Posted on Wed, Oct. 05, 2005

Mix and mash-up
By Nerissa Pacio
Mercury News

At the Santa Cruz Blue Lagoon, DJ Yuma Tripp works the Friday night party
crowd with dance-happy creations that he's spent hours, days and sometimes
even weeks crafting to clever perfection.

He chuckles when he names his own top three favorites that have brought him
Internet renown among his fellow digital crate-diggers: Nine Inch Nails'
``Closer'' vs. Ace of Bass' ``All that She Wants''; 50 Cent's ``Disco
Inferno'' vs. the Ramones ``I Want to Be Sedated/Blitzkrieg Bop''; and Dr.
Dre and Snoop Dogg's ``Next Episode'' vs. the Champs' ``Tequila.''

Tripp is among the legions of bedroom remixers who've blown up the Bay
Area's red-hot mash-ups scene. While most of the DJs surface anonymously on
the international community's online hub,, Tripp
and others have started mash-up club parties from Santa Cruz to San
Francisco; DJ Party Ben hosts the ``Sixx Mixx,'' a weekly mash-ups radio
show on Bay Area station Live 105; and on Saturday, mash-up DJs Adrian and
the Mysterious D will be spinning sets at the Download Festival at the
Shoreline Amphitheatre.

Most mash-up artists agree that the amusement is in the do-it-yourself
challenge: splicing the most unlikely of lyrical or musical pairings to make
them somehow mesh. The results are new genre-blending, often tongue-in-cheek
MP3 tracks that are slapped onto the Web to be downloaded for free.

But even after sprouting from the blogging underground to dance-club hit
lists and finally to mainstream airwaves, some Bay Area DJs are finding
fresh ways to stir up the bootleg scene.

On a creative quest to elevate the art, also called bastard pop, Tripp
produced his first mash-up music video of the Nine Inch Nails-Ace of Bass
hybrid ``She Wants Animals'' and played it in September at the Blue Lagoon.

Clubbers were blown away. And now, taking the mash-up to the next level,
he's busy buying DVDs and using a software program (``Vegas'' by Sony) to
fuse the pirated videos on his home computer. By November, Tripp says he'll
have cut up enough videos to play a standing 30-minute set at his gigs to
visually rock his audio. Eventually, he plans to collaborate with other Bay
Area DJs for a video mash-ups tour.

``The novelty has worn off,'' says Tripp, 30, who has been a DJ for 15 years
and has seen the recent mash-ups craze evolve from a trend into a
full-fledged genre. ``It started off as an anti-pop music statement, where
people were tired of hearing Britney Spears, so they said let's stick
Britney over the White Stripes, or Madonna with the Sex Pistols. It's opened
up the way people think about music -- no one listens to one type of music

Videos, Tripp says, were the natural next step in the mash-up evolution. And
while he isn't the very first person to do it, it's still a relatively new

``They really let you see what musicians are being mashed,'' he says. ``So
far, I've gotten a great response.''

DJ John (Liechty) of Campbell quickly earned a reputation for his rare and
complex multi-song mash-ups posted on After less
than a year on the scene, he was getting e-mails from club DJs asking to use
his tracks from Tennessee to Brazil. DJ and club promoters Adrian and the
Mysterious D (a.k.a. Adrian and Deirdre Roberts) soon asked him to spin as a
guest DJ at their monthly parties in San Francisco, and his tracks were
released on an indie compilation ``The Best Mashups in the World Ever are
from San Francisco,'' which received rave reviews in Remix magazine.

``I haven't made it quite yet,'' says Liechty, 35. ``The pinnacle of a
mash-up DJs career is when you start getting cease-and-desist requests from
the law firms representing the artists.''

Mash-ups have been around for years, but this style of smashing together
music got worldwide attention -- and caused controversy -- in 2004 when DJ
Danger Mouse, aka Brian Burton, combined Jay-Z's ``Black Album'' with the
Beatles' so-called ``White Album'' to create the ``Grey Album.''

Major label record companies and copyright supporters fought against the
online release, which generated a million downloads on the first day. The
most famous label-approved mash-up album was ``Collision Course'' by Linkin
Park and Jay-Z, which landed in the Billboard Top 10.

DJ Adrian is shaking up the local mash-ups scene by performing mash-ups live
on stage. Two years ago, Adrian and his wife DJ Mysterious D founded Bootie,
the popular monthly mash-ups party at San Francisco's Cherry Bar and Lounge,
where they spin as the resident DJs alongside Live 105's Party Ben (Gill).

Bootie is arguably the center of the local mash-ups community, where on the
second Saturday of the month, an alternative crowd of club-crawlers from
throughout the Bay Area clamors to get in and score one of the precious
burned bootleg CD giveaways. Promoters say it's for fun -- not to turn a

Their recent two-year anniversary bash at the San Francisco Rickshaw Stop
attracted hundreds of clubbers lined up around the block, from Goths and
punks, to rockers and preppies, earning them the reputation of a fan base as
mashed up as the music.

The club's overwhelming success and an experimental gig with friends at
Slim's nightclub eventually lead to the formation of a six-piece live
mash-ups cover band called Smash-Up Derby.

``We thought: `Wouldn't it be fun to do live versions of what we were
spinning?' '' says Adrian Roberts, who recently performed the popular
mash-up of Michael Jackson's ``Billy Jean'' vs. Nirvana's ``Smells Like Teen
Spirit'' at the Bootie anniversary party alongside topless go-go dancers.
``This was just too good to do only once. . . . It's artistic
re-appropriation. It's poking at pop culture but at the same time reveling
in it.''

Where to go to hear mash-ups

€ Saturday, Adrian and the Mysterious D spin all mash-up sets at the
Download Festival, 5:30-7 p.m., 7:40-8 p.m., Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1
Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View,

€ 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, Club Bootie, Cherry Bar and Lounge, 917 Folsom
St., San Francisco, $5. (415) 974-1585. Guest DJ King of Pants of Seattle.
Resident DJs Adrian, the Mysterious D and Party Ben of Live 105 host the
parties every second Saturday of the month.

€ Oct. 28, Mini Bootie party, upstairs at DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., San
Francisco, (415) 626-1409, DJs Adrian, the Mysterious D and Party Ben
spinning all night.

€ Third Fridays starting in Nov., 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Filthy at the Blue
Lagoon with resident DJ Tripp, 923 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, (831)

€ 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturdays, DJ Mei Lwun at Mr. Smith's, 34 Seventh St., San
Francisco, (415) 355-9991.

Mash-ups Web sites The mother of all mash-ups Web sites where the
international mash-up community distributes, chats and meets For bootleg charts based on Web site visitor votes For mash-up podcasts and popular downloads Based in the United Kingdom, motherland of the
mash-up, these DJs created the now famous ``Ray of Gob'' Sex Pistols vs.
Madonna mash-up.

-- Compiled by Nerissa Pacio

What is a mash-up?

Definition: Mash-ups are hybrid songs created with audio editing software in
which the vocal track of one song is melded with the instrumental or
rhythmic track of another. More complex mash-ups use multiple songs.

Also known as ``bootlegs'' or ``bastard pop.''

The good: Generally, the more unlikely the artist pairing or the more
disparate the genres, the better the mash-up.

The bad: The samples used are usually unlicensed and are often anonymously
posted on the Internet as downloadable, free MP3s. Some people argue this is
illegal. Bootleggers use fictional monikers to protect their identities.

At the club: DJs usually play pre-recorded mash-ups. The next level seems to
be mash-up videos in sync with the music.

A mash-up example: Gwen Stefani featuring Eve (``Rich Girl'') vs. Snoop Dogg
featuring Pharrell Williams (``Drop it

like it's Hot'') vs. ZZ Top

(``La Grange'') = ``Hot

Rich Girls Dropped In A Grange'' by TBP.

Bay Area mash-up DJs

DJ John Liechty of Campbell. Spins at Bootie SF mash-up parties. Signature
style: complex party mixes blending multiple parts.

DJs Adrian and the Mysterious D (a.k.a. Adrian and Deirdre Roberts, at Founders of San Francisco's Bootie monthly mash-up dance
club parties: Adrian's live mash-ups band performs at
Bootie and around the Bay Area:

DJ Party Ben (a.k.a. Ben Gill) of Live 105's (KITS-FM 105.3) Sixx Mixx,
6-6:30 p.m. Fridays.

DJ Yuma Tripp of Santa Cruz. Resident DJ of monthly mash-up parties at Blue

DJ Matt Hite of San Francisco. Writes a comprehensive insider blog on
mash-up DJ news, production and culture.

DJ Earworm of San Francisco. Recently deejayed parties at the MTV Video
Music Awards in Miami. His tracks appear on popular bootleg compilation
``The Best Mash-ups in the World ever are from San Francisco.''

DJ Mei Lwun of San Francisco. Spins at Frisson, 244 Jackson St., San
Francisco, (415) 956-3004; and Club Glo, 396 S. First St., San Jose, (408)


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