Über Girl Talk
Pittsburgh's Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, is a polarizing figure in left-field pop. Some praise his helter-skelter mash-ups of rock and hip-hop for their carefree disregard for copyright; others dismiss him as merely a laptop-enabled hipster wedding DJ. But there's no denying the workmanship behind Gillis' music. Night Ripper, his 2006 breakout album, weaves loops from hundreds of songs (from 2 Live Crew to Elton John, the Pixies to M.I.A.) seamlessly into bouncing club tracks. There's also no denying the audacity of his approach, given a legal climate that often punishes unlicensed sampling. Amazingly, Gillis has continued to get away with it; in 2008, he released Feed the Animals, a similarly eclectic spray of beats and snippets that took in everything from Roy Orbison to Twisted Sister to Yung Joc to Tones on Tail. One thing's for sure: For its unabashedly pop aims, Girl Talk's music is far more diverse than your average radio playlist.