In the mid-aughts a former biochemical engineer named Greg Gillis, performing under the name Girl Talk, brought a new genre of music to the forefront: mashup--the digital combination of well known pop, rock and rap songs. For instance, pairing Ludacris lyrics over an instrumental track of Ozzy Osbourne. What followed Gillis’ breakthrough was an army of mashup DJs seeking to put their own spin, literally, on the new style of music.
Chicago duo The Hood Internet, DJs ABX (Aaron Brink) and STV SLV (Steve Reidell) have long been hailed as both masters of the mashup and viral success, releasing a series of downloadable mixtapes and tracks through their website over the past half decade. They’ve collected praise throughout the DJ and mashup community for incorporating more indie rock tracks into their mixes than work that proceeded their own, a factor one can only assume was influenced by Chicago’s own healthy indie rock scene.
However, what the locals did earlier this month took their game to the next level. The Hood Internet released FEAT on Oct. 2, a ten-track album of original compositions by the DJ/producers. All beats were created by the pair and all vocal tracks recorded exclusively for this album.
The record is a surprisingly well balanced and momentous collection of party-rocking rap tracks and dreamy indie pop swells. Brink and Reidell’s Chicago roots shine through on FEAT in their collaborations with fellow local artists like rappers Psalm One, BBU and Kid Static. That didn’t stop artists from across the country like pop songstress Annie Hart and buzzworthy dance music maker The Chain Gang of 1974 from wanting to get on board with FEAT. The album’s biggest strength is it’s ability to highlight local music, national artists, pop, indie, rock, rap and more all on just ten tracks.
The Hood Internet might be taking steps away from their mashups roots but in a city as rich with dance and house music talent, it’s no surprise the two rising stars wanted to bring their own talents to the stage.
They'll be debuting a few of these new tracks in Chicago at the Metro on Nov. 2. Tickets are still aviailable for $16 and the show starts at 9 p.m. You'll have to be 18 or older to get your groove on.