Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Grey Album

This album by DJ Danger Mouse is a "mash-up" of The Beatle's The White Album and Jay-Z's The Black Album, hence The Gray Album. The concept of the mash-up has gained a lot of attention in the press lately. Basically a mash-up is when two different things are edited together in some fashion usually audibly or visually. The end result is an entirely different product than the two original pieces. It is sometimes referred to in music as Bastard Pop. This process raises a lot of ethical questions concerning the copyrights of the original material. Steven Soderbergh summed up the dilemma best when asked about the concept of mashing up in his recent interview with Wired.

"I don't think somebody who creates something should have their rights violated. Yet we have a culture in which creating something like [Danger Mouse's] The Grey Album can get you thrown in jail. That's sad. It's an astonishing, amazing piece of work that should be heard."

You can read more about The Grey Album in this Rolling Stone article. Originally the site that hosted the album online was sued by the record labels, but the the creators secured legal representation with the defense of free speech. The suit was eventually dropped by the labels and the music still available online. You can find it here:

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