It’s rare that an artist as focused on mixing, artistic experimentation and pure danceability as Girl Talk comes to Bradley and yet, Tuesday at 8 p.m., the mashup pioneer will be bringing his own brand of radio sampling, bass heavy, genre defining experimental music to the Renaissance Coliseum.
Girl Talk, real name Gregg Gillis, has been defining the sound of the mashup genre since his landmark 2006 album “Night Ripper,” and he helped to define the idea of sampling music in contemporary radio, while embracing pop hits of years gone by.
“Instead of doing one or two songs layered on top of each other, I wanted to make it more involved, with a lot of different music on top of each other,” Gillis said. “So, I feel, a lot of what I hear sometimes is remixes or other people doing mashups, I think it’s cool to have their own perspective. With my particular project, I never wanted to take pop music and make it OK for anyone to listen to.”
Gillis takes radio pop seriously, saying that he believed that the power of bringing a variety of music from several different eras makes it easier to show what pop music means and how it has changed.
“In my music, I like to touch on the history of pop, the history of radio pop and never make it OK to listen to for everyone else,” Gillis said. “That’s kind of the big thing for me is that I’m going to sample current radio rap and current radio pop and I’m going to sample old radio rap and pop. That’s been the big thing for me. I don’t want people to hear it and say, ‘well now I can listen to this.’ That was kind of the idea when I started the project, to keep people open minded about pop music, particularly in the early days I was playing in serious clubs and I wanted to bring the pop in. I wanted to say, ‘yeah, I’m playing Madonna and I’m playing Hall and Oates,’ and I never wanted to be confrontational about that.”
That’s certainly the case with Gillis’ work now. On his newest record, “All Day,” he artfully combines the memorable piano solo from Derek and the Domino’s “Layla,” Madness’ “Our House” and a host of contemporary rap giving a solid, irresistible dance beat. It’s the kind of energy that transfers into perfect, utterly irresistible electro that dares you not to have a good time.
Gillis said that people attending the show can expect a concert experience like few others at his performance on campus.
“With the show, we always try to have it be a spectacle. I never really came out of the scene of playing with DJs at clubs and I think as the years have gone on, I’ve been proud of the shows and we always try to raise the bar and we always try to bring the party and bring the spectacle and do something that’s like no other show around. Y’know, from my history, I’m really proud of where the show has come from and where it’s going and if people are into it, we’ll take them on a ride.”