Girl Talk

Mash-up artist Girl Talk copies and pastes, then chops and screws together, million-dollar beats, timeless riffs and unforgettable hooks, creating addictive party anthems. Listening to his third copyright-challenging full-length, Night Ripper, is like absorbing three generations of music in pill form: digital ecstasy. "It all goes back to hip-hop, finding the right breaks and beats, and the nature of someone being able to manipulate this larger-than-life entity," says Gregg Gillis, Girl Talk's Pittsburgh-born alter ego. "It's almost a fantasy game where I can have Biggie Smalls and Elton John hang out, or [on "Peak Out"] have 2 Live Crew and Paul McCartney sing about pussy and love." Girl Talk's reinvention of the past is quickly becoming the sound of the future. A decade ago, Gillis's label, Illegal Art, received a cease-and-desist order for their controversial compilation, Reinventing Beck; today Gillis has been commissioned to craft remixes by that album's namesake and countless others. "It's a challenge to bring things together from what's typically seen as two different worlds and to make a natural connection," he says. "When it happens, it's a beautiful thing."

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