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Gregg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk, has mastered the art of snagging the briefest of samples from hip-hop, classic rock, and indie pop, and blending them into a new, whirling creation that puts traditional remixes to shame.
“Triple Double” is no exception. The song pairs Ludacris’ vocals from “How Low” with the ebullient synths from Phoenix’s “1901” – and that’s just in the song’s first minute. Gillis reframes melody and rhythm throughout the track, freshening up familiar guitar licks, and softening hip-hop’s harder edges. The result is a musical speedball that is dangerously infectious and addictive. Similarly, Gillis melds “Everythang” by Crooked with Neil Diamond’s “Cherry Cherry” and moves on to using Devo’s “Gates of Steel” as a backdrop for Ice Cube and 50 Cent.
Like Gillis’ best work, “Triple Double” is a love letter to the radio. When Gillis unearths musical surprises – like Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out” or “Paint it Black” by the Stones – he reminds us that even though we’re no longer “raised on the radio,” there is still a lot of great music found an audience over the airwaves.
Since Gillis made his name with the brilliant Night Ripper in 2006, great amounts of time and energy have been devoted to unraveling the microsamples which comprise his releases. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to know exactly what goes into a Girl Talk track to enjoy it. Now it is even easier to enjoy Girl Talk since Gillis’ label, Illegal Art, gave the world an early holiday gift, releasing All Day, Girl Talk’s fifth full-length, as a free download on November 15, 2010.