Sunday, 16 December 2007

Imitation

I mentioned a mash-up of two songs in yesterday's entry. This phenomenon, increasingly popular in the last seven years, is often criticised for not actually bringing anything new to the songs in question. This is entirely true, but usually no-one makes any claims that they are being highly original when they make something like that. I think that some mash-ups can be very interesting, and sometimes even fun, if the two tracks are chosen correctly and mixed well. It is really an extension of the role of the disc jockey, not an attempt to usurp the original artist.

However, blatant copying of other artists is not so fun, and in fact is extremely frustrating. One song in particular has suffered from extensive borrowing since its release; "Blue Monday", by one of my favourite bands, New Order. I'm quite happy with Orgy's cover version, but the poorly-disguised rip-offs by Rihanna ("Shut up and drive") and M.I.A. ("20 dollar") do no justice to the original. Even worse, there appears to be no acknowledgement of the influence of the New Order song on the creators of those two songs, which shows no respect for such an important milestone in electronic music.

I have to get back to my work now; I just felt like a little diversion as soon as I heard the song by the so-called artist M.I.A.

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