We don’t often get the justified chance to showcase full-length films on Antiquiet, but this one’s right up our alley. SnagFilms has put together a documentary on Girl Talk, aka Greg Gillis, and his patchwork-pastiche musical style – as well as the hurdles he faces in the (somewhat) new technological landscape he’s working entirely within.
Using Gillis’ sampling techniques as an example, Rip! A Remix Manifesto examines the labyrinth of copyright infringement in music, a hot-button industry issue we’ve been exploring for quite some time. The best part? You can watch it all, right now, for free:
In addition to capturing Gillis’ infectiously high-energy shows as Girl Talk, the film dives down the rabbit hole of sampling & copyright infringement, examining how we came to this point, the contradicting positions on the issue and where this whole thing could be headed. The uphill battles professional remixers have faced over the years has evolved into a new game, resulting in a “Remixer’s Manifesto” of sorts, centering on three basic tenets:
1. Culture always builds on the past.
2. The past always tries to control the future.
3. Our future is becoming less free.
These three points are concepts familiar to anyone who’s studied sociology throughout civilized history, but they ring particularly true within the music industry, where the landscape of opportunity and conceptualization has been blown wide open and the profiteers are scrambling to restructure their business plan – or simply suing the hell out of anyone pushing envelopes and expanding technological frontiers.
Citing Radiohead’s In Rainbows as a tipping-point example, Rip! A Remix Manifesto looks to the future of music sampling & distribution, as well as copyright law. It’s a fascinating 86 minutes – if you’ve got the time, check it out. Also dig into our own interview with Gillis from back in 2008, not long after Feed The Animals was released and Girl Talk’s explosive Lollapalooza performance had brought droves of new fans – as well as scrutiny from the gatekeepers of the Old Guard.