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Girl Talk teaching you how to dance!

Submitted by Commandrea on January 12, 2024 – 2:46 pm2 Comments

By Jacob Calle:

Can’t afford a DJ, but don’t want to play your 5 disk cd changer at your next dope house party while mom and dad went on a cruise ship that leaves off from Galveston next week? While he personally does not consider himself a DJ you can definitely have one hype ass party by playing his records. So if your stereo goes up to 12 then slam that shit to 15 and dance mother fucker! We all sweated our asses off when Girl Talk performed at the Free Press Summer Fest and now he is coming again! He will be performing tracks from his new record “All Day” on January 13th! So come out and get some!

Jacob: Lets dissect your work. How do you filter your tracks? Lets say you start with the intro to “Head over Heals” by The Go-Go’s. For vocals, where do you find the acapella track to make what you want or do you have a program that allows you to separate the vocals from the track?

Gregg: I usually work with the studio acapella. There are ways to separate the vocals from the tracks on your own. Which is kind of interesting to me, but I don’t so that so much, because even when you get it as good as it can get you can still find artifacts in there. That really bothers my ears. I can’t stand when you can hear that additional noise.  A whole world of studio acapella that date back when labels started to press 12” singles.  They would give those away on the B-side of the vinyl. Nowadays it is on digital vinyl for DJs. People think that it’s this hidden thing and they don’t realize that it’s out there for the public.

J: While creating a section do you search for beats with the same rhythm to create smooth transitions or do you slow or speed the track at your own expense?

G: The program that I use to perform live and to do the arrangements is called AudioMulch. In that program it automatically pitch shifts. Meaning that if you sample a beat that is 89bpm
And you want to use with a sample that at 90bpm it can automatically stretch it.

J: So when you are trying to puzzle in these samples I’m only assuming that it’s kinda like trading baseball cards with your friend right? Nope. Nope. Nope. Yep. Maybe. Nope. Yep.
I’m sure you’ve created a monster in your head.

G: It’s not like I would hear a melody on the radio and say, “Oh, that would go well with that.” It’s more like if I heard a melody I would think, “Oh, that would go well with something.” You hear one line and a vocal that has a very punctual rhythm to it. So constantly when I am cutting things up and saving samples I am not even concerned what would go well with it. Over the record there are 372 songs that is one cohesive music. If you listen to the band Yes there are a million of things happening in an eight-minute song, but ultimately it’s a cohesive unit that forms a song.  So it’s constantly changing. It is beefed, but ultimately it is one beef. Not like 100 tiny monsters running around.

J: So you walk into a grocery store, a bar, a mall, or anywhere and there is music playing does your brain pace at 100mph?

G: I get in and out of the mode of hunting for samples. Now that the album is done and I’m getting ready for tour I am in that mode right now. I’m constantly looking for things on a daily basis. Things just jump out at me.  At the grocery store, a TV commercial, a jukebox at the bar. I’ve been doing this for ten years so it’s hard to sit down and say, “OK, so what songs have I not thought of yet?”  There might be a song that you’ve heard a hundred times, but maybe you heard it a little different this time. Everyone is singing along to it at a bar and now you hear that instrumental breakdown when everyone goes silent.

J: Very interesting. So New York Times magazine has called your music, “A lawsuit waiting to happen”. Have you been attacked yet? If not, then how come?

G: I have not and there are no issues at this point. I’m on my fifth album. When you do music like this the US allows you to sample preexisting works without asking permission depending on the criteria for what you are doing. It is in a grey area and someone could challenge us and at that point I would go to court and fight it. More and more years I am hearing less of that. People have been writing that story for four or five years and now that I’m on new album they cannot say that anymore as much as they used to. On each album people would say that I am going to get sued by 200 people, but I don’t think I will be. It’s the value of a remix and the values have become very common. You look around YouTube and there are 200 remixes of a new pop song, 300 fans made videos, alternative remixes of the remix. That’s kind of a way that the world works now. Labels will now send me CDs and acapella tracks, not specifically asking me to use it, but more less implying that. As the years have gone I feel slightly more comfortable.

J: How was it playing Free Press Summer fest with artist that you used tracks from?

G: It was cool. I love Houston. I love Houston’s music history. Particularly DJ Screw. Houston rap is starting to blow. Well blow up. Not suck. That music in my mind will always be associated with my “Night Ripper”, which was the first record that I did. I’ve been a fan of those guys’ music for a while. I love cutting that stuff up and referencing a lot rap music. Southern rap music has a very punctual flow. It’s very rhythmic which makes it easy for me to figure out.

J: I know you carry the same concept from record to record, but do you try to explore and branch out with each record. If so how does “All Day” stand apart from the others?

G: The project first started off a lot more experimental. It was very abrasive. The second album was the first album that had more structure and actual beats. Then on “Night Ripper” It had a lot of those ideas of sampling and jumping around very quickly, but I applied that to a whole.  It was the first record that I did as a whole where it’s 40 minutes that is all pieced together. And from there it’s been in the same format. But not I try not to play it as a numbers game and try to cram as many samples as I can, but to build more music. I think from “Night Ripper” to the new album I feel like I have gotten better on actual production. Making things sound full, paying attention to every detail.

J: So have you got a certain section in “All Day” that you are proud of?

G: Yeah, one that jumps out at me is the section with the combination of Soldier Boy with Pretty Boy Swag and Aphex Twins’ “Window Licker”. It’s sucha weird mixture. They are weird pop stars in their weird way.  With Pretty Boy Swag I tried it with 40 things and nothing was working. I was thinking that this is a song that will never see the light of day and that I am never going to use this. Finally I came upon the combination of Aphex Twins. It just really linked in. The combination just really locked down on a connectional level that I am very proud of.

J: For those that might be wondering, now that Girl Talk has received world wide status are you still a biochemical engineer?

G: No, I had to quit the job a few years back. I’ve played around 150 shows and that basically means being on the road for about 200 days. So it’s tough to hold down the day job.

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All day, while Andrea assisted Omar, she told herself she must not let his plan go into operation.


@therealgirltalk <-Twitter


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