Unveiled digitally this summer using a Radiohead-style “pay-what-you-like” model, the CD release of mashup artist Gregg Gillis’ fourth Girl Talk full-length, “Feed the Animals,” has been issued just in time to be rightfully included on critics’ end-of-year lists.
Following a similar path to 2006’s lauded “Night Ripper,” Gillis has patched together another scorching set of way-too-fun club bangers. Whereas many mashups consist of two different tracks welded together as one, Girl Talk works upward of 20 samples into each track to make a highly danceable album. Gillis is an unabashed lover of all things pop, and more than 300 short snippets of well-known modern singles and golden oldies play out over 14 accessible, genre-hopping songs. “Hands in the Air” makes Tag Team’s ’90s sports anthem “Whoomp! (There it is)” much hipper by dropping it over tunes from Big Country and Kraftwerk before Gillis spins listeners in an entirely new direction with help from the likes of Hot Chip, Lou Reed and Justin Timberlake.
The only downfall with the sometimes dizzying pace at which different artists are introduced is that some inspired pairings get cut short. But really, there’s no point in nitpicking at a party this good. Bonus points to any pop aficionados who can identify all the clips without peeking at the liner notes.