Girl Talk - All Day
Yesterday I wrote about one of my favourite albums to relax to. Today I want to talk about one of the best albums to party to, to get you hyped up and energetic, to drive and bounce along to with friends and family. One of the most impressively put together albums I’ve ever heard.
All Day by Girl Talk contains no original music but is instead a mash-up produced and mixed using three hundred and seventy three samples in its hour and eleven minute run time.
Girl Talk is the DJ pseudonym of Gregg Gillis who has been producing mash-up style music since the early 2000’s. All Day, released in 2010 was his fifth full length album and as of writing this still his most recent despite Girl Talk still being very much active and playing shows across America and beyond almost weekly.
Mash-ups are nothing new, they’ve been a popular format among DJ’s for decades. What sets All Day apart is the diversity of the music sourced to create the album. It isn’t simply a mix from one track to another that, while requires skill, is the bread and butter of every DJ on the planet. It’s not even a very cleaver mix jumping between obscure song choices while maintaining a similar BPM, that was something I used to pride myself on doing when I was DJing.
What Girl Talk does with All Day is take anything from the entire instrumental track of Radioheads Creep and overlay ODB’s Shimmy Shimmy Ya vocal track over it, to taking just the guitar pull from Loser by Beck and including it in a mix of Drop It Like It’s Hot and Rihanna’s Hard. The samples he uses last from anywhere between a minute or two and less than a second.
In writing this I pulled up a list of all the sources pull from to create the album and despite listening to the album hundreds of times and on a really regular basis for close to ten years I’ve seen things listed I had no idea were in there. Every time I listen to it I feel like I discover a little something new.
While the majority of the vocals sampled through All Day are from hip hop, r&b and rap tracks, a lot, if not most, of the music used to create the backing tracks are rock, metal, alternative, indie and pop songs mostly pulled from the sixties through two thousands. You won’t go more than two or three minutes without recognising something you know even if you don’t know a single word on the album.
I love sharing the things I love with people and this album has been no exception. I’ve also had a more consistent hit rate with this than almost anything else. I generally tailor my recommendations of things to people who I think will like it. It’s something I did when I was DJing, when I was selling comics and I continue to do with everything. I’m a big believer in the fact that not everything is for everyone and doesn’t need to me. This album may be the exception that makes that rule though. I genuinely believe that while you might not like everything about it you absolutely will like a hell of a lot of it or at the very least appreciate the production and skill required and used in creating it.
One of the last people I introduced the album to when I was first pushing it hard was my brother. Jon was a DJ for over twenty five years and when I introduced the album to him he was probably around twenty years into the career… he hated it. He claimed, still claims, to hate music for the most part now. Even at the time nothing was new to him, he’d heard it all before hundreds of thousands of times over and very rarely would anything excite him. I burnt the album to CD and took it with me when I was working with him one night, he would often put on a mix cd early doors for the first half an hour or so at the club he was playing while people started arriving. I told him I had it covered this particular night. He loved it and still does. It was the variety of music used that allured him to it. It really is unlike anything else.
Listening to this album made me a better DJ while I was still doing it. I would take chances, and experiment a lot more. I would play around with using more sources than the two cd’s I had cued up. Even now, five years removed from DJing professionally on a regular basis I start getting the itch again at times while listening to it.
Girl Talk - All Day can’t be bought in anyway and you won’t find it on any streaming service I’m aware of. This is due to the complete impossibility of licensing the nearly four hundred tracks used. It was originally made available as a free download from the record label Illegal Art and can be still be found on most torrent sites such as those who sail the seven seas. It’s intended to be listened to as a whole piece rather than jumping into any of the twelve tracks it is split into.
The album was followed a year later by a long form music video/short film/interpretive dance project called Girl Walk All Day shot guerrilla style through the streets of New York. It can be found here… I implore you to watch it and not smile throughout the whole thing. For dramatic purposes there is actually a few edits to the album so runs just a bit longer but it is a lot of fun.