Girl Talk (real name Gregg Gillis) is a producer out of Pittsburgh that makes parties. That’s what I think of when I listen to any of his albums. All I want to do is dance and have a good time. And I despise both of those things. My mage didn’t get twelfth level status with me being all frivolous with my time, ya know.
The term “mash-up artist” is thrown around to describe Girl Talk. I think that undercuts it a bit. What he does is more than just taking some indie song’s instrumentals and throwing a rap track’s vocals overtop. While simple stuff like that can be guilty pleasures of mine…ahem…they can be pretty easily forgotten—especially if not done exceptionally well. The most impressive thing Gillis does is the way in which he keeps the transitions and combinations so effortless. All Day is meant to be listened to as a whole. That’s when it’s most impressive. The album opens with War Pigs by Black Sabbath with Ludacris’s Move Bitch on top before throwing in some Jane’s Addiction and moving on from there. It’s totally unexpected and wonderfully perfect.
On Wikipedia, people are already compiling a list of all the samples he used for the album. I think my favorite part might be Jay-Z over General Public. Insane. Or maybe the New Order to Lil Wayne to Trina bit. Bananas. And he does it all without altering or distorting any of the samples he uses. (For the most part.)
On the 15th, All Day was released for free with absolutely no marketing or hype other than the announcement over Facebook and Twitter. Then the internet broke with everyone clamoring to get it. Illegal-Art’s servers melted due to the demand. Thankfully, the album was well worth the hassle of me jumping through internet hoops for an hour or so before finding a mediafire mirror link to download it. The album is Gillis’s longest and best so far. It’s been in the works for the last 2.5 years and it shows. It flows really well and the 70-some-odd minutes fly by.
There are some people that write Girl Talk off as some half-ass DJ making money off of other artists’ work and spitting in the face of copyrights. Those people are idiots. They can go listen to Radiohead (who is woefully overrated by the way) and be sad in the corner. Albums like All Day and Feed The Animals are meant to be fun to listen to. They are technically impressive from a production stand point and artistically (or maybe ethically?) impressive in the way that they challenge perspectives on copyright. Much like Pogo, Girl Talk has created something completely different from existing parts and it’s fantastic for what it is.