatever you make of it,” he says. “As long as they sound good together in the end product, you did it right.”

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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