Girl Talk – Feed the Animals (2008)

Girl Talk – Feed the Animals (2008)

Gregg Gillis…a mild-mannered Pennsylvanian biomedical engineer by day…and by night, as the moon rises and the lunatics come out to play, he tears the lab-coat off (quite literally, sometimes) as he morphs into his dance-crazed mash-up DJ alter-ego: Girl Talk. A 21st century superhero, armed with his trusty laptop and FM radio, mashing together all manner of songs and samples and beats into a juicy form of dance pop. The songs he uses as source material for his digital alchemy are so disparate (eg: Jay-Z, Toni Basil, Rod Stewart and Aphex Twin – within one song) that it’s a true feat of sonic collage to combine such wildcard elements into a highly listenable context. And it’s these skills as an arranger that stands out after repeated listens. Even though upon a first taste one is seemingly bombarded with countless pop references, the restraint exercised allows the listener to identify the samples and enjoy the fresh juxtapositions (or if you’re slow, like me, at least get a sense of them – and it’ll come to you later, probably while you’re brushing your teeth, getting ready for bed). The tendency for some would be to push it to further extremes into Breakcore territory. Which is still interesting, but stops being as much fun for me. (Plus, who can dance to breakcore?) And that’s what this music is, above all else – Fun. With each release, he has always pushed more samples into each song, clocking up something on the order of thousands of pieces of song. He has continually tested the limits of the form without losing the playfulness. Perhaps one day we’ll see the logical extension of his ideas, and he’ll release a one song album that contains a snippet of every song ever recorded! His Mash’em Opus. Now there’s a challenge…do it, Mr. Talk…I’m there dude.

(I should probably point out that despite my love of music, I can’t dance to save my life. My free & easy use of words concerning dancing are simply meant for you…if you are so inclined to shake it. And I hear you saying: ‘Hey, Decoy, that’s classic, me too, I can’t dance either -’…well, let me just stop you right there – nah, friend, you can dance…okay?…compared to me, you can dance…trust me…)


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