M*A*S*H*up Unit 619

Erik "DJ Riko" Battenberg: Electronics, MC

Genre: Covers | Standards, Electro | DJ, Noise | Xprmntl

Sound description: Mash-ups.

RIYL: Mash-ups

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Influences: Mash-ups


"There are legal issues with mash-ups and bootleg remixes because of their unauthorized nature," says DJ Riko, aka Erik Battenberg, of M*A*S*H*up Unit 619. "When we do a live gig, I spin mash-ups on records and CDs with combinations that would never happen in the real world, like Smokey Robinson singing with AC/DC; Schoolly D rapping with Yes, Pink Floyd jamming with the Bee Gees, Malcolm McLaren with Simon and Garfunkel, and so on....

"Some artists are supportive of people making mash-ups with their tracks, other artists aren't.... Mash-ups are as illegal as sampling, which is essentially what it is but with extra layers. Deejays pride themselves on this and have adopted the term 'bootleg' to emphasize the illegality, and they use lots of pirate analogies to show what renegades they are."

Riko -- who grew up locally and recently moved back to San Diego -- is best known for his "Whistler's Delight" mash-up, voted number 15 on the BBC's "Festive 50" top tracks of 2005. The track combines whistling originally recorded by around two dozen artists, including Guns N' Roses ("Patience"), the Lovin' Spoonful ("Daydream"), Billy Joel ("The Stranger"), Monty Python, and Disney's seven dwarves.

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