Kaskade weighs in on "politicking" of mash-ups

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A few weeks back, Dutch gun Hardwell found himself unwittingly attracting the ire of Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso over the touchy topic of bootlegs. Hardwell promised fans a free bootleg pack, including Swedish House Mafia material, if he reached 300,000 fans on Facebook, which Ingrosso called “the lowest [ploy] I’ve seen”. The young DJ/producer hastily retracted the offending bootlegs, but the conversation has rolled on. In a post on his tumblr entitled ‘Politicking of a Mash-Up’, U.S. superstar and avowed bootleg fan Kaskade has weighed in on the touchy topic of giving away music that isn’t unequivocally your own.

“The politicking of a mash up is nothing new,” he writes. “Hip hop has been having this conversation since its inception. Sampling other people’s work comes with a price. And it makes sense on one hand – why wouldn’t you compensate someone who created something you’re using? A writer can’t just plagiarise another writer and call it inspiration. An artist can’t cut and paste other artwork and claim it as their own. Why would the rules in music be any different? Calling it a mash up, a tribute, a homage or a remix: does it even matter? I can tell you that it does. But the devil is in the details, and comes down to intent.” The full post, which touches on Kaskade’s own approach to mash-ups and how it’s impossible to prevent your work being “abused”, is worth delving into.

Speaking to inthemix after he was announced on the 2013 Boiler Room line-up for Big Day Out, Kaskade touched on why he’s inclined towards mash-ups. “I wish I had time to go back and remix It’s You, It’s Me, What I Say and all these old classics [of mine],” he told us. “Playing the originals ten years later, sonically and stylistically they just don’t stand up. They don’t make a lot of sense in my sets. So the mash-up has been a cool and interesting way of going, ‘This is a cool instrumental track, and it works so well with my vocal.’”

As he writes on his tumblr: “The truth is that very few people actually buy music anymore. So the landscape of being a musician has changed. My mash up is not going to be detrimental to anyone’s financial statement. In fact, it’s me doing my part to help recycle. Organic Eco-Green, Cruelty-Free DJing, you heard it here first.” What’s your take on it all?



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aaron182 said on the 20th Sep, 2012

great artist and wise man!


RunningWithScissors said on the 20th Sep, 2012

hey so do those SHM guys have any free sets/podcasts full of other people's music I can download?


methodandsound said on the 20th Sep, 2012

I think if I was a big artist I'd start worrying when the mashups were sounding better than my original, which is generally not the case. I like Kaskade's relaxed approach.


0ldsk00lr4v3r said on the 20th Sep, 2012

Right, that's it. I'm going to pirate as much SHM shit I can find, and then not even listen to it. What a pair of chronic wankers!


ticketsplease said on the 20th Sep, 2012

An artist can%u2019t cut and paste other artwork and claim it as their own.

Mr. Brainwash. Enough said.


DjReal said on the 21st Sep, 2012

I really don't think a lot of kaskade's early stuff is dated. I dropped "Gonna Make It" at a gig recently and while it didnt get the reaction it used to when that song was at it's peak, it still got the interest of the crowd and brang a few extras to the floor for a groove and had a lot of smiling faces.